new-york

Eileen Quinlan

Miguel Abreu Gallery | Orchard Street

The fact that nearly all of Eileen Quinlan’s photographs are still lifes has often been obscured by the variety of other interests evident in her work. Critics have, perhaps too often, related her images to the historical precedents set by early modernists such as Edward Weston, Minor White, Aaron Siskind, and Alfred Stieglitz (notably his “Equivalents” series of 1925–34). But Quinlan’s 2004–2007 “Smoke and Mirrors” series, for instance, which documents a large number of arrangements of the titular materials, alludes not only to the legacy of early modern abstraction but also to the Bush administration’s secretive war strategies in Iraq. These lush images, at the same time, do not shy from their co-optation of commercial photography and graphic design. The imperfections of dust and scratches on some of the photographs, moreover, point up Quinlan’s concern with the mechanics of producing

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