William Latta & Becca Mann
04 April to 06 May 2019
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The mood of the deep, dusky, and far-away is an invitation into new paintings by Becca Mann. Focused on the Pacific and its botanical and animal inhabitants, the work originates as lucid moments of observation while beachcombing, snorkeling, and tidepooling. At the ocean’s edge, the eye hyper-senses the natural phenomena of the water/air/earth interface as refracting, moving, filtered light. In an inversion of standard painting procedure, highlights and chromatic fields are pulled from black grounds. The painting method is unhinged from the photographic nature of it's source, lending reality the preternatural quality of dreams. A noir ambiance is furnished for loner lobsters, nighttime plants, and aggressively vibrant reefs. In the darkness of Mann’s world, there is brightness, and from the mercurial there is stillness.

William Latta similarly allows his paintings to fester from a liquid murkiness. Drifting between glistening and rotting, slippery and rough, macro and micro....gravity is what tethers this work. Everything that appears is lead towards the ground, and weighed down by its own dark opaqueness. The terrains of the panels are akin to mountain switchbacks or folds of ancient fabrics. For this exhibition, a companion to the paintings are oversized drawings. The renderings are crucial to the construction of the work; and also by-products of Latta’s process. Latta begins by making graphite rubbings of his canvases. From these 1:1 composition drawings, the rubbings are cut out, and carved into 3D understructures. A bucket of meaty dark paint is then showered onto canvas; allowing gravity to do its work, cracking, slumping along the way to develop into an apparition of waves and guts. When differentiating between head-thought and stomach-thought (the enteric nervous system); Latta feels the digestive process is easier and more exciting to see. Repurposed louvers and plastic grids are layered behind the work and extruded to create lamellar microcosms. The grid also peeks through the ethereal, milder drawings. Latta’s mark-making penetrates space, at the same time contracting, expanding, and looping. Between these two branches of work lies a conversation between light and heavy, invisibile and visibile, and fleshy versus ghostly.