The Fall 2021 Quarterly issue weaves a thread of listening, as many of the featured artists speak of place as an in-between time. That many of them came from the middle of the United States, central Europe or central Africa even, seems to capture a mood of looking out—bringing traditions and influences from all around and transforming them into something completely fresh. We often ask about their listening habits, meaning music or podcasts.
But do we mean “what do you hear” from the world around you? What are we listening to in terms of how people feel, especially within the collective identity of the time? Our cover image sets the tone: a faceless woman, between two massive buildings, brimming with expression and strength, defying an urban echo chamber, overseeing the world beneath.
The first time I saw this painting by Julie Curtiss, I was struck by an ominous force upon this all-seeing, all-knowing figure, as if on a pulpit, assessing the crowd.
There was a wonderful line in her interview where she seems to speak directly about this work. “I want people to still have room to project some of their lead experiences or some of their inner world into my work,” she said, “and I want to provide enough ambiguity that portrays how ideas are often complementary. I’m more interested in paradox, and in how things can reverse in one second.” The cover begs even further questions: are we ready for what is to come?
With features on Julie Curtiss, Geoff McFetridge, Umar Rashid, Jane Dickson, Shaina McCoy, Alfonso Gonzalez Jr, Kayla Mahaffey, Akos Ezer and Lily Wong.