Manuel, through her masterful manipulation of color, invites us into a realm where the boundaries between perception and emotion blur, and where the canvas becomes a locality for skeptical inquiry. The new show at the Kate Oh Gallery, visible this April on the Upper East Side of New York City, exemplifies her organic yet abstractly challenging oeuvre that carefully asks the question: what is postmodern organic art theory, really?

This is indeed a well-deserved question, for central to Manuel's oeuvre is her ingenious use of color. Each hue, each shade, is fractally imbued with significance beyond its mere visual appeal. Looking closely, though, Manuel's palette is not merely a selection of pigments; physically, as if arriving from a place beyond language, it actually constitutes a language within the matrix of a medium through which she communicates the ineffable.

And it is exactly through this careful application of colors that someone as elusive as Manuel orchestrates a symphony of physical sensations that has the capacity to evoke emotions that transcend the boundaries of the canvas.

Hence, looking at this comprehension of a canvas, we might question whether the notion of "less is more" is itself a construct rooted in subjective preferences and cultural biases. Who is to say that a minimalist approach to color is inherently superior to a more maximalist one? Is it not possible that the richness and complexity of human experience defy such simplistic dichotomies? Only through investigations of a new philosophy can we hope to ever reframe such a doubt.

This postmodern doubt about color finds expression in another of Manuel's most striking techniques: her manipulation of non-traditional media, evoked from the physicality of the medium itself. In her hands, colors cease to be static entities confined to particular regions of the canvas. Experimenting with materials such as stone, eggshell, silk, and clay, Manuel transcends the traditional boundaries of canvas and pigment, imbuing her works with a tactile and sensory dimension.

Precisely through the juxtaposition of these natural elements with acrylic on canvas, Manuel creates a dialogue between the organic and the synthetic, inviting viewers to contemplate the interplay between human intervention and the raw materials of the earth. Each de facto inclusion of stone, eggshell, silk, or clay adds texture and depth to Manuel's compositions, blurring the distinction between two- and three-dimensional space. In this synthesis of materials, Manuel not only expands the aesthetic possibilities of her art but also prompts us to reconsider our relationship with the natural world.

Yet, perhaps the most profound aspect of Manuel's work lies in her ability to demonstrate how less can indeed be more. Despite the apparent simplicity of her compositions, each object offers a complex and multi-layered experience. A single hue, when placed in dialogue with its surroundings, becomes a nexus of meaning and rationality exquisitely made irrational.

It is via this economy of means that Manuel demonstrates the power of a limited palette to open up a world of boundless interpretation and feeling. By eschewing the temptation to overwhelm the senses with a riot of colors, she instead invites us to engage in a more intimate dialogue with her work, and to ponder the bigger questions of our times -- is color actually a maximalist or minimalist construct? In her space of restraint, where each color carries weight and significance, the viewer is granted the freedom to seek answers with their own interpretations and emotive stirrings.

(By Art Curation International)