The Art of Christina Quarles

Los Angeles-based artist Christina Quarles creates evocative scenes that feature ambiguous figures whose limbs, torsos, and faces merge with familiar domestic objects made strange through unexpected color choices and experimental painterly gestures.

On April 18, 2022, Black Embodiments Studio founder and director Kemi Adeyemi and scholar Uri McMillan presented a virtual conversation exploring the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality found within the intimate and expressive art of Christina Quarles.


About the Presenters

Kemi Adeyemi is Assistant Professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. Her book Feels Right: Black Queer Women & the Politics of Partying in Chicago is forthcoming from Duke University Press in September 2022, and she co-edited the volume Queer Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2021). Kemi founded and directs The Black Embodiments Studio, an arts writing incubator, public programming initiative, and publishing outlet dedicated to building discourse around contemporary Black art. She currently serves as dramaturg for Will Rawls’ project [SICCER], and she curated Katherine Simóne Reynolds’ 2021 solo show at Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Amina Ross’ 2019 solo show at Ditch Projects, and co-curated Unstable Objects in 2017 at the Alice Gallery.

Uri McMillan is an Associate Professor of Performance Studies in the Departments of English and Gender Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Embodied Avatars: Genealogies of Black Feminist Art and Performance (NYU Press, 2015), the first cultural history of Black women's performance art in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. In addition, he has published essays in Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theoryGLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and ASAP/Journal and articles on Black diasporic artistic production in museum/gallery based publications for the Studio Museum in Harlem, Aperture Foundation, MCA Chicago, and the Brooklyn Museum. He is currently working on his second monograph, entitled Airbrush, Instamatics, and Funk: Art, Pop, and New York City's Long 1970s. This manuscript examines cross-disciplinary art practices and networks of affiliation among New York City-based artists from the late 1960s to the early 1980s; it reveals how cultural workers in divergent fields worked together to create new aesthetic paradigms through the medium of style.