Quayola, ‘Strata #4’, 2011, bitforms gallery
Quayola, ‘Strata #4’, 2011, bitforms gallery
Quayola, ‘Strata #4’, 2011, bitforms gallery

Original masterpieces and collections become raw canvas in Quayola s work, as he anchors a video-based exploration in a conversation about archives, collage, intellectual property and the appreciation of an object. In an age of the Google Art Project, which offers unprecedented access to the literal surface of a painting, Quayola handles the time we spend looking at art as a plastic artifact, something to be sculpted and suspended. The gaze is a place where the logic of a picture unfolds, seemingly excavated from beneath the image.

Especially in Strata series, Quayola locates this practice within the archaeological process of layering or stratification. Strata #4 was originally commissioned as a multi-channel immersive video-installation for the Palais de Beaux Arts in Lille, France, where it debuted in October 2011. The subjects of this work are four grand altarpieces by Anton Van Dyke and Peter Paul Ruebens in the museum s Flemish collection: Van Dyck s Christ on the Cross (1628) and Rubens Martyrdom of St. Catherine (1615), The Ecstasy of Mary Magdalene (1619) and The Descent from the Cross (1617). "Strata #4 is a study of the relationship between classical figuration and abstraction," says Quayola. "It is based on universal rules of beauty and perfection. The movement on-screen creates a dialog between two eras, two dimensions."

Sound design by Matthias Kispert.

Dimensions variable

About Quayola

Multimedia artist Quayola uses video, computer software, and installation to explore the tension between real and artificial spaces and surfaces. His works include animated hybrid paintings and sculptures, time-based digital sculptures, and immersive audiovisual installations. In digital paintings such as Topologies (2010), which examines the relationship between contemporary digital aesthetics and iconic works of art and architecture (and forms part of the artist’s “Strata” series), Quayola took paintings by Diego Velázquez and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and transformed their surfaces into animated geometric forms. “As I work,” Quayola has said, “I start to become incredibly fascinated by the underlying shapes.”

Italian, b. 1982, Rome, Italy, based in London, United Kingdom