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Aspen Art Museum opens Holt Quentel exhibition

The Aspen Art Museum presents Holt Quentel an exhibition on view November 15, 2013–January 19, 2014.

Artist Holt Quentel achieved recognition in the late 1980s for her paintings made from distressed tarpaulins stenciled with letters and symbols. At Stux Gallery in New York in 1990, Quentel presented an exhibition of 21 modified side chairs, designed by Charles Eames and mass-produced by Herman Miller, embellished by kitschy fabric coverings, Grateful Dead stickers, and other decals. Falling somewhere between the readymade and found object assemblage, Quentel’s sculptures personalized these highly uniform icons of modern design, touching on what she described as “the contradictions inherent in the utopian desire to create a universal commodity” and ironically addressing the social implications of the modernist aesthetic. Shortly after this exhibition, the artist absented herself from the art world.

Despite the mystery surrounding her exile, Quentel and her works have maintained a cult following, existing as a vital, if underground, presence. Now 23 years later, the Aspen Art Museum brings these objects back together again for the artist’s first solo museum presentation, reopening this little known body of work to new discourse and new evaluation.