Open now: 'Margaret Lee: Life Lines' at Jack Hanley Gallery

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Open now: 'Margaret Lee: Life Lines' at Jack Hanley Gallery
Life Lines, Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sometimes lines are drawn that mark us off distinctly from everything else. This delimitation is deceptive. What once appeared solid and impenetrable reveals a shakiness, bringing to light that which was once believed to be forgotten. Impressions emerge and point to the indissoluble bonds that keep us from falling out of the world, away from untenable illusions and closer toward that which can be grasped. - M.L., NYC 2024.

Paintings have held prominent positions within Margaret Lee’s artistic practice, often incorporated within larger sculptural installations, playfully manipulating the object and image relationship. For her 5th solo exhibition at Jack Hanley Gallery, the paintings on view need no sculptural substantiation.

A persistent yellow radiates across the canvases, marking a distinct palette shift away from the pink and more severe black, white and silver paintings produced between 2019-2023. This seemingly simple color transition was not without its difficulties and forced a letting go of certain attachments resulting in the painter’s hand resisting a repetition of gesture, line and form. Newness and innovation were not the goal but rather a reorientation of relations within the mind and thus a reorientation on the canvas. Lines once crucial in holding together previous compositions now appear broken. Non-representational forms fall off the edges. An anxious hand produces shaky marks and accidental drips. While one might assume these are worrying signs, the frenetic movement through each canvas is reassuring. Things are not stable nor are they stagnant. Being unconcerned with resolution isn’t the same as carelessness. Rather, it is a reminder to revive efforts to exist in the world by some means or other.

Margaret Lee has organized and exhibited work at numerous venues domestically and internationally including Misako & Rosen Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, The Windows, Barneys, New York, Concentrations HK: Margaret Lee, curated by Gabriel Ritter, Duddell’s x DMA, Hong Kong, China, Made in L.A, 2014 Hammer Museum Biennial, Los Angeles, 2013 Biennale de Lyon, de, da do...da, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Caza, curated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Bronx Museum, New York, NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, New Pictures of Common Objects, curated by Christopher Lew, MoMA PS1, New York, and Looking Back, White Columns, New York, amongst others.

In 2009, Lee founded the artist-run space 179 Canal and is the Co-founder of the gallery 47 Canal. Public collections with works by the artist include: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, Dikeou Collection, Aïshti Foundation, Rubell Family Collection, and the Astrup Fearnley Museet.

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