Los Angeles – Pace is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new large-scale paintings by Kylie Manning at its Los Angeles gallery. On view from September 16 to October 29, the presentation marks Manning’s first solo show in LA and her debut exhibition with Pace since she joined the gallery’s program in 2022.
Manning—whose work can be found in the collections of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami, the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, and other international institutions—is known for her lyrical, atmospheric paintings that blur the boundary between abstraction and figuration. Deeply informed by her experiences living in Alaska and Mexico for extended periods during her childhood, the artist’s works situate genderless, anonymous, spectral figures within expansive landscapes that capture the light and environments specific to these locations.
Layers of color and frenetic brushstrokes produce a radiant, energetic effect that seems to refract light across Manning’s canvases. Gestural and ethereal, her paintings speak to both personal and universal themes related to place, memory, and presence. Her practice can be understood in conversation with the work of Johannes Vermeer, J.M.W. Turner, and Berthe Morisot, among other art historical figures.
The artist’s upcoming exhibition with Pace in LA takes its title, Both Sides Now, from Joni Mitchell’s acclaimed song. Engaging with Mitchell’s lyrics about temporality, perspective, and subjectivity, Manning’s paintings in the show use mark making as a language to express a visual musicality, bringing the emotional and intellectual resonances of music to canvas. Grounded in the natural and meteorological phenomena of various latitudes and longitudes around the world, each work in the exhibition reflects the particular climate, terrain, and light of different geographic locations. The monumental scales of these paintings immerse viewers in ambiguous, otherworldly scenes wherein figures’ interactions with one another and their environments defy easy interpretation.
Manning produces new bodies of work as cohesive families, working on paintings in various stages of completion at the same time. Every work answers a different question, creating a sense of balance within the group. Among the paintings in the artist’s upcoming Pace exhibition are Sanctuary (2022), which depicts a tableau of undulating bodies rendered in warm yellow, orange, and brown hues, and Galvanize (2022), wherein two figures intertwine amid swathes of electric pink, purple, and orange. The two largest works in the show—Hinterland (2022) and What stays with us, and what falls behind (2022)—are epic explorations of line and color that marry 19th century Romanticism with a distinctly contemporary edge.
Kylie Manning (b. 1983, Juneau, Alaska) is a painter based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is heavily informed by the atmospheres, latitudes, and colors present in the various geographies of her childhood. Using brushwork, light, and balance, the artist captures moments within her personal history, such as her time working on Alaskan fishing boats and memories of surfing in Mexico. Through her practice, Manning re-contextualizes the concept of traditionally gendered “masterpieces” with an eye toward contemporary feminism, and her visual lexicon is as much in conversation with J.M.W. Turner and Frans Hals as it is Ruth Asawa and Berthe Morisot. Manning’s oil paint compositions center on ethereal, gestural, and genderless figures within expansive, disparate landscapes. She purposefully leaves the origin, gender, and raison d’être of the forms within her paintings up to interpretation, allowing the viewer to step into her world, yet form their own reading of the work. The resulting works vibrate with energy and light, flickering before the viewer’s eyes.
Manning explores the balance between figuration and abstraction through expert draftsmanship, painting, markmaking, and a refined technical process. Within her painting practice, the artist begins each body of work as a family, stretching the surfaces and employing rabbit skin glue, which primes the canvas and provides a buoyant backdrop. She spends a great deal of time spreading oil ground (a material used to prime oil paintings) with a palette knife, before sanding down each layer, building a relationship to each individual piece before she brings in color. She is acutely aware of the scale, energy, and groove of the linen before ‘beginning.’ When Manning eventually incorporates color, it begins through a hierarchy of refracted light. She grinds pure pigments with safflower oil and starts with a Sumi-e-like wash using broad chip brushes and paint rollers to create thin but wide strokes. While still wet, she takes a rag and begins to pull the composition out by wiping and ripping away saturated areas. Eventually sketching in paint with loaded brushes, she reiterates or shifts the composition. Each layer is separated with a slightly thicker layer of safflower and walnut oil to refract light, a technique common with Dutch Baroque painters, such as Johannes Vermeer. Orchestrating ethereal sketches of landscapes and figures, she balances delicate whirlwinds of color with a contemporary feminist sense of humor. Manning’s works feel simultaneously thin and radiant, light glowing from within the paintings themselves.
Pace is a leading international art gallery representing some of the most influential contemporary artists and estates from the past century, holding decades-long relationships with Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, Barbara Hepworth, Agnes Martin, Louise Nevelson, and Mark Rothko. Pace enjoys a unique U.S. heritage spanning East and West coasts through its early support of artists central to the Abstract Expressionist and Light and Space movements.
Since its founding by Arne Glimcher in 1960, Pace has developed a distinguished legacy as an artist-first gallery that mounts seminal historical and contemporary exhibitions. Under the current leadership of President and CEO Marc Glimcher, Pace continues to support its artists and share their visionary work with audiences worldwide by remaining at the forefront of innovation. Now in its seventh decade, the gallery advances its mission through a robust global program—comprising exhibitions, artist projects, public installations, institutional collaborations, performances, and interdisciplinary projects. Pace has a legacy in art bookmaking and has published over five hundred titles in close collaboration with artists, with a focus on original scholarship and on introducing new voices to the art historical canon.
The gallery has also spearheaded explorations into the intersection of art and technology through its new business models, exhibition interpretation tools, and representation of artists cultivating advanced studio practices. As part of its commitment to technologically engaged artists within and beyond its program, Pace launched a hub for its web3 activity, Pace Verso, in November 2021.
Today, Pace has nine locations worldwide, including a European foothold in London and Geneva, and two galleries in New York—its headquarters at 540 West 25th Street, which welcomed almost 120,000 visitors and programmed 20 shows in its first six months, and an adjacent 8,000 sq. ft. exhibition space at 510 West 25th Street. Pace’s long and pioneering history in California includes a gallery in Palo Alto, which operated from 2016 to 2022. Pace’s engagement with Silicon Valley’s technology industry has had a lasting impact on the gallery at a global level, accelerating its initiatives connecting art and technology as well as its work with experiential artists. Pace consolidated its West Coast activity through its flagship in Los Angeles, which opened in 2022. Pace was one of the first international galleries to establish outposts in Asia, where it operates permanent gallery spaces in Hong Kong and Seoul, as well as an office and viewing room in Beijing. Pace’s satellite exhibition spaces in East Hampton and Palm Beach present continued programming on a seasonal basis.