Marc Quinn

No Visible Means of Escape IV


Not on display

Marc Quinn born 1964
Rubber and nylon
3400 × 760 × 370
Purchased 1997


This piece consists of a hollow polyurethane rubber cast of the artist's nude body split in two up to the neck, the back half of the body suspended by a rope from a ceiling bar so that the front of the toes just clears the floor. The rubber has been pigmented brown using oil paint. The impression is of a figure shedding its skin and renewing itself. It relates to an early latex body cast work, You Take my Breath Away (1992, Saatchi Collection, London). No Visible Means of Escape I (1996) is in the Saatchi Collection.

No Visible Means of Escape, in common with Quinn's earlier works, suggests flux, change and transformation, but less violently than in previous works such as Emotional Detox (1995), a group of seven lead casts of the artist's body parts, and Self (1991, Saatchi Collection, London), a self-portrait head the artist made from his own frozen blood.

Further reading:
Sarah Kent, Shark Infested Waters: The Saatchi Collection of British Art in the 90s, London 1994, pp.73-6

Terry Riggs
October 1997

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Display caption

Like Antony Gormley, Mark Quinn uses
his own body in the making of his art.
No Visible Means of Escape is a hollow polyurethane rubber cast of Quinn's naked body, split up to the neck. The
cast is suspended from a rope tied around the feet. Quinn describes it as
'an extreme moment of transformation,
a violent shedding of the skin'.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Technique and condition

The sculpture is a rubber cast of the artist’s naked body, split in two up to the neck and suspended from the ceiling. The back half of the cast is suspended by white brushed Nylon rope lashed several times round the ankles and attached to a ceiling hook. This allows the front half of the casting to hang down with the toes just clear of the floor. The polyurethane rubber is pigmented rust brown with the addition of a mixture of artists’ oil colours. The neck of the cast has been reinforced with glass-fibre to reduce the risk of splitting. There is residue of brown and un-pigmented ‘yellowing’ rubber from the mould trapped in the cast, this is considered to be part of the work. A clear uneven knife cut edge is visible where some excess seams and residue on the cast have been removed. The back of the cast is shiny, the body contoured front is matt. The suspended figure is very fragile around the edges where the rubber is thin and there are several existing tears.

The artist noted in an interview in July 1997 that the original cast from his own body was made with alginate mould material (based on seaweed extracts) for the head, hands, feet and genitals. All these body parts were reassembled back into one body with plaster bandage backing for support. From this plaster body mould, a negative cast was made from Polyurethane rubber. The cast was split down the centre up to the neck, to lay the two body halves stretched out in line. A coating of wax release agent, to ensure clean and easy removal of the final cast, was applied to the inside of the final mould. Brown pigmented Polyurethane rubber was then poured into this mould thus forming the final stretched out sculpture.

There is no artist’s inscription.

Sandra Deighton
October 1997

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