Simon Lee Gallery, New York, is pleased to announce a group exhibition featuring new works by Mira Dancy, France-Lise McGurn, and Clare Woods. Connected through an interest in figurative representation, the exhibition brings together three artists who present the body in unconventional ways, each exploring contemporary issues surrounding gender, sexuality, society and politics, as well as addressing the long and problematic history of the male gaze. The submissive female subject typically depicted reclining, seated or kneeling, is one of the most recognizable motifs in art history. As seen in this exhibition, Dancy, McGurn, and Woods respond to this convention through disparate methods presenting the figure as alternatively dominant, vulnerable, playful, or even androgynous, restoring to their subjects a sense of agency and recontextualizing the trope for our contemporary moment.
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to announce a solo exhibition by the London-based Portuguese artist, João Penalva. For his first solo exhibition in New York since 2002, Penalva presents two new series of work based on photographs taken at the São Carlos National Theater, in Lisbon, Portugal, that explore the physical mechanics of theatrical fictions and illusions.
Following a career in dance, João Penalva began his second career as an artist in 1976, working initially as a painter. Today, Penalva is known for making large-scale installations in various media, as well as more intimate works that combine painting, photography, video and found objects, image, text and sound; addressing narrative modes and the relationships between each medium. His storytelling is often fractured, presenting juxtaposed narrative elements, allowing the viewer a latitude of freedom in their interpretation.
Since Last We Met
Simon Lee Gallery, New York, is pleased to present Since Last We Met, an intergenerational group exhibition organized by Debra Singer in collaboration with Simon Lee Gallery.
Since Last We Met centers around an imagined set of metaphorical conversations among artists who experiment with notions of materiality. Blurring boundaries between painting and sculpture as well as between craft and fine art forms, artists from three generations are put in discussion with one another, as they transform found and commonplace objects into new works, alternatively reflecting uncanny sensibilities or an embrace of cultural or gendered embodied identities. With works dating from the 1970s to the present, the show reflects eclectic material sensibilities generated from production methods that are alternatively virtuosic and hand-crafted, on the one hand, or industrial and ad hoc, on the other. Among the artists on view are Anna Betbeze, Elaine Cameron-Weir, Verena Dengler, ektor garcia, Mike Kelley, Eric N. Mack, Robert Morris, Robert Rauschenberg, and Michael E. Smith.
Marnie Weber & Justin John Greene
Simon Lee Gallery, New York, is pleased to present a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Los Angeles-based artists Marnie Weber and Justin John Greene. This occasion marks the first time Weber has exhibited at the gallery’s New York location, as well as the second time for Greene, whose work was previously included in the 2017 group exhibition An Uncanny Likeness.
The exhibition opens a dialogue between two artists of differing backgrounds and generational affiliations, who similarly interrogate latent aspects of the cultural imagination. Both deal in densely populated tableaus depicting archetypal figures engaged in surreal narratives, synthesizezing divergent aesthetic tropes into coherent, unified compositions. Weber draws her point of departure from Depression-era farm country, whereas the setting for Greene, is hyperactive, present-day Los Angeles. Both artists bring the gothic undercurrent resting just beneath the surface of American life to the fore.
Studio Photography: 1887–2019
Simon Lee Gallery, New York, is pleased to present Studio Photography: 1887-2019, a wide-ranging survey exhibition featuring work by a diverse group of artists whose studio-based practices span the past 130 years. During this time period, the establishment of photography as an artistic medium, the ensuing major advancements in image capture technology and the resulting evolution of photography from an intensive, specialized art form to an inescapeable aspect of everyday life, has led to innovative developments in the field of fine art photography.
A broad, cross-generational overview, Studio Photography: 1887–2019 develops multiple long-ranging conversations among artists engaged in specific areas of inquiry. Finding common ground, John Edmonds, Robert Mapplethorpe, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Lionel Wendt all employ the historical genre of portrait photography in order to grapple with issues surrounding representation and identity; however, their strategies are varied and, occasionally, in conflict. Elsewhere Barbara Kasten, Willa Nasatir, and Erin Shirreff present complex, abstracted images through their use of sculpture. Similar to Constantin Brancusi, these artists transcend straightforward documentation of their sculptural work, suggesting a rich interplay between two- and three-dimensional forms.
Angela Bulloch: “…then nothing turned itself inside-out and became something”
Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by British Canadian artist Angela Bulloch at the New York space, for the very first time. The show is comprised of new Night Sky works, prints, sculptures and wall paintings.
Keiji Uematsu: Invisible Force
Simon Lee Gallery, New York, is pleased to announce Invisible Force, an exhibition of new and historical work by Japanese conceptual artist, Keiji Uematsu, his first ever solo presentation in the United States.
Uematsu’s multidisciplinary practice strives to illuminate the invisible relationships between objects and the spaces they inhabit. For more than five decades the artist has carried out the terms of a rigorous manifesto that spotlights the de-familiarization of space and draws his viewers’ attention to the interplay of such natural forces as gravity, tension and material attraction through media including photography, drawing and sculptural installation. Uematsu is often associated with the Japanese Mono-ha group of artists, who rejected traditional methods of representation in favor of an engagement with natural and industrial materials, focusing on the ways in which they interact in space in largely unaltered states. Yet his aesthetic is set apart by his pursuit of Western theory and philosophy, which contributed to his decision to move from Japan to Germany in 1975.
Clare Woods: Password Revolt
Simon Lee Gallery, New York, is pleased to present Password Revolt, a solo exhibition of new works by British artist Clare Woods. This show marks Woods’s first solo exhibition in New York since 2002 and represents a continuation of the themes addressed in her first exhibition, Rehumanizing, at Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong, in 2018.
Fake As More
Simon Lee Gallery New York is pleased to present Fake As More, an exhibition organised by Front Desk Apparatus, New York. The exhibition features historic and contemporary works, each in varying states of repetition, replication, copy and self-copy.
The Tissue of Memory
Simon Lee Gallery New York is pleased to present The Tissue of Memory, a cross-generational group exhibition that considers the gesture and its history, as exemplified by the practices of Kelly Akashi, Robert Mangold, Agnes Martin, Win McCarthy, Monique Mouton, Josephine Pryde, Gary Simmons, Cy Twombly, and Heimo Zobernig.
Simon Lee Gallery New York is proud to present a concise exhibition by American abstract painter Roy Newell (1914-2006), showcasing paintings spanning over half a century of the artist’s career, including works that come directly from the artist’s Estate and that have not previously been shown in New York. Characterized by their multi-layered surfaces, irregular geometrical patterns, obsessive reworking and luminous tonality, the works on display reveal an expressive power that aligns Newell with the Abstract Expressionist movement, of which he was an original member.
Towards Infinity: 1965-1980
Simon Lee Gallery New York is pleased to present Towards Infinity: 1965-1980, an exhibition of major works conceived by artists from across the international scope of the Conceptual art movement, with special focus on the period between 1965 and 1980. During the 1960s and 1970s a disillusionment with pervasive movements in art and the influence of radical European theoretical thought inspired a re-evaluation of long-held attitudes towards formal and material conventions. Taking its title from Giovanni Anselmo’s seminal work of the same name, Verso l’infinito (1969), the exhibition explores the dematerialization of the art object and the dismantling of concepts that had bolstered the definition and context of traditional art-making well into the 20th century. Working across a wide range of media, including photography, film, video, performance and installation, the artists in the exhibition all demonstrated an anti-hierarchical approach to both subject and material that positioned the idea first and form second. All the works presented adhere to the fundamental premise put forward by Anselmo’s Verso l’infinito, challenging the constructs of time and space to create an art that is at once forward-looking, in flux and without limits.
Chris Huen Sin Kan
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present the first solo exhibition in America of new works by Hong Kong-based artist Chris Huen Sin Kan. With no prior sketching or planned outcome, Huen’s large-scale oil paintings are derived from observation of his own life, portraying quotidian experiences through a fresh set of aesthetic strategies. In constructing a constellation of moments that compose his daily life, Huen imbues domestic representational painting with both deft abstraction and the hallmarks of traditional ink painting.
The advent of the home studio in the 1970’s democratized both music and art, with cities like New York becoming significant platforms for the convergence of both practices. Partially due to financial instability brought on by urban decay and political neglect, artists embraced a do-it-yourself mentality which inevitably led to interdisciplinary experimentation. Although this time period was marked by metropolitan downturn, the phenomenal successes of these new wave forms of art making led to their ironic commercialization. Through a diverse group of artists and media, New Pleasure showcases the intersection of music and art after punk rock and investigates how artists have taken direct influence from musicians, have participated within either genre, or have performed as musicians themselves.
Simon Lee Gallery New York is proud to present the first solo exhibition in America of Japanese artist Ryuji Tanaka. A recognized member of two avant-garde groups that are synonymous with post-war Japanese art: the Pan-real Art Association and Gutai Art Association, Tanaka’s legacy lies in his desire to evolve a unique artistic style that is at once experimental, and yet deeply rooted in the traditional Japanese-style painting - nihon-ga.
Simon Lee Gallery New York is delighted to present Metropolis, an exhibition that showcases how artists use the city as a source for materials, subjects, and ideas. The works present how artists can interpret the metropolis in multifarious forms, and illustrate the universality of the city.
Simon Lee Gallery New York is pleased to present Black Feast, an exhibition of works that emerge from experiences of anxiety, protest and trauma, both direct and mediated. Through a wide range of voices, the exhibition will explore parallels between disparate communities and their relationships to personal and collective trauma. The works within Black Feast showcase how an individual’s subjectivity is shaped not only in times of palpable crisis, but also amidst the unseeing violence of passive complacency. Either arising in explicit reaction or illustrative of psychological unrest, an artist’s work can carry a collective sense of emergency.
An Uncanny Likeness
Simon Lee Gallery is pleased to present An Uncanny Likeness, a group exhibition organized by Franklin Melendez and Romain Dauriac in the newly re-launched New York space.
The show revisits the legacy of portrait painting bringing together a diverse group of artists whose practice revolves around the re-drawing of the figure. Eschewing the ‘faithful reproduction’ as convention, these artists pursue emotive distortion and stylistic idiosyncrasies that foreground painting’s relationship to the body. The resulting tableaux are thick with symbolic meaning, conjuring altered states and arcane visions that are as indebted to the virtuosic flourishes of Mannerist painters as the elastic possibilities of present day visualizing techniques.