Marc Quinn - Pictures, Art, Photography

Marc Quinn

Background Information about Marc Quinn


About the Work

What if plants were no longer content to attract only bees and insects, but started to set their sights on more ambitious targets: people? What if our attention were fundamental to their continued existence? This thought is the inspiration behind Marc Quinn’s supremely colourful, almost unreal flower arrangements that would be hard to top in terms of sheer opulence. And these bright, garish images do, in fact, have an irresistible allure, with overstimulation serving as their aesthetic principle.

The portrayal of flowers through diverse artistic mediums is an ongoing theme in Quinn’s work. In 2013, his installation “The Rush of Nature” – a giant orchid cast in bronze – attracted widespread attention at the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show in London.

Human intervention in nature plays a central role in Quinn’s art – in this case, the subjects of his pieces are frozen in silicone and often assembled using elements from different types of plants, placing his work right at the intersection between art and science.

About the Artist

Marc Quinn belongs to the Young British Artists movement, alongside big names such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, and Jake and Dinos Chapman, who conquered the art world in the 1990s with their thrilling and at times provocative work. His sculpture “Self”, a replica of the artist’s head made of his own frozen blood, featured in the legendary Sensation exhibition that caused international controversy in 1997. Curated by notorious collector Charles Saatchi for London’s Royal Academy of Arts, the show generated a media storm and brought its young artists lasting recognition.

Like many of his contemporaries in the Young British Artists, Quinn creates figurative works. A particular fascination for the vulnerability and mortality of the human body is a clear theme running through his diverse oeuvre. He combines art with the knowledge and technical possibilities of science to address life’s existential questions.

Many of Quinn’s sculptures have been displayed in public spaces. “Alison Lapper Pregnant”, for example, was installed in Trafalgar Square and later replicated for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games. Quinn was the first artist to be represented by Jay Jopling, the legendary art dealer and founder of the White Cube Gallery. Quinn’s work can be found in the world’s most important art collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and Tate Britain. In 2003, Quinn took part in the Venice Biennale.


Quinn often works with organic materials, which he transforms into sculptures and subsequently preserves through a freezing process. The images in this series are based on flower arrangements that the artist froze in silicone. The arrangements were captured in hyper-realistic paintings that served as the templates for his prints.

By exaggerating and inverting the colours, Quinn achieves a certain artificiality – expressing the human manipulation of nature artistically. At the same time, he uses this technique to deconstruct the concept of the living model – the flowers, which actually die during the freezing process, remain preserved in a fresh, lively state.

Daniela Kummle


1964Born in London, UK
Studied History and Art History at Robinson College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Worked as an assistant to sculptor Barry Flanagan
2012A replica of Quinn’s famous sculpture “Alison Lapper Pregnant” was displayed on the main stage at the Opening Ceremonies of the Paralympics
Lives and works in London, UK


MoMA, New York City, USA
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tate Britain, London, UK


2014Marc Quinn, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, Málaga, Spain
2013Marc Quinn – Portraits of Landscapes, Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, USA
2012Brave New World, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
2011Marc Quinn – At the Far Edges of the Universe, Fabrik Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, China
2010Marc Quinn – Allanah, Buck, Catman, Chelsea, Michael, Pamela and Thomas, White Cube, London, UK
2009Marc Quinn, Mary Boone Gallery, New York City, USA
2009Carbon Cycles, Galerie Daniel Blau, Munich, Germany
2009Selfs, Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland
2008Marc Quinn: Evolution, White Cube, London, UK
2007Marc Quinn, DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal, Canada
2006Marc Quinn, Galerie Hopkins, Paris, France
2006Marc Quinn – Recent Sculptures, Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands
2005Marc Quinn – Chemical Life Support, White Cube, London, UK
2004Marc Quinn: Flesh, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland
2004Marc Quinn, Mary Boone Gallery, New York City, USA
2003Marc Quinn: The Overwhelming World of Desire, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
2002Marc Quinn, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK
2002Marc Quinn, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
1999Marc Quinn, Kunstverein Hannover, Hanover, Germany
1995Art Now: Marc Quinn – Emotional Detox, Tate Britain, London, UK
2015A Secret Affair, FLAG Art Foundation, New York City, USA
2014Post Pop: East Meets West, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
2014Bad Thoughts – Collection Martijn and Jeannette Sanders, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2013Flowers and Mushrooms, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria
2013Body Pressure, Skulptur seit den 1960er Jahren, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany
2012Cool Britannia, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, South Korea
2011Mémoires du Future, La Collection Olbricht, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
2010Ein Hauch von Eden, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
2010Cream, Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
2009Die Kunst ist Super! Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany
2008Statuephilia, British Museum, London, UK
2007Skin of/in Contemporary Art, The National Museum of Art, Osaka Japan
2007ART Futures, Bloomberg Space, London, UK
2006Damien Hirst & His Contemporaries, Andipa Gallery, London, UK
2006Figures in the Field, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, USA
2005Raised Awareness, Tate Modern, London, UK
2004Art of the Garden, Tate Britain, London, UK
2003La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
2003Works from the Collection, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
2002The Body Present: Effigies, Decoys, and Other Equivalents, Museum pf Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, USA
2001Almost Warm & Fuzzy: Childhood and Contemporary Art, MoMA PS1, New York City, USA
2001Give and Take, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
2000Out There – An Exhibition of Contemporary British Art, White Cube, London, UK
1999Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, USA
1997Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK