Cathy Nan Quinlan, “The Little Deer,” 2009, oil on canvas, 16 x 18.” Courtesy of Kurt Hoffman and Meg Reichardt.
Cathy Nan Quinlan, “Milk Glass,” 24 x 20,” 2009, oil on canvas.
Followers of @Bushwick & Main, my sketchbook blog, will know that I’ve been interested in cross hatching ever since I repaired an old fountain pen a few months ago. Thus, when I discovered Cathy Nan Quinlan’s cross hatched Morandi series last week I was fascinated. I asked her about the paintings. “These paintings are part of an ongoing series that began with the rare opportunity to see the Morandi etchings and are motivated by the desire to continue them in paint,” Quinlan writes. “I was struck by the variety of ways that Morandi used cross hatching to simultaneously describe objects and construct pictorial space and the playful way he uses the viewer’s perception to complete the image, The paintings force together a number of disparate elements, being both observed and calculated, precise and spontaneously painted wet on wet and, at times, using complementary color, local color and cross hatching which seem to work at cross purposes.The Morandi etchings are so small that they can only be seen in close up, while my paintings, on a somewhat larger scale, are seen as resolved at a distance, almost photographic, and dissolve into abstraction on close viewing.” Quinlan and I agreed that using both color and cross hatching may seem redundant, but the combination is compelling nonetheless.