Galerie Kashya Hildebrand

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Multitude (London)

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Multitude (London)

untitled (detail) by katherine tzu-lan mann

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann

Untitled (Detail), 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014Saturday, August 30, 2014 (Opening Reception: Thursday, June 26, 2014, 6 p.m. (EST))

22 Eastcastle Street
London, W1WDE United Kingdom

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann: Multitude

Marking Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s first solo exhibition in London, Multitude, on show from 27 June to 30 August at Kashya Hildebrand, presents a selection of the artist’s mixed media paintings. Her works are often expansive in size, with the ability to take over an entire gallery wall, an explosion of colours and shapes composed of woodcut, sumi ink, acrylic. In her newest works, included here, she incorporates a further addition of silkscreen as a new medium, along with a repetition of small elements, from which the exhibition draws its name.

Mann shows how patterned, highly wrought, decorative elements coalesce from the chaos and contingency of an organic environment—and how they dissolve into that environment again. She begins each piece with a stain of color, the product of chance evaporation of a puddle of ink and water on the paper as it lies on the floor of the studio. Her method of creation is slow and incremental, beginning with an initial pour of paint and then expanding, growing outwards. The finished painting exposes the organic stain that she then paints around, sometimes collaging with woodblock prints.

From this shape, she nourishes the landscape of each painting, coaxing from this organic foundation the development of diverse, decorative forms: braids of hair, details from Beijing opera costuming, lattice-work, and sequined patterns. As articles of adornment, these elements are repeated until they too appear organic, even cancerous, as they at once highlight and suffocate the underlying ink-stained foundation. Each piece holds a tension with the threat of disunity and incoherence as nature and artifice spring from and merge into one another, and as different elements multiply and expand like a metastasis. The works reference traditional landscaping painting although in an abstract form.

Through this conflation of ideas – plants, bodies and diseases – her work explores a baroque abstract: a celebration of the abundance of connections and clashes that can be found in the disparate mess of matter in the world. As hybrids – life-sized fields punctuated by moments of absurdity, poetry, mutation, growth and decay – the works revel in the sensuous and the rambling, and intersperse the chaos with moments of neurotic control, suggesting not only the potential for expansion, but also the threat of overabundance.

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann received her BA from Brown University and MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is the recipient of a Fulbright grant to Taiwan, the AIR Gallery Fellowship program in Brooklyn, NY, and the So-Hamiltonian Fellowship in Washington, DC. She has attended residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Blue Sky Dayton, Vermont Studio Center, Salzburg Kunstlerhauss, Triangle Workshop, and Anderson Ranch Art Center. Some of the venues where Mann has shown her work include the Walters Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Rawls Museum, the US consulate in Dubai, UAE, and the US embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon. Mann is currently an instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.