Quaytman’s practice is to create installations of painted panels termed ‘chapters.’ The ongoing chapters, begun in 2001, explore formalist and conceptual variations of ideas about painting, as well as the poetic and grammatical possibilities of photography-based imagery. The installations combine abstraction, often with optical effects, and images related to the sites in which the paintings are first exhibited. For her Renaissance Society exhibition, the artist has been researching the history of the museum from the 1970s and 80s, a time when the museum’s director, Susanne Ghez, was presenting important early exhibitions of conceptual art, at the beginning of what would come to be her internationally influential career. Ghez is celebrating her 40th anniversary as Director of The Renaissance Society this year.
Quaytman is interested in the friendship between Ghez and Anne Rorimer, one of Conceptual Art’s first historians and curators. Many of the artists shown by Ghez and Rorimer, including Buren, Graham, Toroni, Asher, and Coleman, influenced Quaytman’s approach to painting. Chicago architect John Vinci, another long-time collaborator with Ghez and Rorimer, has allowed Quaytman to use several of his teaching slides depicting Mies Van Der Rohe's Chapel of Saint Savior on the campus of Illinois Institute of Technology.