Magnus Quaife

16 July 2014
Untitled (Miss Iceland) (2010), Watercolour on paper, 50 x 70cm, From the series 1968 and Other Myths (2010-12), Image courtesy Magnus Quaife and WORKS|PROJECTS

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery

Magnus Quaife (b. 1975, Nottingham, UK) lives and works in Manchester. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions as part of the Liverpool Biennial (2010) and at The International 3, Manchester (2004 and 2008). His practice involves an exploration of the significance and circulation of images and cultural artefacts through painting and curating.

As the 40th anniversary of the epoch-making events of May 1968 approached, Quaife embarked on a series of over 30 paintings which would take him three years to complete. The works in 1968 and Other Myths depict recognisable and iconic images from the 1968 student revolts as well as tangentially related ones, found through online research or via other unsystematic channels. The series has a relationship with history painting, although Quaife’s chosen medium of watercolour is unusual for such a potentially charged subject: it suggests the evanescence of the historical moment rather than its memorialising.

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s collection focuses on major artists and movements of 20th and 21st century British art. The Contemporary Art Society has presented Swindon Museum and Art Gallery with three watercolour paintings from the series 1968 and Other Myths. Quaife’s concerns with subverting straightforward representation, reproduction and the relationship between source and artwork provide the potential for an interesting dialogue with work by Richard Hamilton, John Walker and Richard Long in Swindon’s collection.

Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2014


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