Jungjin Lee: Untitled

When 1 Apr 2014 - 3 May 2014
Where Fridman Gallery
287 Spring St
New York, NY 10013
United States
Enquiry (646) 775 6406

Artist in coversation with Jill Quasha: Friday, April 11, 6:30pm

Trees rooted (American Deserts), things floating (Thing), the body as part of and separate from the landscape (Wasteland), weightless pagodas (Pagodas), and here, repetitive scenes of the water and its surroundings (Untitled). Whatever the subject, Jungjin Lee’s pictures resonate. They are at once calming and disquieting. How do we fit in to this incomprehensible thing we call the universe? We feel empty but not, we’re alone but not, we’re sometimes at the edge, but of what? It has to do with the vastness of nature and the inability to understand time, Lee reminds us. The concept seems concrete because we can ask the questions, but it ends up being abstract because we can’t find the answers. All we can do is to keep seeking, in an effort to find a certain comfort level.

Untitled is a series that Lee did from 1997-1999. They are beautiful scrolls of nature: a tree trunk lying on its side on a beach, the water and the dock above it, the island in the middle of the water. They are the ultimate in craftsmanship: the mulberry paper soaks the ink in and resembles Chinese ink painting; the emulsion that coats the paper softens the tones, like 19th-century photographs; the brush strokes that are applied by hand render every print unique and call to mind abstract painting. Lee abstracts the pictures by repeating each image three times, making us unclear as to what we’re looking at. What we are clear about is the power they have over us: they are quiet but disconcerting; they are delicate but weighty. As in all of Lee’s work, the existence of the thing – whether on its own, reflected in itself, floating in the universe, or abstracted – is presented to us for deeper thought and reflection, and always, exquisitely.

- Jill Quasha -

Jungjin Lee was born in Korea in 1961 and currently lives and works in New York City. Lee’s work has been exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, and Korea. Lee has published many books including Wind (2009), Jungjin Lee (2006), Thing (2005), Desert (2002), On Road/Ocean (2001), Jungjin Lee: Beyond Photography (2000), Wasteland (1997), and Lonely Cabin in a Far Away Island (1988). Her work is included in important collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. Her work is also in many major private collections.

Jill Quasha has been a private photography dealer since 1980, specializing in building collections for individuals and museums. She has authored and produced two books: The Quillan Collection of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Photographs (1991) and Marjorie Content: Photographs (W.W. Norton, 1994).

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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