Curtis Mann

Reduction, 2011, 70 x 48 in
torn, folded, bleached chromogenic prints

Reduction (detail), 2011, 70 x 48 in
torn, folded, bleached chromogenic prints

Partial Tear, 2011 / Replaced, 2011
Small Zip, 2011
Pinkish, 2011 / Revolt, 2011
After Sound Of Its Own Making, 2011
all images: torn, folded, bleached chromogenic print, dimensions variable


Diamond Hole, 2011, 20 x 20 in 
torn, folded, bleached chromogenic print

Ponderings, 2011
Chemically altered chromogenic print, 30 x 40 in

Vestiges, 2011
Chemically altered chromogenic development print
48″ x 70″

Snapshot, 2011
Synthetic Polymer Varnish on Bleached Chromogenic Development Print
50.8 x 61 cm

Lamassu Oblique, 2011
Synthetic Polymer Varnish on Bleached Chromogenic Development Print
76.2 x 50.8 cm

Paper Fragments (& Fig. 1.12), 2012
Paper fragment (& Fig 2.9), 2012
Paper Fragments (& Fig. 4.17), 2012
all images: book page, Acrylic Glazing, Bleached Chromogenic Print

Paper cuts, Half hole (happy), 2012
Carved chormogenic print, 88,9 x 114,3 cm 

all images courtesy of the artist

Through a series of bleaching, cutting, and folding techniques, the work of American artist CURTIS MANN attempts to expand the boundaries of the medium of photography as a way to understand photograph as something impermanent, fallible and extremely malleable.

I was originally a mechanical engineer. At my engineering school in Ohio, we did a lot of testing and manufacturing materials, mostly metals. That was the basis for learning. So when I arrived at photography, my instinct was to deconstruct the material, to take apart and reconfigure it, to understand photographs as physical matter. The process comes very much from trial and error: I was figuring out how to manipulate and remove surfaces through sanding, tearing, burning, and eventually, bleaching. In fact, when I finally tried a little Clorox bleach from under my kitchen sink, I was amazed at how fast it worked. As soon as you splasha little of the chemical on photography paper, the layers of emulsion start to melt away before your eyes. Six years later I’m still using bleach as a destructive and creative tool. – CURTIS MANN in conversation with CARMEN WINANT

By painting on found photographs with a clear varnish and then bleaching away unprotected portions of the image, new and abstract meanings are sought from appropriated snapshots, travel photographs, and artist documentations (Paper Fragments is from a series of images of GORDON MATTA-CLARK himself at work in the studio). As a result, the photograph is physically and contextually altered oscillating between image and object, photography and painting, real and imagined.

And good news: Almine Rech Gallery is currently presenting the first solo exhibition of CURTIS MANN in Paris, on view until 7 April, 2012.

Second good news: CURTIS has a tumblr!


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