Justin Quinn


Born 1972, Duluth, Minnesota

Artist Statement

The distance between reading and seeing has been an ongoing interest for me. Since 1998 I have been exploring this space through the use of letterforms, and have used the letter E as my primary starting point for the last two years. Since E is often found at the top of vision charts, I questioned what I saw as a familiar hierarchy. Was this letter more important than other letters? E is, after all, the most commonly used letter in the English language, it denotes a natural number (2.71828), and has a visual presence that interests me greatly. In my research E has become a surrogate for all letters in the alphabet. It now replaces the other letters and becomes a universal letter (or Letter), and a string of Es now becomes a generic language (or Language). This substitution denies written words their use as legible signifiers, allowing language to become a vacant parallel Language— a basis for visual manufacture.

After months of compiling Es into abstract compositions through various systemic arrangements, I started recognizing my studio time as a quasi-monastic experience. There was something sublime about both the compositions that I was making and the solitude in which they were made. It was as if I were translating some great text like a sub literate medieval scribe would have years ago—with no direct understanding of the source material. The next logical step was to find a source. Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick, a story rich in theology, philosophy, and psychosis provides me with a roadmap for my work, but also with a series of underlying narratives. My drawings, prints, and collages continue to speak of language and the transfer of information, but now as a conduit to Melville’s sublime narratives.
Education

2001 MA in Art History, School of Art and Art History, University of Iowa
2000 MFA in Printmaking, School of Art and Art History, University of Iowa
Graduate Book Certificate, Center for the Book, University of Iowa
1995 BFA in Studio Art, University of Wisconsin-Superior

Solo Exhibitions

2009 Keep Out This Frost, Marina Cain Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2008 Breathe He Must, or Die He Will, Conduit Gallery, TX
2007 Why E, Marina Cain Gallery, San Francisco. CA
2005 Chapter 44 or 78,774 times E, Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX
New Pages from Moby Dick, Building E, Montgomery College, Conroe, TX
New Work, Kruk Gallery, Holden Center, University of Wisconsin-Superior
2003 Moby Dick, or EEEE EEEE, A Ramona Studio, New York, NY
Hangings, Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX
2002 Marfa Vacation, Boom, Oak Park, IL

Group Exhibitions

2010 Inaugural Show, Marina Cain Contemporary Art San Francisco
2010 Zeichnungen und Drucke, Cain Schulte Berlin, Germany
2009 Rich Text, Fleisher Ollman, New York, NY
Drawing In, CADD Art Lab, Dallas, TX
2008 Typecast, Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Red Dot Art Fair, New York, NY (Marina Cain Gallery)
Aqua Winwood Art Fair, Miami, Florida (Conduit Gallery, Dallas, Texas).
Two by Two for AIDS in Art, The Rachofsky House, Dallas, Texas.
Arthouse 5×7, Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Dallas, Texas.
The Small Works Show, Conduit Gallery, Dallas, Texas.
Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas Fair, Dallas, Texas (through Conduit Gallery).
Habitual Ritual, Fine Arts Center Gallery, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois.
Printmaking IS the Discourse, Projects Gallery, Mary Schiller Myers School of Art, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio.
Exchange IV: Contemporary Prints, Rueff Galleries, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
2007 International Print Triennial, Vienna, Austria
Boston Printmakers 60th Anniversary Show, 808 Gallery, Boston, MA
Red Dot Art Fair, Miami, FL (with Marina Cain Gallery)
Beaux Arts Ball, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas.
X-06, Marina Cain Gallery, San Francisco, California.
A Way with Words, Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, Texas.
Chicago Art Fair, Chicago, IL (Rudolph Projects, Houston, TX)
Summer Salon, Michael Martin Gallery, San Francisco, CA
New Prints 2000-2006, International Print Center of New York
The Drawing Show, Conduit Gallery, Dallas, TX
I-35 Biennial Invitational, Dunn and Brown Contemporary, Dallas, TX
Tom Sale, Justin Quinn, Ryan Geiger, Rudolph Projects / ArtScan Gallery, Houston, TX
Fluid Geometry, Vine Street Studios, Houston, TX
Lettra, Jagiellonian Library, Krakow, Poland
3rd International Collage Exhibition, Arka Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania
8th International Miniature Art Biennial, Salle Augustin-Chénier, Ville-Marie, Québec
Nineteenth Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, University of Wisconsin, Parkside, Kenosha, WI
Impressit, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Minnetonka, MN
2005 Frieze Art Fair, London, England (through Andrea Rosen, New York)
NADA Art Fair, Miami, FL (through Shane Campbell, Oak Park, IL)
New Prints Summer 2005, International Print Center of New York
14th German International Graphic Triennial, Kunstverein zu Frechen, Frechen, Germany
5th Biennial of Engraving, Cabinet des Estampes, Liège, Belgium
12th International Biennial of Engraving and New Images, Ecole Municipale d’Arts Plastiques, Sarcelles, France
Open Expression : Contemporary American Printmaking, American University Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
2nd International Collage Exhibition, Kaire Desine, Vilnius, Lithuania
3rd International Biennial of Dibuix Josep Amat, Plaça Monestir, Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain
Coming Together, Michael Martin Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Lance Letscher and Justin Quinn, Library Gallery, Richland College, Dallas, TX
The Land of Wandering : Exquisite History Volume One, Off Grounds Gallery, Charlottesville, VA
The Boston Printmakers 2005 North American Print Biennial, 808 Gallery, Boston, MA
Eighteenth Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, WI.
26th Annual Paper in Particular National Exhibition, Columbia College, Columbia, MO
2004 New Prints Autumn 2004, International Print Center of New York
1st International Collage Exhibition, Arka Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania
Le Locle Print Triennial, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland
Press Work : Selections from P.R.I.N.T. Press & the University Permanent
Collection, Art Gallery, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
2nd LUC Print Biennial, Crown Center Gallery, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL
13th Tallinn Print Triennial, Rotermann Salt Storage Arts Centre,Tallinn, Estonia
Drawing and Print Exhibition, College of Notre Dame, Art Department, Baltimore, MD
Pulse, The Art Corridor II, Tarrant County College, Arlington, TX
The Fourth Minnesota Print Biennial, Katherine Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
2003 Delta National Small Prints, Arkansas State University, AR
The First 2003 Printmaking Biennial, A Ramona Studio, New York, NY
The Circular Ruins, South Karelian Polytechnic University, Imatra, Finland
The Big Square Portfolio Exhibition, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Catherine Chauvin and Justin Quinn, Brookhaven, Farmers Branch, TX
2002 Delta National Small Prints, Arkansas State University, AR
Small Works 2002, Washington Printmakers Gallery, Washington, D.C.
MAPC Juried Members Exhibition, Denver Int’l Airport, Denver, CO
The 17th International Exhibition, Art Program, University of Texas at Tyler
From Concept to Object, Cade Center Gallery, Anne Arundel College, Arnold, MD
Fifteenth Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, WI
Disclosure : Contemporary Drawing, University of Dallas, Dallas, TX
The Circular Ruins, Zoller Gallery, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
The Liquid Language of Artist’s Books, University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, WY
2001 Delta National Small Prints, Arkansas State University, AR
October International Competition, The Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, FL
Small Works 2001, Washington Printmakers Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Artist’s Books and Folios, Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia School for the Arts, NYC, NY
Postcards to New York, MACY Gallery, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
100 Universes, Contemporary Crafts Gallery, Portland, OR
The End of Language, South Karelian Polytechnic University, Imatra, Finland
Snapshot, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD

Awards and Grants

2009 Faculty Research Grant, Saint Cloud State University, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
2005 Purchase Award, The Boston Printmakers 2005 American Print Biennial, Boston, MA
Purchase Award, Eighteenth Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, Kenosha, WI
Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
2004 Purchase Award, Delta National Small Prints, Jonesboro, AR
Purchase Award, The Fourth Minnesota National Print Biennial, Minneapolis, MN
Jury’s Distinction, Le Locle Prints 04: Contemporary Prints Triennial, Le Locle, Switzerland
Faculty Research Grant, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
2003 Purchase Award, Delta National Small Prints, Jonesboro, AR
Best in Show, First Print Biennial, A Ramona Studio, New York, NY
2002 Faculty Research Grant, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
2001 Juror’s Award, October International Competition, West Palm Beach, FL
Faculty Research Grant, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

Bibliography

Fallon, Roberta. 2009. See and Spell. Philadelphia Inquirer. 1 February, F4.
Granberry, Michael, Scott Cantrell and Charles Dee Mitchell. 2008. Year in review: top 10 art happenings in 2008,
Dallas Morning News, 28 December, E9.
Mitchell, Charles Dee. 2008. Review. Art in America 10 (November): 200.
Terranova, Charissa. 2008. From “e” to Sie, Dallas Morning News, 23 April, E1.
Baker, Kenneth. 2007. Works done entirely in letter “E” take on weight of concrete poetry. San Francisco Chronicle, 24 March, E1.
Huston, Johnny Ray. 2007. E for Exile. San Francisco Guardian, 7-13 March, 26.

Portfolios

2008 Printmaking IS the Discourse, Akron, Ohio.
2007 Ritual Habitual, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
2005 Under the Influence, Tempe, Arizona.
The Land of Wandering, Charlottesville, Virginia.
From Latitude 32* to 53*, Edmonton, Alberta and Denton, Texas.
2004 Compact Prints, Townsville, Australia.
2003 The Big Square, Ithaca, New York.
2002 The Circular Ruins, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Print Gumbo, Southern Graphics Council, New Orleans, Louisiana.
September 11 Memorial Portfolio, American Print Alliance, Peachtree City, Georgia.
2001 Second Annual Coralville Express, Coralville, Iowa.
Mid America Print Council Exchange, St. Cloud, Minnesota.
The End of Language, Charlottesville, Virginia.