Press release



Boston, Mass.The 15th exhibition in the Institute of Contemporary Art's Momentum series features the Boston-born painter R.H. Quaytman in her first solo museum show and the first exhibition in the ICA’s new building to focus on painting. Drawing on her unique history with the ICA and Boston—her father, painter Harvey Quaytman, and stepfather, sculptor David von Schlegell, had their works exhibited at the ICA—Quaytman has mined ICA archives and her own family photographs to create her latest series of paintings. Momentum 15: R.H. Quaytman is on view at the ICA from Nov. 18, 2009 to March 28, 2010. 
“R.H. Quaytman’s dazzling and rigorous painting is highly influential for an emerging generation of artists that is developing a new vocabulary for painting,” says ICA Director Jill Medvedow. “We are very proud to be exhibiting Quaytman’s work in our Momentum series, which identifies and presents art and artists who exemplify new directions in contemporary art.”

Incorporating optical abstractions, photographs, diamond dust layers, and trompe l’oeil elements, Quaytman's works invite the viewer in for a closer look. The artist develops paintings in series she calls “chapters,” each new chapter based on her personal research of the place where the work will be exhibited. Focused on the ICA’s history and mission to present what is “contemporary,” her new series is titled Exhibition Guide: Chapter 15 (all works 2009).

Works in the exhibition include scanned photographs from past ICA exhibitions and Quaytman’s own photography of the exhibition space and of the 1972 sculpture Untitled Landscape by David von Schlegell—installed a short distance from the ICA on the Boston waterfront. While most works are reduced to a black and white palette, several echo the ICA’s current brand palette, specifically the pink Pantone color selected by the ICA for the Momentum 15 signage. Together, the works in Exhibition Guide: Chapter 15 recall the several functions of the museum space as one that commissions, promotes, exhibits, interprets, documents, stores art away, and calls it back up again.
“In her work, Quaytman invites us to look at lost histories and make poetic, open-ended connections to the present,” says Jen Mergel, ICA associate curator, who organized the exhibition. “She rejects the idea of painting as a fixed, complete view inside a frame. Her paintings refer not just to what is inside but to what is beside, not just to subject but to context, not just to one language, but to the many languages of image-making.”
Quaytman’s use of materials and process make for a rich practice. Her work aims for a more accurate reflection of how we see and relate to images today: always archiving, relating, comparing, and building upon what came before.
Artist bio
R. H. Quaytman was born in Boston in 1961 and currently lives and works in New York City. Recent group exhibitions include: Constructivismes, Galerie Almine Rech, Brussels (2009); Painting Now and Forever, Matthew Marks and Greene Naftali Galleries, New York (2008); The Man Whose Shoes Squeaked, Richard Telles Gallery, Los Angeles (2008); Denial is a River, Sculpture Center, New York (2006); Lódz Biennial, Lódz,Poland (2004); and Crossing the Line, Queens Museum of Art, New York (2001). Recent solo exhibitions were mounted by Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York, and Vilma Gold Gallery, London (2008). Solo exhibitions are forthcoming in fall 2010 at the Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York, and the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. Momentum 15 is Quaytman’s first solo museum exhibition.  
Momentum 15: R.H. Quaytman is made possible through the generous support of the Harpo Foundation.
The Momentum series is sponsored by the Cartin Family, Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg, and Marlene and David Persky.
Exhibition-related programs
Lunchtime Talk: R.H. Quaytman and Jen Mergel on Momentum 15
Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 12:00 p.m.
Associate Curator Jen Mergel and artist R.H. Quaytman share their perspectives on the Momentum 15 exhibition in a program tailor-made for your lunch hour. Tickets: Free with museum admission. Space is limited: tickets are available first-come, first-served one hour before the program.
About the ICA
An influential forum for multi-disciplinary arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art has been at the leading edge of art in Boston for more than 70 years. Like its iconic building on Boston's waterfront, the ICA offers new ways of engaging with the world around us. Its exhibitions and programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas.  The ICA, located at 100 Northern Avenue, is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 am - 5 pm; Thursday and Friday, 10 am - 9 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 10 am - 5 pm.  Admission is $15 adults, $13 seniors and $10 students, and free for members and children 17 and under. ICA Free Admission for Youth is sponsored by State Street Foundation. Free admission on Target Free Thursday Nights, 5 - 9 pm. Free admission for families at ICA Play Dates (2 adults + children 12 and under) on the last Saturday of the month. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our Web site at


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