R. H. Quaytman vs. Cyclopean Painting

The only way I could get my hands on R. H. Quaytman’s early book-work Allegorical Decoys was by the circuitous route of Ohio State Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan system. When it finally arrived this morning, I discovered that I was not able to check the book out of the library and so I had to read it there and then on the spot. Knowing that I would want to return to the opening essay, I decided to take a series of snapshots of overlapping sections of the text. There are many things to say about this text, but I was especially drawn to Quaytman’s description of her time at the American Academy in Rome. It was there that she initiated her series of works as chapters as a response to what she describes as ‘painting’s status as an isolated target of a monocular and disembodied eye’. She continues to unpack this metaphor by evoking the monstrous figure of the Cyclops: ‘What mechanisms are at work in painting that assume an audience of one male monogamous Cyclops who will never leave?’. In the spirit of Quaytman’s attack on Cyclopean forms, here is a slide show of my multi-perspective photographs of her essay.

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