reviews

R. H. Quaytman, Morning, 4.545%, Chapter 30, 2016, twenty-two paintings in oil, gouache, varnish, silk-screen ink, lacquer, and gesso on wood. Installation view. Photo: Brian Forrest.

R. H. Quaytman

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)

R. H. Quaytman, Morning, 4.545%, Chapter 30, 2016, twenty-two paintings in oil, gouache, varnish, silk-screen ink, lacquer, and gesso on wood. Installation view. Photo: Brian Forrest.

OVER THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS, R.H. Quaytman has developed a formidable art practice predicated on a dynamic interchange between her paintings and the specific contexts in which they are exhibited. In a gesture that undermines painting’s customary status as a portable, autonomous object—and therefore any assumption of self-contained and stable meaning—the artist conceives of each exhibition as a starting point for generating a new body of work, rather than as a destination for already finished pieces. Anyone familiar with this foundational tenet of her practice would thus have expected Quaytman’s exhibition of new paintings to be sensitively, and specifically, installed. Nevertheless, the visceral experience afforded by “Morning: Chapter 30” was surprising and thrilling. The main gallery at LA MoCA was dominated by the twenty-two painted wooden panels comprising Morning,

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