Exhibitions

Past
Image: Merlin Carpenter
London  22 November 2019 - 18 January 2020

Merlin Carpenter

Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of new paintings by Merlin Carpenter. The show considers the hand-painted object’s capacity to engage with and complicate the language and history of the readymade.

Merlin Carpenter’s work grapples with the potential relationship between painting and the readymade; and the possibility of collapsing the ideas that distinguish these practices. Since the 1990s the readymade object has been an integral line of inquiry in Carpenter’s work; and in more recent years he has presented a number of readymade works that hang flat on the wall like a painting. Carpenter’s new hyperrealistic paintings push the boundaries of painting into the discourse of the readymade in another way: the five works are so highly finished that they appear like a product, delivered from elsewhere. In this stark new presentation, Carpenter encourages the audience to both critique the authenticity of the paintings and simultaneously accept the role of the artist's hand.

Image: Paulina Olowska: Destroyed Woman
London  11 October - 16 November 2019

Paulina Olowska: Destroyed Woman Curated by Clément Dirié

Paulina Olowska’s exhibition at Simon Lee Gallery, London, constitutes the latest chapter in the artist’s continuous and fertile research into image-making, exploring the ways in which she interprets painting as a vehicle for her idiosyncratic visions and as a facilitator for the exchange of feelings and sensations with the viewer. Spanning the gallery’s three floors, Destroyed Woman puts forward a visual and emotional landscape through which to contemplate the self and the other, provoking our consideration of themes such as womanhood, ageing, the power of tradition and the spectator’s gaze. With this exhibition Olowska invites us to thoroughly re-contemplate representations of women, particularly within an art historical context, and to redefine the purpose of their portraiture; how, she asks, can we reformulate tradition to encompass what has been destroyed and  what needs to be invented?

In Olowska’s latest series of paintings female figures are captured posing, working or acting in diverse backgrounds. For the most part they are represented alone, engrossed in their own thoughts or activities. They watch us, watching them, all of us absorbed in both past and future.

Image: Sigmar Polke: Schüttbilder
London  30 September - 5 October 2019

Sigmar Polke: Schüttbilder

Coinciding with Frieze London, Simon Lee Gallery is proud to announce a presentation of ‘Schüttbilder’, or ‘Pour Paintings’ by influential German artist, Sigmar Polke (1941-2010).

Amongst the most significant figures in the artistic landscape of post-war Germany, Polke was renowned for an experimental approach to painting that pushed the boundaries of both medium and material. The pursuit of chance operation and an irreverent wit are hallmarks of a career that staunchly resisted easy categorisation or alignment with any specific movement or genre. While his multidisciplinary practice encompassed innovations across photography, film, print, drawing, sculpture and performance, it was as a painter that he most thoroughly tested aesthetic convention. Polke’s interrogation of the formal and material traditions of paint led to the invention of alchemical processes and a use of unorthodox substances, which created a constant dialogue between order and disorder, chaos and control, all the while addressing the cultural and historical impact of an abstract practice in two dimensions.

Image: Clare Woods: Doublethink
London  6 September - 5 October 2019

Clare Woods: Doublethink

Simon Lee Gallery is proud to announce Doublethink, the first solo exhibition at the London gallery of British artist Clare Woods, who presents new paintings across both gallery floors.

Over the course of a career spanning more than twenty-five years Woods has developed a unique painterly language that is concerned with the moulding of an image in two dimensions. Her early practice as a sculptor continues to inform her exploration of physical form via the materiality of paint. Although at first concerned with landscape, a preoccupation with the human body and its connection to entropic themes of mortality, degeneration and disease has surfaced in the artist’s work. For Woods, the corporeality of her subject matter and the physical element of the paint are inextricably tangled up in one another. In these new works, Woods employs an often-bilious palette that subverts the viewer’s expectations of her virtuoso application of paint on aluminium. Defamiliarising the everyday, Woods probes the boundaries of figuration to challenge her audience’s experiences of fear, anxiety and the fundamentally destructive impulses of humankind.

Image: En Plein Air
London  19 July - 31 August 2019

En Plein Air

Simon Lee Gallery, London, is pleased to present En Plein Air, bringing together works by artists who seek to reinterpret the artistic tradition of painting outdoors for a contemporary audience. The plein air approach has been prevalent since the mid-19th century, although it gained traction in the 1860s as a practice essential to the development of the Impressionist movement. While artists had long painted from observation to create preparatory sketches or studies, during this period the plein air method led to a naturalistic style that threw out the academic rulebook in the pursuit of formal and compositional spontaneity. The artists included in En Plein Air are united by a desire to refresh the audience’s interpretation of outdoor painting, whether via landscapes or portraits, photography or painting, figuration or abstraction, and in this way, the exhibition explores scenes of the outdoors in relation to contemporary studio practice.

Image: Marilyn Minter
London  6 June - 13 July 2019

Marilyn Minter

Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present the European premiere of New York-based artist Marilyn Minter’s video work My Cuntry ’Tis of Thee (2018). This is the artist’s debut exhibition with the gallery and her first solo presentation in the UK in thirty years.

Image: Mel Bochner: Exasperations
London  5 June - 13 July 2019

Mel Bochner: Exasperations

Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of new paintings on velvet by American artist Mel Bochner. This is the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.

For nearly 60 years Bochner’s intellectual and material analysis of painting, photography and sculpture has yielded ground-breaking works that explore the intersection of linguistic and visual representation. As a leading figure within the conceptual and post-minimal art movements of the 1960s, he experimented in complicating the relationship between image and language. 

Image: Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo: Argo
London  4 April - 1 June 2019

Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo: Argo

Simon Lee Gallery, London is pleased to present a series of new paintings by Indonesian artist Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo. In these works, he pours volcanic ash and resin on plexiglass to create abstract compositions profoundly connected with his homeland. This will be the artist’s first solo show in the UK since 2010.

Image: Dexter Dalwood: What is Really Happening
London  1 - 30 March 2019

Dexter Dalwood: What is Really Happening

Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Dexter Dalwood, his second to be held in the London gallery.

‘In this modern world where everything plays out fast and it plays out in the open at incredible speeds and just when it seems like we are all in on it and interconnected….’

― NBC news anchor intro.

Dalwood’s paintings celebrate and interrogate the history of the medium. They demonstrate an awareness of the continued significance of painting as a means of communicating the ways in which we experience our everyday existence. He crafts narratives of memory that bring together the past, present and future in a single image, forging a bridge between our interpretation of what has already come to pass and that which has yet to happen.

Image: Metal
London  17 January - 23 February 2019

Metal

Simon Lee Gallery, London is pleased to present Metal, a group exhibition of sculptures in metal produced between 1968 and 1990. The exhibition comprises works created by some of the most prominent and innovative artists of the twentieth century, pioneers of the Minimalist and Arte Povera movements. The exhibition links together artists working in industrial materials such as aluminium, iron, and steel, who challenge the viewer’s relationship to space through various methods of intervention, proposing unexpected ways of seeing and interacting.

Image: Josephine Pryde: In Case My Mind Is Changing
London  30 November 2018 - 12 January 2019

Josephine Pryde: In Case My Mind Is Changing

Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new photography, together with some models in 3D, by Josephine Pryde, her second to be held in the London gallery.

Image: Mai-Thu Perret
30 November 2018 - 12 January 2019

Mai-Thu Perret

As part of its Viewing Room programme, Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to present a solo presentation of ceramic works by gallery artist Mai-Thu Perret. Known for her multi-disciplinary practice that engages installation, performance, sculpture, textile, and the written word, Perret derives inspiration from such avant-garde art movements of the twentieth-century as Dada, Constructivism and Bauhaus design, exploring the ways in which modernist form and artisanal genres, including craft, fashion and theatre, collide.