Christina Quarles

About the Artist

Los Angeles–based artist Christina Quarles (American, b. 1985) paints bodies that are subjected not only to the weight and gravity of the physical world but also to the pleasures and pressures of the social realm. Her ambiguous and evocative scenes feature figures whose limbs, torsos, and faces collide and merge with familiar domestic objects made strange through her color choices and experimental painterly gestures. Her work explores the universal experience of existing within a body, as well as the ways race, gender, and sexuality intersect to form complex identities.

The largest presentation of her work to date, the exhibition at the MCA brings together a selection of her work made over the last three years, as well as a new, large-scale installation that explores illusions and histories of painting.

The exhibition is curated by Grace Deveney, former Assistant Curator, and Jack Schneider, Curatorial Assistant. It is presented in the Bergman Family Gallery on the museum’s second floor.

Installation Images

Installation view, Christina Quarles, MCA Chicago Mar 13–Sep 5, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Christina Quarles, MCA Chicago Mar 13–Sep 5, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Christina Quarles, MCA Chicago Mar 13–Sep 5, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Christina Quarles, MCA Chicago Mar 13–Sep 5, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Christina Quarles, MCA Chicago Mar 13–Sep 5, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Installation view, Christina Quarles, MCA Chicago Mar 13–Sep 5, 2021

Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Funding

Lead support is provided by Kenneth C. Griffin; the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris: Caryn and King Harris, Katherine Harris, Toni and Ron Paul, Pam Szokol, Linda and Bill Friend, and Stephanie and John Harris; the Zell Family Foundation; R. H. Defares; the Margot and W. George Greig Ascendant Artist Fund; Cari and Michael Sacks; and Anonymous.

Major support is provided by Julie and Larry Bernstein; Citi Private Bank; Gael Neeson, Edlis Neeson Foundation; PHILLIPS; and Charlotte Cramer Wagner and Herbert S. Wagner III of the Wagner Foundation.

Generous support is provided by Murat Ahmed and Katherine Mackenzie, Ellen-Blair Chube, Denise and Gary Gardner, Ashlee Jacob, and Bernard I. Lumpkin and Carmine D. Boccuzzi, and Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund.

This exhibition is supported by the Women Artists Initiative, a philanthropic commitment to further equity across gender lines and promote the work and ideas of women artists.