An exhibition of new mixed media paintings by local artist Jason Mann will open Tuesday April 26th at The Box Heart Gallery in Pittsburgh, Penn. with a public reception on Saturday April 30th, from 5 to 8 p.m. Box Heart Gallery, located at 4523 Liberty Avenue, has represented V. Mann for the past three years and recently featured his work in the Edward Zwick film Love and Other Drugs. This solo exhibition will be Mann’s first since the release of the film.
The title of the show, Three Years, Three Months, and Three Days, references the duration of the traditional Eastern spiritual retreat, and is the culmination of the work created since returning to the artist’s old family farm. Using as a studio the upstairs room that once belonged to Mann’s great-great-grandmother, Ida Bell Justice Porter, wife of W. S. Porter, Three Years, Three Months and Three Days started to materialize after much contemplation.
“I took everything out of the room and painted the walls and ceiling white,” said Mann. “It is very quiet there, and the early morning light from the rising sun pours through the windows, illuminating the room like crystal.
“That light is wonderful to work in. I wondered, as I stare out the window at the crows, what is this day, what is this life, where am I going and where have I been? And that is when Three Years, Three Months and Three Days started to come together.”
“These new pieces are full of vibrant color and strong imagery, peaceful yet sharp, as I peer down a long line, searching for the end or the beginning but neither is in sight. The paintings are landscapes for the viewer to enter and explore, decoding the meanings behind combinations of clippings and colors, challenging them to understand the associations of the juxtaposed elements and phrases,” he said. “I am motivated by the challenge of defining areas of vast space, and the struggle to express my most inner thoughts and ideas to the viewer.”
Along with Mann’s mixed media paintings will appear the prose of his wife, local musician Sarah E. Mann. The show marks their first collaboration of this type.
“Sarah has kept journals that spanned our entire Kentucky adventure, and we realized they perfectly narrated the paintings, her words complete the pictures in a way I would never have thought of,” he said.