Keith W. Bentley & Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann
May 1 – June 15, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 8th, 6 – 9 pm
This duo exhibition pairs Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s evocative ink-stained paintings with Keith W. Bentley’s remixed historical sculptures. Both artists are part of the contemporary avant-garde invested in exploratory mixed-media practices and dramatic abstraction. They each begin with a compositional substrate: in Mann’s case, it is a stain of ink that is allowed to grow organically as it seeps into her paper; Bentley, on the other hand, delves into art history to find figurative sculptures ripe for reinterpretation. These substrates are then completely reimagined and intentionally abstracted to cultivate new and unexpected associations in their viewers.
Bentley’s sculptures are transformed from the ordinary into the exceptional by profusions of objects, which alter their silhouette, often obscuring the heads and shoulders completely. His distinctive figures are immediately recognizable by their rogue use of found objects, fresh take on Pop aesthetic, and saturated palette.
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s ink-stained compositional foundations mature into dynamic abstract paintings as the artist works back into and around the stain. While the composition is contingent on the morphology of the original stain, the final painting is a testament to Mann’s flexibility with visual language. “I nourish the landscape of each painting, coaxing from this organic foundation the development of diverse, decorative forms,” writes Mann. Glorying in the sensuous and the rambling, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann achieves depth and fluidity in her work by balancing delicate lace-like rendering with bold, painterly gestures that resonate with echoes of abstract expressionism.
Both Mann’s paintings and Bentley’s sculptures offer an abundance of interpretive possibilities. They recall Rorschach’s famous ink blots whose abstract depths are still catalysts for the human imagination today. Both artists in this duo exhibition achieve a level of abstraction comparable to ink blots that inspires a creative response in their viewers, as the imagination is continuously stimulated by these morphing artworks.