Lidija Haas interviews artist R.H. Quaytman whose exhibition An Evening, Chapter 32 is on view at the Secession, Vienna through January 21, 2018.
Haas writes: “[Quaytman] has never once considered abandoning painting, ‘because I think it’s really the best problem in art. The plane, the picture, is the best, deepest problem.’ Photographs on the other hand strike her as almost too easy. ‘That’s sort of in a lockdown. Like, to me, every photograph is good. Every photograph does this incredible thing. Just by being a photograph.’ She prefers to paint on to a photography-based image – this is where new and strange formal challenges are still to be found. ‘It just seems open, as a way to rethink what to paint or how to paint.’ There appears to be a kind of loving aggression involved in the impulse: ‘I like the idea of painting on to a painting, or on to a photograph of a painting, being a way of looking at and thinking about it and digesting it, literally, taking it. I like that. It’s similar to touching a painting – a similar feeling.”