Arts Coverage and Review

July 24, 2017

Jennie Jieun Lee’s First NY Solo Show at Martos Gallery

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I first mentioned Brooklyn-based Jennie Jieun Lee last year in a ceramics post, and since then, the in-demand artist is “kiln’n” it with her oddly abstracted masks and vessels that are fast gaining the attention of art influentials and collectors alike.  So it was pretty cool to attend Jennie’s first NY solo show “Mrs. Thompson’s Mirror” at Martos Gallery (where her masks first hung in a group show curated by Eddie Martinez), finally meet her in person, and just catch the good vibrations of this eventful evening.

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Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

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Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

 

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Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

According to the release:

Identifying with ceramicists such as Simon Carroll and Alison Britton, Lee’s work coincides with the history and spirit of abstract painting. Freely thrown layers of clay and glaze are amassed—dripped, overlaid, poured, splattered and sponged—forming a harmonious network of shape,gesture and color. Puddles of pastel pinks, blues and yellows brush up against thick metallic pigments that cinematically spill across the surface like rain.

Entrenched in personal history and introspection the masks and vessels vibrate with visceral emotions ranging from distress and rage to elation and hysteria. These progressions reflect our own movements when looking into a mirror. Clay-formed facial distortions—stuck out tongues, winks, smiles, yawns, and pursed lips—clatter together to beget a vivacious, physical dialogue throughout the gallery.

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Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

Jennie Jiun Lee

Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

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Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

The structure of the exhibition enforces an unrestrained perceptivity and theatricality. The wallpaper hung on the southern end of the gallery operates as backdrop anchoring surrounding parts; its design is a repeated pattern taken from a close up photo of one of the pieces in the show. Vessels and masks restlessly hang on the wallpaper and move throughout the gallery, while others sit on a cascading amphitheatre like structure, each one working as an actor or prop in the artist’s reflective surveying of emotion and reaction.

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Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

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Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

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Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

Jennie Jieun Lee was born in 1973 in Seoul, Korea. Her work has been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad at galleries such as Cooper Cole, Toronto; Galerie Lefebvre et Fils, Paris; Jacob Bjorn Gallery, Arhus and Anonymous Gallery, New York. This summer, she will be in a two-person show at Halsey McKay Gallery in East Hampton, Long Island. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Cheers to Jennie for a fantastic jam-packed opening…and congrats on being named a finalist for the first NY Artadia award and the stylish collab with Rachel Comey.  It’s been an amazing year thus far and I’m certain there’s much much more in kiln to come.  Can’t wait!

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Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

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Jennie Jieun Lee opening at Martos Gallery, Photo – Tony Mangle, Shrimp Peels & Hair

 

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