Laura Korman Gallery is pleased to exhibit artist Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann in the gallery’s forthcoming exhibition, CAULDRON. The exhibition is on view from September 23 through December 15, 2015 with a public reception on Saturday, October 24, 5-8 p.m.
Washington, D.C.-based artist Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s current work intertwines an abstract medley of vivacious color and intricate bold line. Using acrylic, sumi ink, and silk-screening, Mann’s explosive compositions surge and splatter across delicate white yupo paper forming abstract panoramas. “My paintings show how patterned, highly-wrought, decorative elements coalesce from the chaos and contingency of an organic environment - and how they dissolve into that environment again,” says Mann.
Mann begins each of her large-scale compositions with stains of color, pouring diluted acrylic, ink and water onto paper as it lies on the floor of her studio. She then gradually builds up organic forms working from the chance evaporations and shapes left behind. Flower petals, leaves, pom poms from Beijing opera costuming, and sequined patterns inspire ornately detailed forms that are repeated until they too appear organic. These elements multiply, proliferating as a simultaneously elegant and grotesque disease - spreading across the paper like the undulating bacteria of a petri dish.
In works like Cauldron 2, Mann constricts her technique within a circular format as animated spherical shapes seemingly bubble over from within the paper. These large-scale, radial portals confront viewers with wildly vivid shades of blue, speckled with flecks of orange as leafy patterned ink tendrils peek through. “My paintings are utter hybrids; man-sized fields punctuated by moments of absurdity, poetry, mutation, growth and decay that I find both suffocating and fabulous,” says Mann.
While born in Wisconsin, Mann grew up moving every two to three years as the daughter of a Foreign Service officer. Living in Beijing and Guangzhou, China, Tel Aviv, Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States, she says her upbringing and biracial background largely inspires her interests in fragmentation and hybridization. “I think of my work as baroque abstract: a celebration of the abundance of connections and clashes that can be found in the disparate mess of matter in the world,” says Mann.
CAULDRON explores the delicate threshold between sensuous chaos and detailed control. Acting in the spirit of Jackson Pollock and other American abstract expressionists before her, Mann’s spontaneous techniques are augmented by her thoughtful incorporation of detailed ink and pattern that produce a visual melting pot of cultural influences at once molten and wrought with possibility.
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann received dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Visual Art and Human Development from Brown University in 2005. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in 2009 from the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is the recipient of a Fulbright grant and the Toby Devan Lewis fellowship, and is a fellow in the Washington, D.C. So-Ho Hamiltonian Fellows program. She has participated as an artist in residence at the Virginia Center for the Arts, Blue Sky Dayton, Vermont Studio Center, Salzburg Kunstlerhaus and Triangle Workshop residencies, and has been awarded the Anderson Art Ranch and Bemis Center residencies for 2011 and 2012. Mann is currently an instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art.