What is a line? The question is naive. A line, real or imaginary, signifies a path, a continuous point, a moving mark. It designates both a reality and its figure: the line of a mountain, for contour; the line of a body, for its shape; the line of water, for a demarcation. The line operates in everyday life with such efficiency that we forget that this simple word not only organizes our perception, but determines our basic rapports between front and back, deep and shallow, in and out, near and far, on and off, up and down, past and present, today and tomorrow. Our physical geography, our relations to nature, and even the whole domain of our culture, are topographies structured by lines. Kal Mansur's work figures an artist's apprehension.
—V.Y. Mudimbe, On African Fault Lines (2013)
For Pulse Miami, Kal Mansur has created sculptures — non-specific objects — which are a simultaneous homage to and departure from minimalist traditions. The series combines gestural drawing with multiple machining processes. Mansur composes first with tape, creating a drawing built upon strokes that, unlike pencil drawings, do not bear the memory of an erased line. The composition is then carved into a solid acrylic slab. The incisions are filled with pigmented epoxy, layers of color built up millimeters at a time. Using a carving machine, Mansur exposes deeper layers by excavating into the slab, creating steppes that are only visible upon closer inspection. Shadows of invisible lines are cast on the wall, as the artwork's incline creates optical effects. The conceptual underpinnings are vast, as Mansur moves past diffusion as a compositional element, and explores how transparency can carry unexpected consequences.