Editor’s Pick: Emma Kohlmann

With Fire, I Love, Emma Kohlmann’s new exhibition at New York’s Silke Lindner, shows a series of new paintings with individually pyrographed frames. Visually informed by a variety of cultural references encompassing Greek and Roman mythology, modern painting history, folk art and DIY punk ephemera, Emma Kohlmann’s paintings manifest a cosmos in which a recurring set of characters inhabit their realm with a naturalness that is both poignant and comical. Her figures’ unique facial expressions, often seductive, curious, dreamy, sinister and serene all at once, equally possess a simplicity and depth that is key to Kohlmann’s larger interplay of form and content.

Stylistically naive and folksy, the absence of perspectives and lack of relational scales translates the egalitarian belief system Kohlmann’s practice is rooted in. Considering not only human beings, but every living organism, a sense of togetherness and community is palpable throughout her work: entangled couples gather inside a giant blossom, performing dances behind plants’ leaves while a group of naked figures uses joint efforts to hold up the burdens of a heavy, drooping flower. Little angels, demons, horses and birds hover in front of a colossal red figure bent over on knees and elbows. Enigmatic, she looks straight through the viewer, channeling the dreamlike scene in a single gaze.

With Fire, I Love is on view at Silke Lindner, New York until February 18th.

All images courtesy the artist and Silke Lindner. Photo credit: Chris Herity