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Maelee Lee
Feminine and Strong

October 5 ~ 26, 2009
Opening Reception: 10/9 (Fri.) 6 ~ 8 pm

Portrait of Shoe, Installation

Maelee Lee's recent work comprises photography, video and sculptural installations in a post-minimalist style that embraces simplicity yet has multi-dimensional content. These media link Lee to the Post-minimalists who in their anti-formalist enterprise sought to redefine art adopting an anti-painting stance. Lee's photographs and sculptures usher in a new direction because of their naturalism that remains nevertheless conceptual. Whether working with photography, video projection or sculpture, Lee's focus remains conceptual as the real substance of her work. While Minimalists like Judd and Serra in their embrace of purist aesthetics declared painting dead for its inability to be a literal sculpture object without reference to the real world, Lee plays with space rendering it illusionistic thus is antithetical to their enterprise. Not only do her works contain references to nature but they are not literal objects of sculpture being photographs. It is precisely because of these references to the real world that Lee's photographs are not like the sterile silent cubes of the minimalists, but are warm and inviting.

Lee has revitalized art by reintegrating it into life creating such sculptures as her Red Pumps shown in conjunction with her photographs. The artist explores the visual process by creating perceptual ambiguity so that when looking at her installations one can never really be sure of their spatial relationship to their surroundings. This constant questioning of viewed space results in ambivalence that maintains retinal dynamics so that, Lee's work cannot so easily be placed into any one particular category or style. Her Red Pumps are as huge and monumental as one of Claes Oldenburg's objects, does this mean that she's a pop artist? Her purist rendering of space is like Judd’s; as is her multiplication of objects. Do these tendencies make Lee a Minimalist? And, Lee's engagement with spatial ambiguity relates her work to Op Art. One thing for sure, conceptually Lee is close to the minimalist Sol LeWitt, who in 1965 wrote, "the idea of concept is the most important aspect of the work.... The idea becomes the machine that makes the art."

For More Information: Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos, Exhibitions Director, or Michael Yuge, Administrative Director Please call 212-645-2800 or 212-691-7978.


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