WOLS and Eileen Quinlan‘Always starts with an encounter’, 2016

The exhibition Always starts with an encounter: WOLS / EILEEN QUINLAN is hosted by the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens and organized by Radio Athènes in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, Athen, the Federal Foreign Office, the Kupferstich-Kabinett Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, with additional support from Outset. Greece; Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; Olivier Berggruen; New Hotel, member of Yes! Hotels and Design Hotels and Aegean.

Curator | Helena Papadopoulos
‘…why is there a shadow in a kitchen, there is a shadow in a kitchen because every little thing is bigger’ writes Gertrude Stein under the entry ‘Roastbeef’ in the section “Food” of her 1914 volume “Tender Buttons” in which she looks at everyday, familiar, unexceptional objects.

Unpacking the photographic images of German born Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze (1913-1951), known as Wols, and American artist Eileen Quinlan (*1972) a similar encounter with familiar objects, – cheese, beans, mud, flesh, liquids, cloths, a hand or a face – produces indelible imprints, representations of temporal operations and elemental materiality.

Quinlan and Wols are separated by time, historical circumstances and distinct photographic processes. And yet, their works embody the ambiguity of time, and yet both appear to delegate a part of their process to matter itself, as they travel across several genres: ‘portraits’, ‘abstractions’, ‘fashion photographs’ and ‘still lives’.

‘Always still to come, always in the past already, always present- …………

“Ah”, says Goethe, “in another age you were my sister or my wife”.*
*Maurice Blanchot, “The Song of the Sirens, Encountering the Imaginary”, 1959, translated by Lydia Davis, Station Hill, Barrytown, New York, 1981

Our warmest thanks to Eileen Quinlan, Miguel Abreu, Olivier Berggruen, Stephanie Buck, Aphrodite Gonou, Michael Hering, Maria Joannou, Elina Kountouri, Samuel Merians, the Eileen Quinlan Studio and Juliane Stegner.

Outset is more than a philanthropic organisation supporting cultural agents. In a landscape where contemporary art has been overlooked for decades it extends the very terms and possibilities for an art scene to grow.

Helena Papadopoulos, Founder of Radio Athènes