Quentin James McCaffrey: In Conversation with Anna Kristensen

January 9 - 26, 2021
  • QUENTIN JAMES MCCAFFREY

    PROMISES
  • McCaffrey's worlds are of an arrested time, a stillness emphasizing the activity that is outside its borders. Using single-point perspective, layers of oil paint on panel or canvas, and a focus on light, he renders domestic interior spaces.  His motionless interiors seek to call into question the narratives that become ingrained in one's understanding of the world. 

     

     

  • Throughout this viewing room, listen to segments of Quentin James McCaffrey in conversation with Anna Kristensen about contemporary painting and...
    Quentin James McCaffrey
    Two Chairs, 2020
    Oil on canvas
    22 x 20 in.
    55.9 x 50.8 cm

    Throughout this viewing room, listen to segments of Quentin James McCaffrey in conversation with Anna Kristensen about contemporary painting and reflecting on the works on view in Promises, which was recorded live on January 6th, 2021 over Zoom.

     

    McCaffrey and Kristensen met through friends in 2019 and fostered a mutual affection for each other’s work.  Anna Kristensen, born in Sydney, Australia, lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and teaches Painting at Rutgers University-Newark. She recently had a solo exhibition, Set, at Ditch Projects in Springfield, OR.  NYC born McCaffrey is a 2020 recipient of an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant and lives and works in NYC.  Promises is his debut solo exhibition.

     

  • The stories we inherit and tell ourselves become a collection of myths. Often subconsciously, creating promises which we personally depend...
    Quentin James McCaffrey
    Landscape with Pillows, 2020
    Oil on wood panel
    14 x 11 in.

    The stories we inherit and tell ourselves become a collection of myths. Often subconsciously, creating  promises which we personally depend upon for navigating life. When these structures, principles, morals, traditions or ideas inevitably fail us, the promise is broken. McCaffrey uses the domestic interior as a symbolic space for these understandings, their promises and our experience of them. 

     

  • McCaffrey uses cultural appropriation in western art and decoration as a general symbol for unconscious personal development in post-imperial international...
    Quentin James McCaffrey
    Landscape with Saint, 2020
    Oil on wood panel
    10 x 8 in.
    25.4 x 20.3 cm

    McCaffrey uses cultural appropriation in western art and decoration as a general symbol for unconscious personal development in post-imperial international society.  As development of society and the psyche straddle pastiche, compilation, and imitation, the lack of clarity of self becomes evidence of the internal psychological void and human state of fragility and vulnerability. 

     

  • McCaffrey’s paintings draw from Quattrocento Italian painting and 17th century Dutch interiors in their use of simple geometry, symbolism, as...
    Quentin James McCaffrey
    Bouquet with Column, 2020
    Oil on wood panel
    10 x 8 in.
    25.4 x 20.3 cm

    McCaffrey’s paintings draw from Quattrocento Italian painting and 17th century Dutch interiors in their use of simple geometry, symbolism, as well as in their stoicism. In western painting, the domestic interior has been a place for investigating the psyche and intimate relationships. Referencing the nostalgia of 19th century academic painting, his paintings allow a space for questioning the forgetful serenity often depicted and acknowledges an undercurrent of a more complex reality.  Drawing a parallel between intimate personal experience and imperfect historic narratives, he compares the domestic and psychological interior, and how they are mutually symbolic and influential. 

     

  • McCaffrey uses cultural appropriation in western art and decoration as a general symbol for unconscious personal development in post-imperial international...
    Quentin James McCaffrey
    Still Life, 2020
    Oil on wood panel
    14 x 11 in.

    McCaffrey uses cultural appropriation in western art and decoration as a general symbol for unconscious personal development in post-imperial international society.  As development of society and the psyche straddle pastiche, compilation, and imitation, the lack of clarity of self becomes evidence of the internal psychological void and human state of fragility and vulnerability. 

     

  • By art alone can we get out of ourselves, find out what another person sees of this universe which is not the same as ours… Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world, we see it multiplied, and we have as many different worlds at our disposition as there are original artists.” (III, 895-96)

     

    Marcel Proust,  In Search of Lost Time