November 13, 2020

Emma Kohlmann at Jack Hanley Gallery

Emma Kohlmann’s peacefully staged ink and watercolor works at her exhibit at Jack Hanley Gallery offer NYC art-goers a moment of tranquility in a time of chaos.
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About the Exhibit - Glowing In The Dark

Emma Kohlmann’s exhibit, Glow in the Dark, was on view at Jack Hanley Gallery from October 15th – November 14th, 2020. 

Emma Kohlmann

Emma Kohlmann uses her signature materials of watercolor and ink to create a variety of artworks that bend the boundaries of figuratism. 

Emma Kohlmann
“In a range of media the works in the show encompass watercolors on paper, paintings with individually etched frames, ceramics, and a composition of nature sounds in collaboration with sound artist and friend, Sean Duram.” (source)
Emma Kohlmann

Kohlmann incorporates something into her exhibit that usually is only available in museums...benches! This allowed the viewer the permission to sit and enjoy the exhibit, and to to not feel rushed. 

Emma Kohlmann
“I liked the idea of creating a space that was more interactive than my usual gallery shows, so I partnered with my friend Sean to make a soundtrack for the space. I made benches, so people could sit down and relax while they're in the space, and I worked on these frames—I started burning wood during quarantine, just playing around with scraps, and that’s how I came up with the idea.” - Emma Kohlmann for Vogue (source
Emma Kohlmann

These benches are pieces of art in themselves, intricately carved, complimenting the organic shapes of the paintings hung in front of them. 

Emma Kohlmann
“Uniquely shaped and etched benches invite visitors to linger in an oasis that offers a place of tranquillity in times of collective unease.” (source) 
Emma Kohlmann
Emma Kohlmann

After the initial date of the exhibit was postponed from April to October, Kohlmann utilized the extra time to re-think her exhibit and evolve the concept. 

Emma Kohlmann
“I didn’t want to go through with the same idea when I knew the situation wasn’t going to have changed in terms of COVID. If people are going to go to gallery shows, I want it to be a place where you can come and feel at ease, or have a nice distraction. I hope it can be an oasis of some sort in the city, of pieces that don't feel so rooted in our world.” - Emma Kohlmann for Vogue (source
Emma Kohlmann

Not only does Kohlmann create a place of physical solace with the sounds and benches, she creates a place of emotional solace in her work through her representation of figures to represent more of an all-inclusive feeling rather than a particular gender or race. 

Emma Kohlmann
“I think looking at work that is rooted in our world can be triggering for some people, especially right now,” she says. “So I like the idea of trying to engage everyone and make it feel egalitarian or inclusive.” - Emma Kohlmann for Vogue (source

Video of the Exhibit

To see a walkthrough of the exhibit, skip ahead to 2:34 in the video below.

About the Artist - Emma Kohlmann

Emma Kohlmann is an American artist who lives and works in Florence, MA. She received her B.A. from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA.

Emma Kohlmann
“Her work ranges from drawing and painting to zines, digital art, books and various media. Her primary focus is usually in working with ink and watercolor.” (source
Emma Kohlmann

You can explore more about the artist on her Instagram or Website.

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