Kylie Manning

You Into Me, Me Into You

Mar 28 – May 13, 2023
Exhibition Details:

Kylie Manning
You Into Me, Me Into You
Mar 28 – May 13, 2023


Quai des Bergues 15-17


Press Release (EN)
Press Release (FR)


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Above: Kylie Manning, Archipelago, 2023 © Kylie Manning

Marking Kylie Manning’s first presentation in Switzerland, this exhibition was conceived in parallel to her forthcoming prestigious collaboration with the New York City Ballet.

Manning will present a suite of new, highly ambitious paintings in her idiosyncratic style. Where her paintings in New York serve as a landscape for the ballet to be set against, the body of work on display in Geneva brings Manning’s deeply felt cast of characters into centre stage. Manning’s collaboration with Wheeldon will premiere on May 4 at Lincoln Center as part of the New York City Ballet’s annual Spring Gala, with additional performances on May 6, 9, 13, and 16.

Rooted in the wild, sweeping landscapes of her childhood split between Alaska and Mexico – and later, her time spent working on commercial fishing boats – Manning’s large-scale paintings are a riot of colour, energy, and diaphanous figures. Oscillating between abstraction and figuration, Manning deftly moves between delicate washes of colour, precise lines, and heavy impasto in order to bring her figures into being. The tangled bodies move through the dreamlike space in quasi-theatrical compositions that recall the grand history paintings of nineteenth century artists such as Théodore Géricault, Winslow Homer, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Indeed, Manning employs a technique used by Old Master painters including Johannes Vermeer in which countless layers of oils are applied to the canvas’s surface in order to absorb and refract light.

Manning’s confident, powerful paintings hold the tension between the microscopic and macroscopic, drawing viewers into her realm. Reading as neither masculine or feminine, figures emerge from luminous swathes of colour; hands merging into faces, arms into stomachs, guiding the eye around the canvas. As one of five children, ideas of playfulness, intimacy, and chaos within family dynamics are central to Manning’s subject matter. She often uses her own hands as a visual reference in her painting because they are the double of her mother’s, permeating the works with a clandestine tenderness.

Pareidolia, the brain’s tendency to see images in ambiguous patterns – such as a face in clouds – is a central concern of Manning’s approach to painting. In Still be on my feet (2023) the figure’s raised hand contains the subtle hint of a nose and mouth, confounding viewer’s expectations. In this way, Manning leaves interpretation open and subverts the ways in which her paintings are experienced, allowing viewers a closer and more active engagement with the works.

Contrasting warm and cool tones, Manning’s atmospheric paintings conjure the precise sensation of a moment in time. The improvised compositions presented in the exhibition hover on the edge of collapse into abstraction, Manning’s nimble handling of paint bringing them back from the brink. She likens this idea to music and thereby dance, particularly ballet, in which bodies are suspended in air at once vulnerable and unshakeable. Borrowing the title from a line in Verklärte Nacht, the 1896 poem by writer Richard Dehmel that inspired Arnold Schoenberg's string sextet, You Into Me, Me Into You speaks to the ideas of metamorphosis and hope.


Installation Views

Portrait of Kylie Manning

About the Artist

Kylie Manning is a painter based in Brooklyn, New York. Both art teachers, Manning's parents often moved their home in Juneau, Alaska, to various regions in Mexico for extended periods. Manning's work is heavily informed by the atmospheres, latitudes, and colors present in the various geographies of her childhood, where she witnessed the impacts of social, political, and economic change.
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