A Matter of Structure and Utility
Kavi Gupta CHICAGO | BERLIN is pleased to announce an exhibition by Curtis Mann entitled A Matter of Structure and Utility. In his latest body of work, Mann makes a precise series of slices onto the backside of photographic prints, revealing sections of the image from the other side. The objects in the photographs are of meaningless refuse, scraps, and unrealized projects from Mann's studio that were chosen for their texture or compelling arrangement. These miscellaneous studio scraps become a unified object in a single photograph, only to be deconstructed again by Mann's cutting, rearranging the image into abstract fields of color, texture, and shape. The narrative of breaking down or reinterpreting an object's structure is an expansion of Mann's series of appropriated and torn pages from a Gordon Matta-Clark catalogue. Like Matta-Clark's architectural interventions, Mann's excavation of the picture plane is evidence of the artist's direct physical disruptions and how those disruptions make us think about the balance of negative and positive space, the public and private, and creation and destruction.
Spanning several series that have included found photos, monochromatic prints, and now his own photographs of his studio, Mann has pushed the limits of both what is defined as photography and the photographic material itself by dismantling the paper through bleaching, tearing, scoring, and cutting. The division between image and sculpture becomes increasingly blurred as the utility of the material is tested and altered. As the viewer moves around the work, the fractured image disappears and reappears, enacting a paradox in which production and destruction is endlessly and simultaneously occurring.
Curtis Mann (b. 1979 in Dayton, OH) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Recent solo exhibitions include Openings, Almine Rech, Paris; Modifications, South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; Medium and Materiality, Monica de Cardenes, Milano, Italy; Medium and Materiality, LUCE Gallery, Torino, Italy; making oneself, making oneself, Kavi Gupta BERLIN; After the Gold Rush: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Mann has also been included in a number of group museum exhibitions including Fruits of Passion: Project of Contemporary Art, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 12x12: New Artists/New Work (2009) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the 2010 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.