Through Quilty's ominous and heterogeneous approach in 150 Years each work invites us to participate in a critical discussion. The same Quilty who explored the spiritual hollowness of contemporary masculinity in paintings of passed-out mates is present here, yet these themes are refracted through the decades since, through experience, a global and pervasive uncertainty, and a tangible level of disillusionment. In an age of authoritarian revival, Quilty's decades-long interrogation of masculinity is gaining momentum.
Often dubbed a 'critical citizen', Quilty's new work at Tolarno more explicitly depicts a self critical citizen. In this case Self may not necessarily connote oneself, but one's milieu, an individual splattered, dispersed throughout their socio-cultural plane. The artist—as well as a few family members and friends—are present in the landscape of the Rorschach, in the abstract works, and of course in Santa himself.
Press release courtesy Tolarno Galleries.