In Spring 2017, we will present Drawn from Life, an exhibition of new works by artist Marc Quinn.

A series of ethereal fragmentary sculptures, made in collaboration with his partner, a dancer, will be placed among the multiple antique casts and sculptures that fill the Museum. The new work takes the iconographic language of the historical artefact and reveals its resonance with contemporary life. Quinn has long been inspired by Sir John Soane’s collection of historic fragments and Drawn from Life will explore his fascination with the subject and give insight into the artist’s affinity with Soane’s aesthetic and interests. 

Further to physically opening up the museum over the past seven years through an extensive restoration, we embark on a new programme to build upon the ethos and values of our founder. Soane wanted his collection to inspire creativity and curiosity and Quinn is the first of a number of leading artists, designers and architects invited to embrace this spirit and engage with the collection for major projects. 

Sir John Soane’s Museum is a natural fit for Marc Quinn’s new series as he shares Soane’s affinity with collecting: his own practice draws from the ephemera, diverse artworks and objects with which he fills his studio. Quinn has also been inspired by the vast number of fragments on display in the Museum. The fragmentary forms in the collection, some from ancient sculpture, are integrally ambiguous, demonstrating both destruction and the passage of time, whilst showing the potential for completeness. Quinn’s series of new works make direct reference to classical sculpture and the disembodied body parts appear to be ambiguously loving, fighting, holding or supporting.

Our Director Bruce Boucher says; ‘The completion of our seven year restoration has enabled us to undertake new and exciting projects and collaborations, such as this exhibition. Soane wanted his astonishing collection to inspire, and its breadth and depth means that it appeals as much to a contemporary artist, as an architectural historian or the curious first-time visitor. We’re delighted that Marc Quinn will present Drawn from Life, making him the first of a number of contemporary creatives invited to engage with this remarkable collection in their own very personal way.’

Marc Quinn says; ‘My new body of work explores the notion of the fragment and set in the extraordinary surroundings of Sir John Soane’s Museum, their reflecting of history will be particularly apparent. These sculptures build on my longstanding interest in refracting the language of classical art to make it relevant to contemporary culture. I’m thrilled to unveil the new work in such a unique and important setting.’

Marc Quinn: Drawn from Life runs from 28 March - 23 September 2017. Admission is free. A full programme of accompanying events will be announced soon.

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