by Nathaniel Hitchcock and Hadley Vogel
Hampton Shed, East Hampton, NY
In Stain, Quay Quinn Wolf incorporates several bodies of work that coalesce into a singular installation, spanning the exhibition space and garden to transform the site into a chapel, mausoleum, or place of quiet. Manifesting as a series of portraits and site-specific installation, Wolf's images and materials address African American and African diasporic identities to promote an empathetic and fluid vision that contends with what he describes as the ”essentials of human existence”.
Wolf’s sculptural practice oscillates between archival and non-archival materials; each work hinges on processes of stabilization and its resilience pitted against inevitability of decomposition. By making use of ephemeral organic components (fresh cut flowers) to form a constant gradient of shifting media counterweighted by commercially available stabilizers (hair gel) the work tracks the material process of memory throughout the course of the exhibition. Formulated in-situ, Wolf’s installations initiate a dialogue between shifting signifiers and series; the flower supports used at grave sites draped with t-shirts displaying found snapshot portraits; deconstructed Black hair extensions refigured into grid structures; and hair gel pressed between sheets of translucent white acrylic. Politics of identity and individualism are situated in tandem with the physical variability of the objects and their configuration. As memory reveals itself to be an apparatus in which one event is knit into the next—overlapping and with varying opacity—everyday life fuses with Wolf’s approach to portraiture. The resulting conceptual permeability of his subjects positions identity as multifaceted and ever-changing.
Stain derives its title in part from the effects of Wolf’s new wall work, untitled (shea oil on satin) no.1. Comprised of satin stretched onto traditional painting supports, the surface is saturated with shea oil, causing the congealed oil to rest within the the fibers of the fabric. During the hanging process, the excess oil leaves a slight residue to each surface it encounters. The framed field itself is devoid of marks in the conventional sense. Instead, the work functions as a discrete object, a loaded brush marking directly on the site.
Quay Quinn Wolf (b. 1989 New York City, NY) lives and works in New York. Wolf's work has been exhibited at The Java Project, Brooklyn, NY; Equity Gallery, NY; Kilroy Metal Ceiling Co, New York, NY; BronxArtSpace, New York, NY; Castle Fitzjohns Gallery, New York, NY; WAH Center, Brooklyn, NY; LACADA, Los Angeles, CA; and Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.