Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann is the most conventional of the five participants, at least in her choice of media. The Washington artist paints, usually on paper and often on a mammoth scale, with acrylic pigment and sumi ink. The ink links Mann’s style to historical Chinese painting, as does her nature imagery. Yet the crowded, layered pictures are mostly abstract. Mann begins by pouring pigment to make random patterns, which are then amended and extrapolated, partly by collage.
That synthesis — of flowing and improvisational with hard-edged and precise — yields tableaux that are dynamic and distinctive. The two Mann panoramas in Empirical Evidence — the larger almost 12 feet wide — are among the show’s highlights.