On View: May 12, 2022 – July 2022
Location: Voltz Clarke Gallery, 195 Chrystie Street, New York, NY, 10002
Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 am–6 pm, Saturday 11-5 pm & by appointment
Contact Info: , 917.292.6921, voltzclarke.com
Voltz Clarke Gallery is pleased to present The Need, a comprehensive solo show featuring new works by artist Maru Quiñonero.
Maru Quioñero’s passion for volume, shape, texture, color and material has driven her to define compositions that visualize her own creative universe. Her Color and Vacuum series has been in development since 2017, serving to facilitate a conversation between color and emptiness. Through these extensive monochromatic studies, Quiñonero explores form beyond plastic expression, tapping into a process of possibility that continually draws from her lived experiences. The Need is the latest iteration of this venture, consisting of a capsule collection of works revolving around red and pink hues.
The need of colour.
Caitlin Moran writes on the fifty-one page of her book ‘How to be famous’ the
following quote by Carson McCullers: “The way I need you is a loneliness I
I wrote it down on October fourteenth, 2020 in order to not forget it. I would
probably read it the night before. I am sure that I underlined it and folded the
top corner of the page so as to find it easily at any time. Since then, it has been
there. Spinning in my head for almost a year.
Moran uses the quote when talking about the relationship that her main young
character has with a platonic love. It is all a matter of feelings.
Art helps me to go through my emotions, in an eternal search that I still do not
understand. But that is what it is all about. So I want to talk about this
When colour becomes a necessity.
On August eighth, just a few months ago, I wrote: “I need to do something very
red and very pink”. And there was the note. On my iPhone notes. Small matter.
It was just more a reminder of the colour scheme than anything else. Ten words
without intention. Ten.
A digital colour note that I would need later at my studio.
I am always writing down sentences, ideas, concepts, words.
I put them together with some concern because lately my thoughts are easily
derailed. So much information, so many channels, so many interlocutors and
messages create a mental mess and sometimes I am not able to go back to a
“It is really curious to note how fragile the memory is”.
Letter from Marcel Duchamp to Marcel Jean, March 15, 1952, New York.
That is why, a few days later, when I wrote down another small thought, I
stopped at that sentence. But I did not see the colours, I just saw the need.
Why did I use that verb? Where does this state of need come from? Since then, I
have not been able to stop thinking about this aphorism of mine. Almost a
judgement, “I need to do something very red and very pink”. A sudden and
compelling urge for colour.
I am not here to discover anything new by affirming that artists have always
looked outwards to paint, to reflect their reality, their society, their time.
And they have not stopped since.
All persons, whether artists or not, are beings who absorb what surrounds
Whether we like it or not, we are permeable to everything that coexists with our
The intention of revealing the inside from the outside is the recurring idea that
I often think about the idea that everything changed with modern and
contemporary art. When artists looked inwards to express their surroundings.
Until then imitating reality was the norm and, in a way or another, that was
what art used to pursue.
But there comes the moderns and the avant-garde and the contemporaries, and
they begin to express existence in response to their own reality. They articulate
their own language and with their personal codes they are able to interpret
what they see and what they feel. Their individualism defines them. Is it the
moment when the artist became a narcissist?
I think it is important to invite people to look at the abstract work without
prejudice and simply for pure enjoyment. This is how it should be. Without so
much analysis. And it is essential to educate the gaze to achieve it. It would be
necessary to appreciate the details of each era, the fragments and the distinctive
features of each society and recognise the different modes of expression of the
history of humanity. But apart from all this cultural baggage that helps us to
contextualize, each reading will inevitably be conditioned by the intonation of
the person looking at the artwork. Does the one who watches then become the
focus? More than the work, more than the artist?
I am a full time artist. And as I am very self-demanding, I believe that I must
use all the resources available to understand why I am doing or not something.
It is the only way to grow.
I do not like to improvise at work. I cannot leave something so serious to the
unexpected. But I care for spontaneity and freshness. The naturalness. I do not
want a vice in the line, nor going just to the familiar. I try to execute something
that I have previously seen in my mind, but I do not necessarily have to go
through the sketch. Not that. Sometimes I hate it. But there are endless days in
the studio that I cannot find any other way. And I bend. It is hard to lose this
battle because I have a lot of confidence in my intellectual work, the idea is
already inside me but sometimes it is my hand that does not know how to
Those days of brain-hand disconnection are few and as I like to see the bright
side of everything, I try to learn from that break that I indulge myself. This
sentence from Bachelard now comes to my mind: “One can study only what one
has first dreamed about” The psychoanalysis of fire. But what is the purpose of
creating? What for? For whom?
There is no answer or other solution than honesty. I just pretend to be honest.
With myself. Looking for honesty to find order. And I find honesty in the blunt
forms of colour that I can imagine and build up in my head. I perceive them
loaded with meaning and morality. I let myself be carried away by thought and
reflection, getting lost in the aesthetic reasoning. Making the words pictorial.
And then everything fits. It is not so much about thinking, but about feeling.
But do we think with ideas or words? Thinking about thinking, I have to inquire
about metacognition. I recently heard Juan José Millás assure that “the word is
the organ of sight”. And then I thought, we see the ideas. And then we put words
to them. And following this, in my case, I put colour on them.
I cannot stop wondering if Robert Mapplethorpe was referring to this when,
worried by a mental block, in total lack of inspiration, he told Patti Smith at the
Chelsea Hotel in New York,
“The old imagery doesn’t work for me”.
Maru Quiñonero is a self taught artist, living and working in Madrid, Spain. Exhibiting extensively since 2003, she attended Murcia University and continued on to complete her masters at Carlos III University, Madrid.