Marc Quinn (born 8 January 1964) is a British contemporary visual artist whose work includes sculpture, installation and painting. Quinn explores 'what it is to be human in the world today' through subjects including the body, genetics, identity, environment and the media. His work has used materials that vary widely, from blood, bread and flowers, to marble and stainless steel. Quinn has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Sir John Soane's Museum, Tate, National Portrait Gallery, Fondation Beyeler, Fondazione Prada and South London Gallery. The artist was a notable member of the Young British Artists movement, which included Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst.
Quinn is internationally celebrated and was awarded the commission for the first edition of the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2004, for which he exhibited Alison Lapper Pregnant. Quinn's notorious frozen self-portrait series made of his own blood, Self (1991 - present) was subject to a retrospective at Fondation Beyeler in 2009. Quinn was born in London in 1964 to a French mother and a British father. He spent his early years in Paris, where his father was a physicist working at the BIPM (Bureau International des Poids et Mesures). Quinn recalls an early fascination with the scientific instruments in his father's laboratory, in particular atomic clocks. He studied history and history of art at Robinson College, Cambridge. In the early 1990s, Quinn was the first artist to be represented by gallerist Jay Jopling. The artist had his first exhibition with Jopling in 1991, exhibiting Self (1991), a frozen self-portrait made out of nine pints of the artist's blood. In 1993 Jay Jopling founded White Cube at 44 Duke Street London. As well as Quinn, White Cube exhibited Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George, Antony Gormley, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Runa Islam, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Tracey Emin, Harland Miller, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gavin Turk and Cerith Wyn Evans.
During the 1990s, Quinn and several peers were identified for their radical approach to the making and experiencing of art. In 1992, the loosely affiliated group was called the 'Young British Artists' by writer Michael Corris in Artforum, and included Cornelia Parker, Sarah Lucas, Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread and Tracey Emin. In 1995, Quinn was given a solo exhibition at Tate Britain where new sculptures were shown as part of the Art Now series. In 1997 Quinn's work Self (1991), was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London for the exhibition Sensation. Quinn's Self, along with works by Sarah Lucas and Damien Hirst, were already distinguished amongst the British public. The exhibition received widespread media attention and had a record number of visitors for a contemporary art exhibition. The exhibition then travelled to the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, and to the Brooklyn Museum, New York.
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