“I think the world is in need of more creativity in all facets of life. I think it helps most things when we think outside of conventionality.” – Emma Kohlmann
“Emma Kohlmann ― her name certainly comes up as one of the notable artists in recent years. Enveloped in an exotic atmosphere, her individualistic sense of style where she freely dons peculiar clothes is charismatic, and undoubtedly many readers have seen her on SNS and in other media. Her works― which are known to depict abstract human forms that question the status quo of gender and sex values― in the blurry lines in sumi-ink, in the tones of brilliant watercolors, in spite of being pop art something akin to anxiety or grief is palpable, and at a glance there are aspects that feel heavy, and gently reverberate into the depths one’s heart. What she offered for Positive Messages was The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, an essay penned by Ursula K. Le Guin, well known even in Japan as the author of the Chronicles of Earthsea, and artwork related to that essay. Her works harmonized with Le Guin’s essay, and when you read the essay again your interpretation becomes ever more clear; and taking a fresh look at her works after reading Le Guin’s words causes a change in the imagery, and you can appreciate a sort of mutual interaction between them.” – Nigh Magazine
Born in 1989, in the Bronx, NY. She graduated with her B.A. in 2011 from Hampshire College. Currently, she lives and works in Florence, Massachusetts. From 2020 she has participated in the Visiting Artist program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Besides her creations centered on paintings employing mainly watercolor and sumi ink, she also self-publishes artist’s books and zines. Her works have been on display throughout the world at solo exhibitions at Jack Hanley Gallery (NYC), V1 Gallery (Copenhagen), Eighteen (Copenhagen), Nationale (Portland), Kit Gallery (Tokyo), group exhibitions at the Portland Museum of Art, MOCA Tucson, Stems Gallery (Brussels) and New Release (NY), and permanent collections at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Kohlmann is part of our current exhibition Lampadephoria.