IL WOO LEE: New York State of Mind

When 8 Feb 2011 - 27 Feb 2011
Where White Box Gallery
329 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002
United States
Enquiry 212.714.2347

Courtesy of the artist and White Box Gallery, New York


February 8-27, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 12, 6:00-8:00 pm

*VIP reception: Thursday, February 10 – Doors open 6:30 pm

Press Release:

The U.S. debut solo exhibition of celebrated Korean artist Gil Woo Lee will be on view from February 8th to February 27th at White Box, 329 Broome Street, NY.  The opening reception takes place on Saturday, February 12th. A private VIP reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, February 10th.  An exhibition catalog with essay by Eleanor Heartney is available for purchase.

Widely recognized in Asia, Gil Woo Lee was most recently awarded the Grand Prize at the 14th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2010.  For his first US solo invitational exhibition at White Box, Lee presents his Grand Prize winning work “Dance in Nature” and signature paintings which prominently overlay images of Marilyn Monroe, Barack Obama, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson and various American pop cultural icons with images of Korean traditional dancers, Korean landscapes and New York cityscapes.   These works reference the teaching of the Taoist philosophers Laotse and Chungtze as they derive from the precept that it is our human nature to dance.  Lee utilizes a unique montage painting technique unprecedented in traditional Korean painting, by creating “screens” that are meticulously perforated with incense burned into sheets of Korean hanji paper.  These “screens” when layered over each other produce a composite painting which allow the viewer to see one image through the other and give form to a lens of multiplicity that captures contemporary global visual culture.

“New York State of Mind offers the most complete distillation of Gil Woo Lee’s ideas about the fusion of cultures. Here he brings together images that speak of his own contradictory experiences of a world that oscillates between western materialism, celebrity worship, and commercialism on one hand and an older Asian ideal of spirituality, contemplation and love of nature on the other.  Jagged urban skylines meld with traditional Asian landscapes, while larger than life figures like New York’s Mayor Bloomberg, Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol lose definition as they are treated to the artists dissolving technique.  As the title suggests, this show is meant to present “a New York State of Mind”, but it is a New York of imagination, not fact.” - Eleanor Heartney

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