Seeing the Light in Sargy Mann’s ‘Little Sitting Room’ Paintings

Olivia Lang, Frieze Magazine, February 21, 2019

"Mann began what he sometimes called the ‘Little Sitting Room’ or ‘Infinity Pool’ paintings in 2010 and worked on them for the last five years of his life. He’d gone completely blind five years before, when a detached retina in his left eye put paid to the final vestiges of his vision. His sight, never good, had diminished incrementally over decades, starting in 1972 with the diagnosis of cataracts. Though it should be catastrophic for a painter, there were compensations to diminished vision. For a start, he had to look far harder than most people, to puzzle out all the components of a scene – depth, colour, geometry, light – rather than relying on the misleading instantaneity of so-called perfect sight, the simplifications and frank corruptions the brain makes out of constantly seething visual data."

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