Kaoru Mansour, ‘Potato Vine #103’, 2013, Heather James Fine Art

Los Angeles artist Kaoru Mansour creates paintings out of botanical collage elements on wooden panels and canvas. Delicately colored organic forms are covered with twenty to thirty different layers of encaustic, which gives her work a rich and highly textured appearance. Mansour's paintings connect images of plants with abstract mark making. Her delicate markings swirl around and attach to elegant branches, creating new, otherworldly plant forms that are alive with precision and wonderfully whimsical.

A native of Japan, Kaoru Mansour grew up in a small mountainous village. She has vivid, early childhood memories of playing with, studying and even eating the tremendous varieties of seasonal plants in the lush forests of Japan. As she began her formal training as an artist at Otis Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles, the impact of her previous natural surroundings emerged. While her work has evolved over the years, botanical imagery, whether actual or abstracted, has always figured in her work. The artist goes into her physical surroundings to gather plants and flowers - whatever she finds of interest during a particular season. She then transfers images of single specimens onto panels - whether it is a leaf, the whole plant or just a portion of a flower - the image is always simple and solitary. A muted color background holds the image, which is glazed over to form a cracked, raku-like surface - a small gesture to her Japanese heritage. Mansour then draws colored circles and other small ink markings on the panels, enhancing the fundamental beauty of a single branch or stem. While the viewer may recognize a particular type of plant or flower, the image is always simplified - a flower stripped of leaves, a stem without its main branch or a sturdy stalk detached from the ground. Her compositions crop those “extraneous” elements from the picture plane to emphasize the abstract beauty and remarkable form of her chosen specimen.

Signature: Signed verso

About Kaoru Mansour

Japanese , b. 1956, Tokyo, Japan, based in Los Angeles, California

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