NYC Parks & Recreation and CYNTHIA-REEVES PROJECTS, in cooperation with the Union Square Partnership, is pleased to debut LOTUS, by Seoul-based artist, Jaehyo Lee, in New York Cityʼs Union Square Park.
Located at the parksʼ south eastern triangle, the exhibition will be on view May through October, 2013. This is the galleryʼs second public art exhibition with Parksʼ Art in the Parks program. A ribbon-cutting event is scheduled for Friday, May 3 at 5:30 pm to inaugurate this six month long exhibition, weather permitting. Please visit the website for event confirmation.
Lee exhibits internationally, with recent works included at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Saatchi Gallery, London; and the Sungkok Museum, Korea, among others. LOTUS follows Leeʼs signature use of Korean big-cone pine. For this work, the artist meticulously carved, shaped, burned the individual wood elements attached to a steel armature that stretches 18 feet high.
Leeʼs sculptures have caught the attention of international audiences, including the recent viewers of Saatchi Galleryʼs summer exhibition, Korean Eye, which premiered during the Olympic Games, and originated at the Museum of Arts and Design in 2011 – 2012. His conspicuous use of natural materials and steel remain his primary media, including hardwoods, bamboo, and leaves; he also incorporates steel spikes in an unusually complicated process of elegant patterning in charred wood. The artist has gained an international reputation for innovative sculpture, in both functional and non-functional approaches, and has been the subject of numerous auction highlights, including the recent Sothebyʼs New York private sale, Hunters & Gatherers.
Rather than dismantling each sculptural component and creating a hybrid aesthetic, Leeʼs works emphasize his materialsʼ essential nature and inherently complex texture. The artist writes: “Those who make a hard living may be the ones who make this world a beautiful place. I certainly do not have the power to create ʻbeautyʼ. I just hope to reveal the beauty in what is usually seen but not noticed. If one looks closely, one sees how beautiful simple elements can be.” Often minimalistic, his typically monumental work centers around circular motifs and issues of gravity. The trajectory of his current work reveals Leeʼs refined approach to nature - muse to his ideological and spatial concerns.
Of the artistʼs work, art critic Jonathan Goodman wrote in Sculpture Magazine: “Allowing the materials to speak to him, [Lee] builds self-contained worlds that mysteriously communicate with their outer surroundings...Texture is deeply important to Lee, who emphasizes the façade of the wood, crosscut and planed to reveal the character of the grain. The surface thus reveals the character of its making, becoming indicative of the creative process and holding interest by itself.” (Sculpture Magazine, The Possibilities of Nature, May, 2009)
Lee graduated from Hong-Ik University in 1992, and is the prizewinner of the Hankook Ilbo Young Artists Award in 1997; the Osaka Triennial Award in 1998; the Kim Sae-Jung Award in 2000; the Sculpture in Woodland Award in 2002; and the Japan Hyogo International Competition Award in 2004.
His work is included in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea; Hyogo Prefecture Museum of Art Japan; Metropolitan Art Museum, South 3 Korea; Busan and the Osaka Contemporary Art Center, Japan. Most recently, his work was included in the Museum of Art and Designʼs inauguration exhibition, Second Lives, and was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, Montgomery, AL. An upcoming solo retrospective at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington, is scheduled for 2015.
Jaehyo Lee has exhibited with CYNTHIA-REEVES since 2008. For more information on the artist, please visit us online at Cynthia-reeves.com or call: 212.714.0044. High resolution images available upon request.