SILHOUETTES: Tracing Memory

Patrick Quarm

In Residence: Feb 5 – Mar 29, 2024

Exhibition: Mar 28 – May 19, 2024


Patrick Quarm’s exhibition, SILHOUETTES: Tracing Memory, is an astonishing depiction of human complexity and hybrid identity. Through painting and collage, Quarm displays layered, 3-dimensional portraits of contemporary black bodies that share cross-cultural spaces.  

The largest work in the room, Oasis of Memory, is a brightly colored, five-layered painting suspended from the ceiling. Visitors are invited to take a 360 degree approach, which encourages the public to engage the space between canvases and become a part of the picture. This interactive and inclusionary component is also an empathetic tool Quarm employs to welcome a closer look at the details. When standing directly in front or behind, a whole portrait can be accessed, and the form of a black female emerges. The woman is seen holding a blue rose behind her back. Like the additive nature of a hybrid, contemporary identity, blue roses can only occur through absorption – a tender footnote on human adaptability. 

A painting for Quarm is a window to a particular time or moment in his life. In the window series, he begins shrinking certain portions of the paintings and suspending moments within the larger frame. Quarm mimics the window set up in his parents’ house during his most impressionable years. Silhouetted bodies are present in Abstract Reflections and repeated throughout the exhibit. This negative space aims for ambiguity, allowing the audience to see themselves here, alongside Quarm, as he and the viewer move between cultural worlds.  

In the Specimen vitrine series, Quarm embraces a new process which achieves an unexpected outcome. Ripping through collaged and painted fabrics, his portraits take on a new, deconstructed form. The found vitrines, sourced from a San Antonio flea market during his residency at Artpace, once held sentimental artifacts. Their history holds the same human connection, admiration, and contemplation that Quarm’s work illustrates.  

The exhibition SILHOUETTES: Tracing Memory is a new direction for Patrick Quarm, a step beyond the canvas and an expansion into the sculptural realm. He punches holes and removes shapes as a form of erasure, yet each fractured image lends itself to the fuller vision. Playing with layers and stratifying portraits continues to be a process of resistance for Quarm, rejecting the flattening of identity as one moves through different cultural landscapes. Every painted layer is essential to the larger portrait, illuminating the complexity of the human spirit and the multitude it contains. Like a window, these mixed-media works serve as portals into Quarm’s life and offer glimpses of his journey alongside beloved people and spaces. 

Ada Smith Genitempo, Residencies and Exhibitions Manager

Artist

Patrick Quarm

Takoradi, Ghana

Patrick Quarm (b. 1988, Ghana) graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, and a Master of Fine Arts from Texas Tech University. Currently living and working in Takoradi, Ghana Quarm’s practice explores identity, focusing on the notion of cultural hybridity and social evolution. His paintings interlace cultural signifiers from different eras and communities into multi-layered works. Quarm’s  paintings have been featured in Artnet, Forbs, ARTFORUM, and Hyperallergic. His work has exhibited internationally at institutions including the Gagosian, Moody Center for the Arts, the Trout Museum of Art, Rice University, Library Street Collective, K.N.U.S.T Museum, and the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts. Quarm’s work is in several public and private collections which include the Syracuse University Museum and Kalamazoo Institute of Art collection. Patrick has participated as an artist-in-residence at the Red Bull Artist Residency in Detroit 2019 and the NXTHVN Fellowship 2020-2021. Patrick is the international artist in residence at Artpace in the Spring of 2024. https://www.patrickquarm.com

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Curator

Larry Ossei-Mensah

Larry Ossei-Mensah uses art as a forum to redefine how we see ourselves and the world
around us. The Ghanaian-American curator has launched numerous exhibitions and programs
featuring artists such as Firelei Baez, Steve McQueen, Catherine Opie, Nick Cave, Guadalupe
Maravilla, Ebony G. Patterson, Judy Chicago, Stanley Whitney, and many more. As a global
collaborator, Ossei-Mensah has worked with renowned venues around the world such as; The
MCA Denver, Ben Brown Fine Arts in Hong Kong & London, the 7th Athen Biennale in Athens,
Greece, (co-curated with OSMK Social Club), and MASS MoCA (co-curated with Susan Cross
and Allison Janae Hamilton in 2018-2019). He’s been a partner on several Web3-related
projects with creatives such as Derrick Adams x Jay-Z, Marco Brambilla, and Mikael Owunna.

Following his critically acclaimed exhibition in Spring 2022, Ghost of Empires, at Ben Brown
Fine Art in Hong Kong, Ossei-Mensah recently opened his second exhibition in Asia, Sounds of
Blackness, at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila in the Philippines. This is the first group
exhibition featuring an ensemble of all Black visual artists from the African Diaspora in South
East Asia. The exhibition explores how the participating artists utilize their practices as a forum
to articulate a diversity of ideas and perspectives through various mediums and is on view until
June 17th featuring Artists such as; Rashid Johnson, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Vaughn Spann,
Tschabalala Self, and Hank Willis Thomas. Ossei-Mensah has also worked alongside Ghanaian
painter, Amoako Boafo, curating his first museum solo exhibition, Soul of Black Folks, exhibited
at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in 2021, San Francisco, and the Contemporary
Art Museum Houston in 2022 with upcoming iterations on view summer & fall ‘23 at the Seattle
Art Museum and Denver Art Museum.’


A native of The Bronx, Ossei-Mensah co-founded ARTNOIR, a nonprofit whose mission is to
drive racial equity in the art world by centering creatives, curators, collectors, and communities
of color. Through ARTNOIR, he has worked with brands like UBS, Twitter, Coca-Cola, 1stDibs,
and Mailchimp on projects that were the intersection of art and culture. Ossei-Mensah has been
profiled in publications, including the New York Times, Artsy, WWD, Frieze, Dazed, Robb
Report, The Financial Times, and Cultured Magazine. He has participated in numerous panels
and conversations alongside Art Basel Miami Beach, The Earn Your Leisure Podcast, and The
Fog Art Fair. Formerly the Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at the Museum of
Contemporary Art (MOCAD), Detroit, Ossei-Mensah currently serves as Curator-at-Large at the
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM

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