True and Reasoned and Impure and Inexplicable

Three works in Flow seem almost to eschew physicality altogether in the pursuit of something transcendent. Jeanne Quinn, Jarred Pfeiffer, and France Goneau have each created installations in which small parts are deployed in the creation of a large, rhythmic pattern . . . . Jeanne Quinn's installation, True and Reasoned And Impure And Inexplicable, is quite distinct in style from Pfeiffer's work, although she is exploring similar questions of depth and the layering of pattern in her installation. Quinn often draws inspiration from the design of lace and textiles in her work, using their patterns to explore the manipulation of space; often what characterizes her large-scale ceramic works is a dialogue between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional. That tension is at play in True And Reasoned And Impure And Inexplicable, which pairs a rigid, geometric pattern reminiscent of a Piet Mondrian painting with curvaceous design elements inspired by a lace pattern she studied at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Like Ryan LaBar's Mihaly's Drift, Quinn's installation was created with the Baumgartner space in mind, and makes a visual connection between the imagery of flowing water and flowing fabric. To evoke these images without actually using water or fabric, she draws a clear picture of the implied flowing movement using the spatial relationship between each component. The resulting installation gives the viewer a sense of water cascading downward over a modern, landscaped waterfall, or a lush fabric underskirt with a rigid structure that cannot contain it entirely.

Excerpted from "Solid State," by Sarah Archer. Published in the exhibition catalogue for Flow: The 2014 NCECA Ceramic Arts Invitational. Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.