TL MANN

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TL MANN Explaining Work

The artist speaking of his work.

Day4th Art represents the work of one artist painter, T.L. MANN, and presents it on the enumerated pages below. A personal view on art is largely summarized in the “Review Criteria” section. Works of other artists are reviewed in the “Reviewed Work” section.
T.L. MANN
Born 1954, St. Louis Missouri, U.S.A.

As to the Artist’s Statement

In simple terms, the goal of his work is: « to give the viewer something to think about and add a little color to our lives. » In that which concerns the paintings, the focus of his work for a number of years now, they have taken on materials other than paint. In effect, the feeling of the artist is not to create the image of something but rather to create something in and of itself—and the more materials you use, the more you can do towards this end. Furthermore, this tendency to use, let’s say, whatever is needed rather than to limit yourself in the name of some mystical quest for a ‘singularity’, is emblematic of a core part of the artist’s philosophy, namely, that when asked a question of human import, one must realize, and reply: “It’s a combination of things.”

The work is partially figurative at times but for the most part it is abstract. As to an artist’s statement, or what his work means, the artist says: « What it really comes down to is the following: knowing the meaning behind a work of art is not the main point. What is essential is that a work be good enough to make one stop in front of it and think about what it means… to think a little bit about life perhaps. What else could something with no practical purpose, be for? »

Debut, Initial Impressions


The artist claims to have had no natural aptitude for drawing and painting. According to him he had to learn that which is necessary to respect the technical and aesthetic criteria of art the hard way—often by trial and error. He says: “Ironically, I feel the most important quality of much of my early work is that it does not have the typical look of paintings done by someone who is a naturally gifted illustrator or painter. What makes me say this is my feeling that if the quality of one’s work resides only in this natural aptitude being conveyed, the work falls short of its goal…the work must first of all express something of interest for the viewer and have the necessary emotional impact so that it be felt. And, when an artist tries to express something about life, I would like to think that the expression is coming from someone who has more in the way of life experiences than simply having received a bachelor of fine arts degree due to his drawing talent. In the end, whatever the subject of one’s expression, there must be reason for inspiration, without which, realizing a successful work of art is not possible.”

The Interface Paintings

Poorly InformedAs reported by the artist:

“After doing work on various themes for a number of years, all the while sticking to the guidelines for what I think good art is (« Review Criteria » section) an idea came to me, an idea which all artists hope to have at some point in their life. As I stated in the Review Criteria section, a good work of art should respect certain visual criteria concerning art and definitely show some heart and soul but it doesn’t necessarily have to have any idea behind it of  ‘theoretical’ importance. Nonetheless, the ultimate goal of an artist is to do both, that is to say, to find this idea that you feel is particularly important and to carry it out with the full visual effectiveness alluded to above.”

“While doing my first « interface » painting I felt I was struck with such an idea, which surprised me, for I thought this would never really happen to me. In fact, as I stated in this aforementioned « Review Criteria » section, such an idea is not mandatory for good art, and moreover, it is even to be avoided if the idea compromises the visual interest of your work, the visual interest being, afterall, the primary goal of visual art. This having been said, I feel such an idea struck me one day and the resulting work can be seen in the « Interface Paintings ». Since this work and exhibition, complementary work, equally important according to the artist, referred to as “The B.S. Paintings”, has been completed and exhibited, again in Paris. For this work, click to The B.S. Paintings.

T. L. MANN's EntrancePhoto of T. L. MANN entering the gallery/exhibition of his Interface Painting work—next to the chair that represents a physical transition between us and…, well, better you check this ‘out-there’ stuff out there for yourself—in the book below:
Books to the different exhibitions and their work are on their respective pages. To download the Interface Paintings book (format PDF) and a complete explanation of this work: Book_TL MANN_English
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