Contemporary printmaker Kate McQuillen’s newest installation piece—completed with the help of Lake Forest College art students—opens with a public reception this Thursday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. The work, installed in the Sonnenschein and Albright Galleries at Lake Forest College’s Durand Art Institute, is entitled “No Such Agency” and explores data, visual metaphor, and the American relationship with the National Security Agency.
“What I’m trying to do with this project is give that feeling of being surveilled a material form,” McQuillen explains. “It’s something that’s so intangible. It kind of feels like this whole thing is happening without us knowing, without something to visually latch on to or imagine.”
The work is created from sixty monoprints that have been cropped and reassembled into two composite structures. The installation-based works of art represent digital and analog data, the subsequent overload of information, and the disconnect between opacity and transparency.
“It’s a very physical representation of data, ink on paper,” McQuillen says. “I chose to make mono prints, which are quick and painterly, but are still black and white.”
McQuillen, who is currently a visiting artist at the college, has been working with LFC students since February 3.
“It’s a fairly simple end product—they’re just large and have a lot of small components,” McQuillen says. “It’s been a really labor-intensive project, which is why it worked so well [at Lake Forest College]. You get to see a really specific process unfold and all the technical issues that come along with it. I don’t know that I could have done it without them.”
No Such Agency is on view in the Sonneschein and Albright Galleries at the Durant Art Institute of Lake Forest College through March 31. There is an opening reception on Thursday, February 27 at 4 p.m., as well as an opening reception at 7:30 p.m.
For more information about the exhibit, or to see gallery hours, visit lakeforest.edu/live/events/476165-no-such-agency-art-exhibit-featuring-kate.
Kate McQuillen has a master’s degree in printmaking and works full-time as an artist in Chicago. Her work is represented in Canada by O’Born Contemporary. She has shown in Toronto, Chicago, Montreal, and Boston, and has works in public and private collections in Europe and North America (katemcquillen.com). -Katie Rose McEneely