Quarles’ paintings capture bodies in varying states of abstraction, framed by architectural devices that create ever-shifting spaces. Occasional ragments of text in earlier paintings and recent drawings reveal some of the literary, musical and autobiographical references that underpin her work. They also draw parallels with the use of textual fragments in the early paintings of David Hockney, displayed in the concurrent exhibition, We Two Boys: Early Works by Alan Davie & David Hockney. Quarles, a queer artist with Black ancestry who is often mistaken for being white, deploys this ambiguity to explore fluidities in identity, and create images that disrupt the hetero-normative, male and predominantly-white history of painting.
Christina Quarles is timed to sit alongside the exhibition We Two Boys: Early Works by Alan Davie & David Hockney.