Emma Kohlmann is a throwback type of artist, making expressive work just feels like an extension of herself, a constant stream of characters and shapes that appear to just flow from watercolor to watercolor, paper to paper. Earlier this year, in perhaps the last time I saw an artist up-close and personal preparing for a solo show with Chandran Gallery in San Francisco, I observed these mellifluous narratives spilling across an exhibition that appears to be the stream of consciousness of an artist in constant creative motion. I’d once read her say, “I try to work in bulk. I try to make as many different variations of the same thing. The intuition part comes in because I trust my hand. And if it doesn’t work I have to try it again.”

I love the idea of an artist being so much about process that intuition is so important. From October 15 – November 14, 2020, Emma Kohlmann’s newest solo show will be on view at Jack Hanley in NYC. Glowing in the Dark is a collection of watercolors on paper, paintings with individually etched frames, ceramics and a composition of nature sounds made in collaboration with sound artist and friend, Sean Duram. The Bronx-born artist now lives and works in Florence, Massachusetts, away from an urban center, and her work balances rural and natural backdrops but with an atmosphere that feels liberated from extraneous stimuli. The figures are free, and in fact, Kohlmann’s whole practice seems free from any sort of traditional confines. The gallery notes that the work is, “Poetic and humorous, tender and bold,” and perhaps most importantly, it feels unfettered and ready to take flight.  —Evan Pricco