Tif Sigfrids is pleased to announce Born Slippy, a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Jake Manning. The show, organized by Adrianne Rubenstein, will open with a reception in our New York location on Saturday, April 9th with a reception from 4-6 PM.
There is something immediately disarming in Manning’s works. Perhaps it’s in the way that they mimic an ice cream cone’s summertime melting, color unfurling, sticky and bright, over one’s fingers. Maybe it’s something familiar and forlorn about the characters he features: a bear painting earnestly on a canvas of its own, a lone red car ambling to somewhere else, animated trees that hearken back to the to-scale magic of diorama. There is an unfussy honesty amidst the swathes of oil and latex and watercolor—the kind of plain and sincere omniscience afforded to the very young and the very old.
Employing the likes of silicone, enamel paint, string and aluminum, Manning treats each layer as its own experiment, fusing materials together in fits of scouring and collage. The mediums are living and reactive, taking cues from one another in a round of unruly improv. The ensuing chaos is really the stuff of exploratory choreography, borne solely of Manning’s own inventive curiosity.
When rounded up and wrangled together, the paintings look something like a real family: scrappy and crammed and somehow coexisting around the dinner table. It is Manning who forges relationships between these seemingly estranged members, tethering the unassuming and gentle to the rowdy and severe. Both the aloof and the spirited can trade stories at this gathering, and the cynical find a way to commune with the transcendent. There is a candor among the works, a haphazard humanness.
Perhaps it is the haywire familial dynamic that feels so recognizable—the funny, frustrating dichotomy of personalities and problems mirrored so well in the materials used. Or maybe we credit the endearingly lonesome figures on the canvas, their playful, harmless gazes dredging up some far off, sweet childhood moment that cannot be fully recalled. This melting familiarity, this hazy, half-remembered dream is the very product of Manning’s commitment to inquiry, to the whisking together of medium, memory and method.