Two exhibitions. Lee presents seven large scale drawings and a new video project. His continuing series, Deadly Friends, mines the transient and elusive definitions of masculinity. In the West Room, Doran presents sculptural objects made by everyday materials like clay, cement, paint and ink.
Drawings and Video
Western Project is proud to present the second solo exhibition by Los Angeles artist Patrick Lee. After a successful show in New York last year, the artist will present seven recent large scale drawings and a new video project. His continuing series, Deadly Friends, mines the transient and elusive definitions of masculinity. The artist has met and photographed hundreds of men on the streets of America over the past decade. Like a scientist, Lee has collects images of thousands of examples of physical attributes: scars, facial hair, tattoos, body muscle, talismans, etc. His primary interest is in the artifice off masculinity; the characteristics men acquire for money, sex, power and essential survival. Using photographs, Lee draws his subjects from numerous images; as composites or masks, using subtle or often times not subtle, physical traits and features.
It is Lee's masterful draftsmanship which conveys his understanding of his subjects and the core issue of masculinity. Each image is hand drawn without Photoshop or digital assistance. Akin to a sculptor, the artist invests each facial pore and hair with microscopic detail so the image resonates as a complete emotional picture; an internal and external illumination. In the lineage of Chuck Close and Manet's realism, Lee forges a contemporary investigation of class and gender roles. His conceptual drawings are compelling mirrors of our societal desire for alpha - heroic strength and control. Yet his subjects are not ideal figures for they embody other human traits such as pride, anger, or pain. As complex portraits, Lee's images expose the illusion of 'maleness' as acquired, not necessarily inherent; external gender characteristics as ever changing and adaptable according to need; a game of adaption and replication to an end.
Lee is currently included in, Drawings for the New Century, at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He has exhibited at Ameringer McEnery Yohe in New York, the Francis Young Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina, Maureen Paley Gallery, London, and the Marc Selwyn Gallery in Los Angeles. He is in the collection of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. He is also a recipient of the Peter S. Reed Foundation grant for 2006.
Sculpture and Paintings on Paper
(in the West Room)
Western Project is proud to present the first solo exhibition by Robert Doran in Los Angeles. Relocating from Chicago, the artist recently moved and set up his current studio in Southern California. Doran's sculptural objects and paintings are personal and idiosyncratic works which echo historic precedents such as Ken Price, Karl Wirsum and Robert Gober. His interest in Shaker ideas of utopian living and the architecture of communitarianism clearly add to his use of everyday materials: clay, cement, paint and ink; seemingly a kind of neo folk art steeped in story telling, memory and meditative communication. Doran writes:
"I am interested in the power of objects. The ghosts that haunt the vessel, the architecture, the photograph, give me life. I see the it in things. It can be found in the form or fetish. It is carved or written. It is striking or ugly. But it is always there, in some way or another. The personal pronoun in art.....some of it portrays a character, a setting, or prop, while some of it supplies a form for contemplation.....to communicate universal histories, the impossibility of death, an ancestral purpose, and cross-reference the metaphors of immediacy."
His is a language of reductive forms, patterns or text, in combinations often resembling equations; a cross pollination of cultural imagery and icons. His paintings recall 1970's graphic design and HC Westermann's illustrative drawings. Doran's sculptural objects of cast tree limbs, pumpkins and cowboy hats have a distinctly 'western' appearance yet reference objects such as Hindu lingams, pre historic cave inscriptions, or mythological figures. He is interested in creating new myths from a cosmology of influences; similar to the legend of Orpheus charming the world with his music, Doran looks to unlock the ethers and reveal narratives which surround us all.
Doran graduated from Columbia College in Chicago in 2000, has shown at Bucketrider Gallery and Roots and Culture in Chicago, The Baltimore Art Center in Baltimore, Maryland, galleries across the US including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Portland, and Copenhagen, Denmark and Tokyo, Japan. He has been an artist in residence at Ox-Bow School of the Arts in Saugatuck, Michigan, Bethanien Kunstlerhaus, Berlin, Germany and Columbia College in Chicago.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
6:00 - 8:00 PM
2762 S. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles
Tuesday - Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 am - 6:00 pm