curcioprojects is pleased to present Jung Ho Lee’s first solo exhibit ABSTRACTING DECAY since graduating from the Pratt Institute’s MFA program in 2016. Lee’s paintings are dynamic interventions referencing various styles past and present – Art Informel, Abstract Expressionism, Gutai and graffiti.
The underlining theme of this series of paintings is Entropy – a law of nature in which all natural things must constantly move towards decline and disorder; a sense of decay. Lee’s apparently passive mashup of process and styles along with a sense of fluctuating time, carry an equal measure of decay and encapsulated chaos across the canvas approach somewhere between painting and organic matter.
Lee constructs his paintings through a process of multiple layering, first wetting the surface with mineral spirits and then painting with a water-based medium. Due to the spirits, the paint never fully covers the surface creating gestural anti-compositional forms. Additionally, Lee will at times sand down previous layers before adding more layers.
Recently, Lee has added two new layers: using plastic netting as the support instead of canvas and applying a painted grid as a final layer. The netting resembles a skin or hide providing an organic sense which contradicts the grid providing a deliberate structural integrity to the surface initiating a separation of specific features. Through these contradictions – order/chaos, decay/create, formal/gestural – Lee is continuously creating a more intricate and subtle imagery.
Jung Ho Lee was born in New York City, 1984, currently living in Brooklyn and maintaining a studio in New Jersey. He received a BFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago, 2012, before receiving an MFA from the Pratt Institute. Lee participated in residencies at Cite International des Arts, Paris, and Shinjin Art Stay Project, South Korea. Lee has had exhibitions and art fairs in Brooklyn, Chicago, East Hampton, Hong Kong, Milan, New York City, Palm Beach and Seoul.