A conversation with Jeremy Mann about his final U.S. exhibition, and his decision to stop painting cityscapes

Jeremy Mann’s 2019 solo exhibition opening August 30th is the gallery and the artist’s largest exhibition to date, featuring 55 works including the Mann’s signature cityscapes, Compositions and portraits, as well as his photography and film work. The show also marks a shift in Mann’s creative career as his last solo U.S. solo exhibition for quite some time, as the artist pursues his passion for filmmaking and further evolves his painting practice from a more introspective perspective.

“I believe the over 600 cityscapes I’ve painted in the last few years has been a wonderful experience, I love every single one of them in a way only a father could, but chapters in books are meant to end, so that the story can continue to evolve,” says Mann.

The-White-Oracle
The White Oracle
oil on panel, 60 x 36″

Mann has officially announced that he will no longer paint full color cityscapes, but will continue his figurative work and most likely his Composition series. “I will of course be painting, a lot even!” he says of his calculated retreat from the public realm. “The quintessential change here is that I will only be painting for myself, not for deadlines and without any outside influence other than that which I choose to pursue. This also gives me the opportunity to create in ways that were theoretically not possible in the future. For the last 10 years of my life, I’ve only been trying to “catch up” with the quantity and quality of artwork needed to fill the walls of a gallery show.  I think this sort of dedication honed my skills to a wonderful point, and I wish all aspiring artists could have enough time and dedication to paint that much, for the more you create, the more you learn about yourself.  But what it did not allow me to do was “spend time with my own creations.”  To really ponder them, push myself, open myself up to the ability to experiment and play upon a piece without the worry of having it dedicated to the spotlight at any given moment.  It was in the last few months that I found such a freedom quite liberating, and has given rise to an immense new approach and language in my artwork which I find exhilarating, and that is exactly where I would like to stay, exhilarated by my artwork, not becoming spiteful to it because its keeping me on the grindstone.”

Read our full conversation with Mann below to learn more about the work for this exhibition, which will also feature a room cycling through Mann’s films as a preview of what’s to come. “I do think that this show is going to be an impressive arrangement of a multifaceted progression in my art,” Mann states. “I can only hope that those who get to experience this exhibition will feel something akin to that which I will take away from it as well.”

Composition-178
Composition 178
oil on panel, 36 x 60″

Q&A with Jeremy Mann

This is your last exhibition for quite some time.  What does the future hold for you and what motivated you to make this shift? 

First and foremost the motivation came from the realization that I may die at any moment, and what I’ve done is what I’ve done, combined with the last few months of peaceful and intense introspection away from any social media, immersed fully in creativity, research, experimentation and “soul searching” you could say, I realized there is no excuse for putting off the chasing of dreams.

What can we expect from the work in this significant exhibition? What emotional or technical ties do you see within the body of work? 

I do think that this show is going to be an impressive arrangement of a multifaceted progression in my art.  With paintings ranging through the last of the full color cityscapes, a few of my favorite compositions, whose effects are mirrored across the room in the more “explosive” figurative pieces showing the evolution of a new techniques and ideas since becoming more internally aware, right next to several quieter small “notes” who’s atmosphere and softness bring light to another side of my pursuits, two of the Silver Gelatin prints from my custom cameras and darkroom, which were the references for current paintings, but stand as their own art form, AND for some reason I wanted to share 12 of my favorite oversized prints from the photography in exactly the same size in which they hang in my studio to inspire the textures and markmaking and MOOD for many of things seen in the paintings across the room as well.  And with a dedicated room cycling through the films to promote the entrance into the future, as well as a new documentary style film detailing the evolution of the photography and its impact upon my artwork is going to be quite a thing to see all together. ESPECIALLY for myself, and I can only hope that those who get to experience this exhibition will feel something akin to that which I will take away from it as well.

What relationships do see or anticipate seeing between your paintings and your films? In what ways are these creative practices similar for you – or dissimilar? 

I think filmmaking is a completely different art form from that of painting.  Even though all artistic forms of expression carry the same fundamentals like composition, rhythm, balance, harmony, etc. each one’s capabilities enters into vastly different realms.  I know for sure that my “style” or whatever you’d like to call it, the thing that makes me ME as expressed in art, will be noticeable throughout all mediums, in much the same way I would expect a painting by Vivaldi to have much of his character imbued within it as his concertos, you know?  I already know from watching “The Conductor,” my first experiment into a feature film, that my composition, color, and mood can carry across mediums, but now I want to find out what I can do with my fingers in the characteristics of film which are inherent to film alone!  Story and prolonged impact and having groups of people sitting in the dark completely enveloped in an experience I’d like to share with them, an emotion I’d like them to feel, with time, sound, movement, dialogue, characters, worlds, dreams, memories, and so much more.  Will those who love my paintings be interested?  Perhaps!  Will they fall in love with whatever films I create?  Who knows!  But I will, and I do think that’s most important.

How can we continue to follow your work? 

I left social media for the betterment of my own soul, but I completely understand that my opinions are not the same for everyone else, and that much of the world still gets their information from such things, so in that case I’ve given control of my accounts to any gallery, publisher, or entity which has a reason to share my creations with the world as well, and while not fully or consistently updated, of course there will be new things to see there.

But perhaps the most direct way to follow along with the adventure is via the email newsletter I’ve set up and have been running for several months now, which includes not only images of paintings not yet on the web anywhere, but also behind the scenes images, studies, processes and mostly it seems, just my rambling thoughts, concerns, theories and ideas, there for people who want to read it, and images for those who do not!  www.redrabbit7.com/subscribe.

The-Last-Fleurette
The Last Fleurette
oil and enamel on paper on board, 36 x 47″

 

Join us for Jeremy Mann’s 2019 solo exhibition on Friday August 30th, 5-7pm.

Click here to inquire about the artwork in this post.

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