Robert Clark, 'Duncan Marquiss' (The Guardian, 11/06/2011)
Duncan Marquiss's recent drawings seem to be created in states of auto-suggestive reverie. Their dreamlike scenarios are initially catalysed by the technique of frottage, a play of chance mark-making in which suggestive graphite rubbings are taken from any old junk lying about the studio floor: discarded masking tape, paper sraps, offcut fragments of film reel. It's a way of sparking off the imagination that goes back to the surrealists, yet Marquiss's pallid fancies, accompanied here by his equally dreamy film work, have a more convincing sense of individual personality than is apparent in most attempts to revive the surrealist spirit with cliches of self-conscious weirdness. His graphic episodes come across like illustrations to a novel without beginning or end. It's this overpowering atmosphere of suspense, of never being able to determine what comes next, that keeps you looking.