Nevven is proud to present Gossamer Threads, the first solo exhibition in Sweden by American artist Emma Kohlmann, featuring a selection of her poetic and erotic watercolours and ceramics.
Emma Kohlmann: Gossamer Threads
March 14 - April 7, 2019
Nevven Gallery, Göteborg
With her work, the American artist explores the worlds of eroticism, sexuality and feelings creating images which are delicate, sensual and movingly intimate at once. The watercolours flowing on the paper, guided by her brush, define the edges of soft shapes which she delicately identifies, intervening on the wet surface with Sumi—ink and turning them into bodies, plants, animals or poems. As they blur into the surface, these lines and shapes remind us of the fluidity intrinsic to all, being, gender and existence itself — in a representation which is both metaphorical and phenomenological.
Kohlmann has a seemingly relentless approach to creation. Driven by a urge that makes her an extremely prolific artist, her work appears as a necessary output for everything her attentive eyes, ears and hands absorb from the world outside. With roots in the DYI punk culture, self— publishing and fanzines — the joy of creating something for the pure pleasure of creative exchange emanates still from her work. When it comes to her subjects and semiotics, Kohlmann embraces the body in its imperfections, desires, and frailties. She exposes it in its entirety, overcoming the taboos that normally inform its depiction, therefore making it political. Her figures — human, animal and vegetal — morph into each other in a communion which feels like physical and metaphysical at once. With her touching representation of sex and desire, she offers us a different and tender perspective on sensuality, as source of empathy and profound connection between beings. Art historically, Kohlmann’s art is informed by greco—roman erotica as much as it brings to mind references ranging from the naive expressions of Henry Darger to the use of tropes and techniques which remind of Louise Bourgeois. Nevertheless, her personal approach to timeless myths, poetic literary references and personal erotic narratives makes her voice unique.
With Gossamer Threads — the term is used to define the fine and flimsy spiderwebs covering grass or bushes especially in Autumn — Emma Kohlmann is delicately taking over the gallery with a new body of watercolours and bi—dimensional sculptures which remind of ancient artefacts, hanging on the walls like amulets or dreamcatchers, shrouded with an aura of primitive magic and bodily wisdom. The artworks communicate alone but even more interconnecting with each other, as ancient hieroglyphs portraying the multifaceted interiority of a poet and her connection with the outside world through her mind, eyes and flesh.
Emma Kohlmann (b. 1989, New York) graduated from Hampshire College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2011, where she composed her own major in aesthetics, feminist theory and drawing. Kohlmann has a rich output of artists’ books, fanzines and textiles. She has exhibited extensively in the past years, including the Portland Museum of Art (2018), MOCA Tucson (2016), Jack Hanley Gallery and The Journal Gallery’s Tennis Elbow (both New York, 2018), V1 Gallery (Copenhagen, 2019 and 2016) and New Image Art Gallery (Los Angeles, 2018). Emma Kohlmann lives and works in Western Massachusetts, US.