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Marc Quinn was born in London in 1964. He graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in History and History of Art and subsequently worked as an assistant to the sculptor Barry Flanagan. He is one of the leading artists of his generation, with his sculptures, paintings and drawings exploring the relationship between art and science, the human body and the perception of beauty, among other things. Other key subjects include cycles of growth and evolution through topical issues such as genetics and the manipulation of DNA, as well as issues of life and death and identity. Quinn’s work uses a broad range of materials, both traditional and untraditional. The materiality of the object, in both its elemental composition and surface appearance, is at the heart of Quinn’s work.

Quinn came to prominence in 1991 with his sculpture Self (1991), a cast of the artist’s head made from ten pints of his own frozen blood. Other critically acclaimed works include Garden (2000), a full botanical garden frozen and displayed in Fondazione Prada, Milan; DNA Portrait of Sir John Sulston (2001), a genomic portrait of the genetic scientist Sir John Sulston, and Evolution (2005), ten sculptures depicting human embryos throughout the stages of its development. Major public installations include 1+1=3 (2002), a 20 metre artificial rainbow created for the Liverpool Biennale; Planet (2008), a monumental rendition of the artist’s son as a baby, permanently installed at The Gardens by The Bay Singapore; All of Nature Flows Through Us (2011), a ten meter bronze iris installed at Kistefos-Museet Norway; and Alison Lapper Pregnant (2005), exhibited on the fourth plinth of London’s Trafalgar Square and later reinvented as a colossal inflatable sculpture, Breath (2012), for the 2012 Paralympics opening ceremony. Quinn has received international recognition for a series of sculptures of the model Kate Moss in a variety of yogic poses, including Siren (2008) - a solid gold sculpture of the model Kate Moss displayed at The British Museum, London. Quinn is also well known for his hyperrealist oil paintings of flowers and photorealist paintings of irises, created using an airbrush.

He has exhibited internationally in museums and galleries including Tate Gallery, London (1995), Kunstverein Hannover (1999), Fondazione Prada, Milan (2000), Tate Liverpool (2002), MACRO, Rome (2006), Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2009), White Cube, London (2010), Musée Océanographique, Monaco (2012), Fondazione Giorgio Cini (2013) and Arter, Space for Art, Istanbul (2014). A major exhibition by Quinn takes place at White Cube, London in the summer of 2015.

Bio and Key Works picture

Self 1991

  • 1991
  • Blood (artist's), stainless steel, Perspex and refrigeration equipment
  • 208h x 63w x 63d cm
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  • 2000
  • Cold room, stainless steel, heated glass, refrigerating equipment, mirrors, turf, real plants, acrylic tank, low viscosity silicon oil held at -20°C
  • 320h x 1270w x 543d cm
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DNA portrait of Sir John Sulston

  • 2001
  • Stainless steel, polycarbonate agar jelly, bacteria colonies, human DNA
  • 12.7h x 8.5w cm
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1 + 1 = 3

  • 2002
  • White light, water, pump system
  • 1000h x 2500w x 400d cm
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Alison Lapper Pregnant

  • 2005
  • Marble
  • 355h x 180.5w x 260d cm
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  • 2008
  • Painted bronze and steel
  • 398h x 926w x 353d cm
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All of Nature Flows Through Us

  • 2011
  • Patinated bronze and stainless steel
  • 1000h x 1000w cm
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  • 2012
  • Double layer polyester and high capacity air pumps
  • 1253h x 681w x 936d cm
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