Marc Quinn’s last London show, five years ago, featured figurative sculptures of defiantly non-Classical subjects including pregnant men, women with penises and a lady called Chelsea Charms who apparently has the dubious honor of possessing the largest breasts on planet earth (although the fickle nature of this kind of fame means she may no longer be market leader in this regard).
Its shock approach seemed very YBA, very 90s. Looking at his latest exhibition, “The Toxic Sublime” at White Cube Bermondsey in London (through September 13), you can’t help wondering whether Quinn might have taken to heart the adverse criticism of his last show and had a long hard think about where he was heading—in terms of legacy, if nothing else. (The enfant terrible is now in his 50s.) “Toxic Sublime” is not remotely shocking; instead, it aims to please and finds Quinn confronting existential themes in a more thoughtful way.