Installation view of Sea Change by Kylie Manning

Kylie Manning

Sea Change

Mar 26 – May 9, 2024
Hong Kong

Kylie Manning
Sea Change
Mar 26 – May 9, 2024


12/F, H Queen's
80 Queen's Road Central
Hong Kong


Press Release


(opens in a new window) @manningkylie
(opens in a new window) @pacegallery

Above: Installation view, Kylie Manning: Sea Change, Mar 26 – May 9, 2024, Pace Gallery, Hong Kong © Kylie Manning
Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Kylie Manning at its Hong Kong gallery.

On view from March 26 to May 9, the show, titled Sea Change, will be Manning’s first-ever solo presentation in Hong Kong. Exploring enactments of movement and accumulation as they relate to luminosity and abstraction, the works in the exhibition were all created by the artist in the last year. Sea Change will be accompanied by Manning’s first catalogue from Pace Publishing, which will be available for purchase after the show’s opening, featuring an essay by art historian and writer Ted Barrow as well as images and full-bleed details of Manning’s recent works and projects.

Manning—whose work can be found in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland, the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, the X Museum in Beijing, and the Yuz Museum in Shanghai—is known for her lyrical, atmospheric paintings that blur boundaries. Deeply informed by her experiences living in Alaska and Mexico during her childhood, the artist’s works situate genderless, anonymous, spectral figures within sweeping landscapes that capture the light and environments specific to those locations. The tangled bodies in her theatrical, stage-like compositions move through dreamlike spaces, recalling the grand 19th-century history paintings of Winslow Homer and Gustave Courbet. Using pigments and painting techniques employed by Old Masters like Johannes Vermeer, Manning applies layers of oils to her canvases, producing a radiant, energetic effect that seems to refract light across the surfaces of her works.

The artist’s forthcoming exhibition with the gallery has been conceived as part of a tour throughout East Asia that includes presentations at the X Museum in Beijing, Pace in Hong Kong, and an expanded iteration at Space K Seoul, opening in August. The show at Pace’s gallery in H Queen’s will feature five large-scale paintings and a group of related drawings. She produced this body of work following her monumental collaboration with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon for the New York City Ballet in 2023. Wheeldon wanted to “form a dance within her world,” and Manning created large-scale backdrops and costumes for his production From You Within Me. Immersed in rehearsals for the ballet, she made works that investigate the ways that individual marks can hint at tempo, oscillation, and perspective, cultivating a balance between implication and motion.

In Manning’s own words, the “volume has been turned up” with respect to velocity and vibrancy in this new body of work. Her rapid brushstrokes suggest both a push and a pull, wherein the abstract elements that coalesce into figurations also threaten to obliterate the narrative scenes they compose. It’s these precarious, delicate moments of cohesion that Manning is most interested in capturing on canvas, where abstraction is forged from figuration in motion and vice versa. Rife with shapeshifting bodies and forms, her new works seem to exist in a state of constant flux.

Among the paintings in Manning’s show at Pace in Hong Kong is Metronome (2023), a composition that reflects her uncanny ability to convey a sense of change and open-endedness in a two-dimensional, static medium. Here, figures morph in and out of different identities and time stamps amid the external chaos of their environment. With Undertow (2023), the most abstract painting in the exhibition, Manning meditates on the simultaneous abundance and violence of the natural world, imbuing her brushstrokes with a tangible mercuriality. Each of the painted works in the Hong Kong presentation invites engagement and exchange with the viewer, who must dance between the artist’s marks to decipher hidden realms within her canvases.

Manning’s works on paper included in the show are gestural studies of motion that shed light on the draftsmanship in her paintings, which she considers drawings rendered in oil. She created this group of sketches in real time as she watched rehearsals for Wheeldon’s New York City Ballet production last year, and each of these 12 works is named for a dancer in that cast. These drawings are staccatoed mappings of movement; poised between abstraction and figuration, they are odes to a specific time and place of the performing body.


Featured Works

Kylie Manning, Jetsam, 2023, oil on linen, 70" × 90" (177.8 cm × 228.6 cm)
Kylie Manning, Undertow, 2023, oil on linen, 70" × 90" (177.8 cm × 228.6 cm)
Kylie Manning, Metronome, 2023, oil on linen, 80" × 96" (203.2 cm × 243.8 cm)
Kylie Manning, Christopher, 2023, graphite on washi, 12-5/16" × 17" (31.3 cm × 43.2 cm), sheet 17-7/8" × 22-5/8" × 1-1/2" (45.4 cm × 57.5 cm × 3.8 cm), frame

Installation Views

Portrait of Kylie Manning

About the Artist

Kylie Manning is a painter based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is heavily informed by the atmospheres, latitudes, and colours present in the various geographies of her childhood. Using brushwork, light, and balance, the artist captures moments within her personal history, such as her time working on Alaskan seining vessels and memories of surfing in Mexico.

Learn More