Timothy Lee "Nihilphilia'
Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by London based, Timothy Lee. For ‘Nihilphilia’ - (literally translated as ‘a love of nothing’) Lee has made a series of new paintings that further explore his interest in combining intense themes with fragile materials.
At first glance, the subjects of Lee’s highly contrasting, almost monochrome paintings appear to be disfigured portraits and delicately decaying still lifes. However, each composition is in fact constructed from memory alone, and attempts to create a balance between extreme polarities such as life and death, beauty and decay.
Instead of choosing to replicate an existing view of reality, Lee, chooses to draw from his own visual memory, thus questioning the notion of perceived reality in painting. In Lee’s still lifes, flowers appear to spill out from a dark background, each rendered as intricately as the next yet lacking the vitality and tenderness we usually associate with traditional flower painting. Likewise, in The Matador, the portrait’s facial features are replaced with hollow malleable space that appears as if forming and reforming in front of us.
While Lee's choice of subjects pays homage to Dutch masters such as Franz Hals and Bartholomeus van der Helst, his use of ink on rice paper references his cultural heritage, specifically methodologies taken from traditional oriental art.
‘Nihilphilia’ follows the success of ‘Visitations’ at 9 Club Row Project. Since graduating from Leeds University, Lee has already exhibited widely in London, Singapore, Toronto, and Amsterdam and gained his first US solo show in New York’s Gallery Nine 5.
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