New Vision: Ballpoint Drawings by Il Lee

When 22 May 2010 - 26 Sep 2010
Where Crow Collection of Asian Art
2010 Flora Street
Dallas, TX 75201
United States
Enquiry 214-979-6430

Il Lee, BL-095, 2008, Ballpoint pen on canvas.  Courtesy of artist and Art Projects International New York

May 22 – September 26 2010

Press Release:

The Crow Collection of Asian Art is pleased to announce New Vision: Ballpoint Drawings by Il Lee. The exhibition marks the first Dallas museum exhibition for Il Lee, a Korean-born New York artist best known for his historically grounded, innovative work using ballpoint pen. The New Vision exhibition, housed in LinkAsia – the newly dedicated gallery for contemporary work – will include eight large-scale works and 50 small works on paper created from 1997 – 2010. The largest of the works is a monumental and visually arresting work entitled BL-095 (2008), created exclusively with ballpoint pen on a 7-foot by 12-foot canvas. One noted art historian described the work as a “phenomenal” achievement.

Immediately striking is the great sense of depth conveyed through Il Lee’s masterful application of a single color of ballpoint pen onto a surface of canvas or paper. Lee creates massive forms on equally large canvases and repeatedly experiments in countless smaller drawings with various backgrounds and integrations of line work and color. In exploring the language of modernism, Lee has moved through minimalistic representation of line and form to a more abstracted language of kinetics. In recent series, Lee’s massing of looping, energetic lines have given way to more angular, interrupted and urgent styles of mark making. After more than 30 years of working steadily and developing his craft, Lee has emerged as a vital force in the contemporary art world.

Critically acclaimed and widely exhibited, Il Lee’s ballpoint pen work has been the subject of a retrospective at the San Jose Museum of Art and solo exhibitions at the Queens Museum of Art and the Vilcek Foundation in New York. His work also has been featured at the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Art and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea. Born in Seoul, Korea in 1952, Il Lee earned his B.F.A. in painting from Hong-Ik University in Seoul in 1976 and his M.F.A. in painting in 1982 from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

New Vision: Ballpoint Drawings by Il Lee has been organized in collaboration with Art Projects International, New York. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Edward Leffingwell.

About The Crow Collection:

The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art is located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas. The Crow Collection is a permanent set of galleries dedicated to the arts and cultures of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. LinkAsia, the newly dedicated gallery space at the Crow Collection, presents art works that provide a contemporary global path to understanding Asia through unique perspectives and mediums. The museum offers a serene setting for both quiet reflection and learning, which spans from the ancient to the contemporary.

About API:

Art Projects International is a New York gallery recognized as a leader in exhibiting and developing projects for important contemporary artists from Asia. API began this pioneering work in 1993 and has a long track record of nurturing established artists, bringing new and significant talent to the fore and placing their works in important collections. API’s highly acclaimed and widely reviewed exhibitions and roster of international artists have been prominently featured worldwide in solo and group exhibitions at major art museums and cultural institutions in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

For more information about the exhibition, please visit