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Ged Quinn (b. 1963)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Ged Quinn (b. 1963)

The Fall

Ged Quinn (b. 1963)
The Fall
signed twice, titled and dated twice ''THE FALL' Ged Quinn 2006' (on the stretcher)
oil on linen
72 x 98½in. (183 x 250cm.)
Painted in 2006
Wilkinson Gallery, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2006.
London, Wilkinson, Ged Quinn: My Great Unhappiness Gives Me a Right to Your Benevolence, 2007-2008, no. 27 (detail illustrated in colour, p. 46, illustrated in colour, pp. 47 and 90).
London, Saatchi Gallery, Newspeak, British Art Now, 2010 (illustrated in colour, pp. 239-240). This exhibition later travelled to St. Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum.
Adelaide, Art Gallery of South Australia, Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide: British Art Now, 2011 (illustrated in colour, p. 187).
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium

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Lot Essay

Painted in 2006, Ged Quinn's grandiose The Fall depicts a modern narrative of Lucifer's expulsion from heaven. Overlaid on top of a close rendition of Claude Lorrain's The Expulsion of Hagar, 1668, this contemporary revisiting offers the viewer a twist on the historical themes of the 17th century, projecting a modern narrative onto the ancient scene. Exhibited at the 2010 Newspeak, British Art Now exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, London and subsequently traveling to the State Hermitage Museum, Petersburg, The Fall overlays the angel's fall from heaven with a story from the Old Testament relaying the removal of Egyptian handmaid Hagar and her son Ishmael from the house of Abraham after the birth of Isaac. In the present work, Quinn places French playwright and advocator of the Theatre of Cruelty Antonin Artaud in the role of the fallen Lucifer, tumbling out of Lorrain's Arcadian sky, tarnishing its translucent twilight with plumes of dark smoke. In the foreground, Quinn has replaced the climactic moment of Lorrain's work, the banishment of Hagar and Ishmael, with the burnt-out shell of the world's first purpose-built movie production studio, Thomas Edison's Black Maria. A broken sky-light is in the direct path of the falling Artaud, seeming to imply the angel has already fallen and has created the mayhem of the scattered papers of his own practice. Questions arise concerning a chronological notion of time, leaving open-ended associations of the past, present, and future.

Throughout the history of art, landscape has offered an imaginative space into which artists could project their thoughts and dreams. In The Fall, Quinn has created a dreamlike scenario reflecting on reality, but also distinctly apart from it. The viewer feels as though he has chanced upon an episode that is seemingly narrative: the collision of the formal idyllic landscape of classical myth and the unknown barbarism that has brought destruction to modernism. The bewitching romanticism of the scene seems to belie the sophisticated use of punning and reference at Quinn's disposal; and in his borrowings from classicist painting, the artist seamlessly foregrounds his additions as potent symbols of philosophical despair. In doing this, Quinn offers viewers a tantalising promise of familiarity, only to subvert their expectations with the incongruities and disturbing details of the scene. As timeless, quixotic worlds, Quinn's scenes could hark from a distant future-their faint allusion to the fantastical and ribaldry withhold any consolations of hope.

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