Martos Gallery is pleased to present Mrs. Thompson’s Mirror, an exhibition by Jennie Jieun Lee, open from May 14 through June 20, 2015 with an opening reception on Thursday, May 14 from 6–8pm. For her first solo show in New York, Lee presents a series of new ceramic masks and vessels paired with wallpaper designed by the artist.
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.
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.
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.