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Andrew Holmquist
LQQK 6, 2017
Three-color lithograph
18.75 x 12 inches

Ruane Center for the Humanities, Lower Level

About the Work

In this suite of lithographs[1] called Nine Strong LQQks, comic book formatting is reimagined to explore a single protagonist who is, according to Holmquist, a queer superhero. Slipping between abstraction and representation, the artist renders the superhero’s figure almost unrecognizable to show how the body and, by extension, its adornment, is responsive to its environment. Whether in active pursuit, transitioning from a day to night look, or paying homage to cultural aesthetics specific to LGBTQ+ communities, the superhero’s real power is their capacity for full identity expression.


In Nine Strong LQQKs, Holmquist uses abstraction and mark-making to blend the popular culture of American comic books with an art historical lineage that includes the likes of Willem de Kooning, Kitagawa Utamaro, David Hockney, and Francis Bacon, while injecting a contemporizing queer update. Executed with strict adherence to a highly precise underlying structure, the figure breaks out of the comic book cell’s geometry in a burst of life with bright, saturated color. The figure moves between foreground and background, creating a liveliness that, due to a solid foundation of geometric structure, exudes a sense of perfect balance.

[1] A lithograph is a fine artwork that is printed using a stone or metal block on which an image has been drawn with a thick substance that attracts ink.