University of Connecticut Art Gallery curated by Camilla Cook
In a new series of large-scale paintings, Michael Manning reincarnates and contemporizes the stories of ancient myth. Appreciating the diversity of these stories and their message of bravery and altruism, Manning paintings function as "new mythologies." While retaining a universal significance and meaning, these works comment on current events and issues Manning takes as his point of departure Joseph Campbell's notion that the journeys of all archetypal heroes share a fundamental structure. Manning's painted figures follow the traditional hero pattern, except that traditional deeds and adventures have been replaced with contemporary actions and common, everyday events. The end results are narrative paintings that use allegorical images to show everyday events as equivalent to the actions of a classic mythological hero.