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William Quinn
The Boneheaded Cat Spies the Red Mouse Hole

c. 1970

About the Item

William Quinn (American b. 1929) "The Boneheaded Cat Spies the Red Mouse Hole" Oil on Canvas approx 45 x 55 inches An artist who synthesized the elements of the European modernists with the gestural style of "Action Painting" common to certain American Abstract Expressionists, William Quinn graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Then he headed for New York City, where the Abstract Expressionist movement was dominant, led by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell. Quinn exhibited in a New Talent show and then served in the U.S. Army for two years as a training-aids illustrator. Following this, he returned to the Midwest and used the Army benefits (G.I. Bill) to acquire a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Illinois. Following this, he returned to St. Louis to teach drawing and painting at Washington University. This geographic separation from New York distanced him from the personal angst and pressure of the aesthetic revolution felt by many artists on the East Coast, but not from the tenets of modern art. At the University, where expressionists Max Beckmann and Phillip Guston had recently taught, Quinn had a 33-year teaching career that enabled him to dialogue with American and European painters on the latest ideas and issues in contemporary art. His class duties were minimal, allowing him ample time for his work. Quinn's love affair with Europe began as early as 1957 when the University awarded him a Milliken Foreign Travel Scholarship to spend a year painting in Rome. Subsequently he spent sabbaticals in Greece (1963) and Paris (1982), and often painted during summers in Europe. After completing his teaching career in 1991 Quinn moved with his Belgian-born wife Jeannine to Bruges, where he now has his studio. In this 'European Period' he has "pulled out all the stops". The paintings are spacious and bold, often with surprising color combinations that have always been an engaging aspect of his work. Many of the recent works have white grounds in tension with aggressive, contrasting planes. Others have linear structures that seem to create a 'real' space, but then the lines dart back to surface, asserting the paintings' two-dimensionality, sometimes suggesting landscape or figurative elements. William Quinn works on one painting at a time, not in a series, as he abhors repeating himself. As a result, each painting is a new experience both for the painter and hopefully for the viewer. As of 2001, William Quinn has also been living in the city of Vence, located in Southern France.
  • Creator:
    William Quinn (1929)
  • Creation Year:
    c. 1970
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 45 in (114.3 cm)Width: 55 in (139.7 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    Missouri, MO
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU74733731781
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