1930: Born in Chicago, Illinois
1948: Arrives in New York City
1955: Has first solo exhibition of seed mosaics in New York City
1958: Starts Karl Mann Associates, an international design company
1984: Sells Karl Mann Associates; concentrates solely on creating art
2002: Has 50 Year Retrospective at The Viewing Room in New York City
During his early days in New York, he spent a lot of time at the Frick and the Metropolitan. He didn’t study art and he has no formal training in it. Rather, he is a self-taught artist who is highly sophisticated, knows a lot about all different kinds of art, and is well read. An urbane man, he is at ease in both New York City and rural America. Other urbane, self-taught artists that come to mind are Joseph Cornell, Jean Dubuffet, and Jasper Johns.
John Yau
Art Critic, Arts Editor: Brooklyn Rail


Karl Mann is an absurd relic, a hunter-gatherer. He haunts flea markets as if they were Neolithic campfires. He accumulates improbable objects by the hundreds and thousands, sometimes cramming them into rooms and rooms, and then, with an uncanny sense of aesthetic rightness, he puts everything together, perfectly joined and angled and composed…

Suzi Gablik
Art Critic and Author