With colored pencils and confessional phrases, Amanda Manitach’s art speaks to many

Edgy and contemporary, with a touch of Victorian Gothic, artist Amanda Manitach’s work taps into a vein of longing, a kind of hide-and-seek sensibility, nurtured by social media, where connection is sought through self-revelation, liking, lurking, and following.

With countless marks of colored pencil, Seattle artist Amanda Manitach outlines achingly candid, witty, or poetic phrases against romantic, filigreed backdrops. Clean block letters announce things like, “STILL DRINKING ABOUT YOU” and “EVERYTHING IS FINE.”

But everything is not fine. There is ghostly evidence of underwriting and whispers of deterioration. The patterns fade into the white of the paper, like evaporating smoke or the blurred edge of a photographic vignette. Color seeps from the letters, like rust stains accumulated over years.

Although the phrases — conjured up and gathered by Manitach — and her painstaking mark-making seem profoundly personal, the art speaks to many. Recently, I attended the opening of Manitach’s exhibition at Winston Wächter Fine Arts with my college-age daughter and her friend, where we talked with a variety of people. Over and over, people nodded and laughed in recognition of the sentiments expressed, as if the confessions of love and angst were their own.

EXHIBITION REVIEW

Amanda Manitach: “Dirty”

10am – 5pm, Mondays – Saturdays through January 10, Winston Wächter Fine Art, 203 Dexter Ave N., Seattle (206-652-5855 or seattle.winstonwachter.com)

Edgy and contemporary, with a touch of Victorian Gothic, Manitach’s work taps into a vein of longing, a kind of hide-and-seek sensibility, nurtured by social media, where connection is sought through self-revelation, liking, lurking, and following.

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It’s no wonder the Seattle-based artist has enjoyed a lot of success lately. Between the current show at Winston Wächter, prepping work for December’s Pulse Miami Beach Contemporary Art Fair, and her role as Visual Arts Editor for City Arts Magazine, Manitach has been busy.

Labor, in fact, is part of her work. In her artist statement, Manitach writes, “I see my work as a task of both consciously and subliminally sorting out the experience of a female trying to make expressive marks — a task that has found uncanny resonance for me with the history of female hysteria. I am fascinated by history, art, the politics surrounding the female…

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