DASHIELL MANLEY | Some ponds (a statuesque assembly)

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Jessica Silverman
Some ponds (a statuesque assembly), 2020
Oil on linen
Signed verso
60 x 48 in.


The artist

Dashiell Manley is interested in the representation of time. In his “New York Times Paintings”, Manley inscribes on canvas all of the words from the front page of a single edition of the daily newspaper. Using multicolored watercolor pencils, he writes vertically and horizontally outside the strict layouts of the frame, taking the text into the realm of abstraction. After filling the canvas with text, he applies a layer of silver-tinted wash, which obscures the underlying text and mimics the sheen of the residue that one finds on their fingertips after handling a newspaper. At a time when newspapers are facing extinction, Manley acts like a Medieval scribe oblivious to digitization, insistent on a laborious, manual writing process. In so doing he brings a day’s news into a slower, more contemplative zone, counteracting fleeting information processing with a sense of timelessness.

The oil paintings that make up the “Elegy” series contain two kinds of brushstroke: a short, rhythmic, repetitive stroke, which relates to a mindful focus on the process of painting itself; and occasional drifting transgressive lines, which signal and attempt to correct moments of distraction. The title refers to a poem that laments the dead, and one often used by one of Manley’s favorite painters, the Postwar Abstract Expressionist, Robert Motherwell. These paintings memorialize the vibrancy of emotional abstraction.

Manley (b.1983, Fontana, CA) has a BFA from CalArts and an MFA from UCLA. He recently enjoyed solo exhibitions at Stanford’s Cantor Center for Visual Arts and LAND HQ in Los Angeles. His work was included in the Hammer Museum’s 2012 "Made in L.A.” and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Manley’s work has been featured in exhibitions in Sao Paulo, Sydney, Torino, Vienna, Austin, and New York. His work is in the public collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Hammer Museum (Los Angeles). In 2016, Jessica Silverman Gallery published a catalogue featuring Manley’s "New York Times Paintings.” Manley enjoyed his 4th solo exhibition with Jessica Silverman Gallery in 2020. He lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.