Curtis Mann, A Matter of Structure and Utility: Kavi Gupta | 835 W. Washington Blvd. Chicago, IL, 60607
Kavi Gupta is pleased to present its third solo exhibition with Los Angeles based artist Curtis Mann entitled A Matter of Structure and Utility. The exhibition marks the introduction of a new body of work that continues Mann’s exploration with the physicality of photography. Walnut wood scraps, a blue T-Square and packing blankets are some of the objects documented in the photographs that serve as foundations for this new work, essentially abstracted still-lifes of an artist’s studio. These compositions of color and texture are further manipulated by a series of precise slices made on the reverse side of the photograph. The slits are then folded out revealing the imagery through various small windows as well as showcasing the paper that is a fundamental material component of the photograph itself. The result is a balanced conversation between the strengths of photography as a tool of documentation as well its technical and physical characteristics that can transcend the medium into, and reinforce, conversations of dimensionality and space.
Through out several bodies of work over the last few years, Mann has pushed the physical limits of photography. Drawing attention to the medium’s material and chemical qualities, Curtis Mann’s approach to art making stems from both his previous occupation as an engineer and his earliest exposure to visual art, the work of Gordon Matta-Clark. Deconstruction and a desire to understand the structure and utility of material has inspired Mann, whether it be through bleaching and chemically altering the image surface of photos to scratching and puncturing the photo-paper itself, to engage photography beyond its convention as mere image and draw attention and inspire new conversations concerning the medium’s relationship to material, technicality, and actual physical space.