My eyes can only look at you
The photograph has often been described as a transparent window into a frozen moment. For Eileen Quinlan it is not a window but a mirror—reflecting our tendency to see even constructed images as truth when delivered by the camera. Fascinated by this, Quinlan explores her medium’s capacity to be both record of physical fact and deceptive illusion.
Employing analog techniques in an era of digital manipulation, Quinlan creates kaleidoscopic or atmospheric abstract images using the standard tricks of commercial film photography. With color gels and flash on close-up shots of backdrops like mirrors, Mylar and fabric, she achieves an infinite range of prismatic compositions. Almost like product photography without the product, her images invite a range of associations, from lipstick ads and album covers to screensaver patterns and modernist painting.
For her first solo museum exhibition, the artist presents a series of new prints that extend this exploration of how photography can “make strange” even ordinary furnishings meant to fade into the background.
The Momentum series presents a focused look at artists whose works mark emerging currents in contemporary artistic practice in the U.S. and around the world.