While widely regarded as a minimalist, Lee Ufan prizes an economy of gesture or representation in search of the maximum possible effect. This exhibition features his most recent series of Dialogue paintings and watercolours, composed of singular sweeps of paint built up over an extended period of time and incorporates evocative primary colours - blue, red and green - to the artist’s traditional grey palette. The work’s detail reveals a lack of pretension as the paintwork is thick at the top where the brush first makes contact with the canvas, forming a ridge that gradually becomes lighter, a methodology characteristic of Lee’s work that is both pure and true. It is uncontrived and reflects his typically intense concentration on only the essential elements.
In mixing finely crushed stones with his paints, Lee physically connects his two-dimensional works to his three dimensional sculptural works, which here includes an installation of a large rock placed in front of a blank virgin canvas, each element willing the other into a relationship. The work purposefully foregrounds the non-productive space rather than one singular self-contained object. Its artistic merit is in the defocusing of the artist’s agency, rather evoking the resonant relationship a work of art has with the outside: the viewer, the components and their surroundings. Hence, the title Relatum for the sculptures, denoting objects between which a relation exists. Lee barely manipulates his materials, instead allowing the contact between them to speak volumes. To the same end, Lee has placed another large stone onto a steel plate outside in the gallery’s courtyard, a site-specific interaction with the garden in its precise arrangement, exploring the concept of spatiotemporal relationships. The close proximity of either object creates what he calls “an open site of power in which things and space interact vividly”.
25 March - 9 May 2015
27 Bell Street
London NW1 5DA
Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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