Mar 1st 2012

Rim Lee

@ kasia kay art projects gallery

215 N. Aberdeen St.

Opening Thursday, March 1st, from 1 March 2012 - 31 March 2012

On view through Saturday, March 31st

CHICAGO, IL: kasia kay art projects gallery is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition for Rim Lee entitled Retrospective. The artist’s work finds primary source material within the realms of performance and photography while her oeuvre focuses on the intensity of human emotions. The exhibition presents Lee’s self-portraits – large oils on canvas and photographs – in which she references certain works of Max Ernst. Lee’s works emphasize a visualization of the conceptual values of inherent human emotions, as a result of which the artist provides a portrayal of human sentiment within the context of art discourse.

Lee’s self-portraits on canvas begin as performances. The process starts by applying black and white paint either onto her or another model’s nude figure, and then having a photographer take pictures of the performance. Both media serve as a vehicle to transform a stylistic female form onto canvas in order to convey her personal message – feelings of intimacy, isolation and suffering. By incorporating the theme of invisibility into her work, Lee stimulates the viewer’s curiosity about the unknown. This obscurity is exemplified in how she captures the movement of the paint on the body, providing a motif of comprehensive feelings that cannot be seen.

Although the “Beyond Max Ernst (penis envy)” photo series are Lee’s tribute to the work of the surrealist artist, she also internalizes this work. An interest in spiritual aspects of life, direct her to search for the innateness of human emotions, a universal truth, one that not only addresses a question of identity, but also: “what is the universal and primitive of the human being?” To Lee, it’s going back to basics.

Adopting Max Ernst’s work elements serve only as a vehicle to help Rim Lee in defining her own story. Following in Ernst’s footsteps, Rim Lee experiments with different techniques and complicated productions. Her aesthetic process involves photographic reproduction, color reduction, collage and duplication, painting in a realistic way, cutting out parts of images and creating 3-D models, and again a photo-work at different angles. Thanks to these tactical steps, Lee arrives at the work where the origin of the separate elements is submerged in the complete enigmatic image. The links of various sources of materials remain invisible.

Rim Lee is becoming an important upcoming internationally Korean artist having recently participated in Korean Eye at MAD, NYC, as well as in Korean Eye-Fantastic Ordinary (2010) and Korean Eye-Moon Generation (2009), both at Saatchi Gallery in London. She has also been nominated in 2010 for the Perrier Jouet Award. Rim Lee participated in The Body, a 2-person exhibition with Claudia Hart at Kasia Kay’s in 2010. The Gallery featured her work at international art fairs – Art Chicago 2010 and 2011, as well as at scope Miami 2011 last December.

For more information please contact Kasia Kay at or call 312-944-0408.

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