Both artists mine the material sensibility of the arts and crafts movement to forge works that address historically modernist concerns of the spiritual and unconscious mind. With grotesque aplomb, Brennan’s paintings and Lee’s ceramics emote neurosis, struggle, and achievement, to find elegance on their own terms. Free from the detached cool of post modernist skepticism, both artists celebrate the self, physically at work in the studio, and emotionally in the mind. In contrast to contemporary society’s inward looking, curating and polishing of public personas, Lee and Brennan, refreshingly, present the journey as part of the ultimately “finished” version of self – striking and unique. Working with abstraction by any means necessary, Brennan employs oil, acrylic, silk, paper, spray paint, iridescent medium, Mylar, plastic, wood, photographs, cardboard, pencil, ink, popsicle sticks and varnish. These elements are collected from fellow artists studios, discoveries in his own workplace, art supply and hardware stores. Brennan’s experimental use of these materials drives the work, as each piece finds a home on the picture plane and influences its neighboring marks, strokes and textures. For Jennie Jieun Lee, porcelain forms act almost as canvases for her mask like creations. In her abstracted works Lee uses washes of color along with three-dimensional embellishments to add both weight and levity to her pieces. Departing from her formal training, Lee has created a signature experimental style and approach to color, shape, and mark-making. Layered glazes, drips, and pours borrow from painting, while the energy captured in the works speak to the artist’s personal investment in the material, which feels transformed almost through catharsis reflecting her personal history.
Patrick Brennan was born in Syracuse, New York and now resides in New York City. He studied at Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute and has a BFA from Alfred University. Recent solo exhibitions have been with Halsey McKay, East Hampton and Romer Young Gallery, San Francisco as well as group exhibitons at MOMA / PS1, Galerie Lelong, Nicole Klagsbrun, Monya Rowe Gallery, Zieher Smith, Edward Thorpe, Artist Space and Clifton Benevento, New York; Cooper Cole, Toronto and V1 Contemporary Art Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark. Brennan has been awarded residencies at Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta GA, Burin College of Art, Ireland, and The Experimental Television Center Owego, NY. He is a visiting professor at Alfred University.
Jennie Jieun Lee was born in Seoul, Korea and received a Masters Studio Diploma from the School of Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Her work has been exhibited across the US and internationally, at galleries such as Martos Gallery, New York; Cooper Cole, Toronto, Canada; TSA LA, Los Angeles, USA; Galerie Lefebvre et Fils, Paris, France; and Jacob Bjorn Gallery, Arhus, Denmark. She was recently named a 2015 Artadia award grantee. Lee currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.