Jaehyo Lee Sculpture Will Debut in Union Square Park
NYC Parks & Recreation and CYNTHIA-REEVES Projects, in cooperation with the Union Square Partnership, are pleased to debutLOTUS, by Seoul-based artist, Jaehyo Lee, in New York City's Union Square Park. Located at the park's south eastern triangle, the exhibition will be on view May through October 2013. This is the gallery's second public art exhibition with Parks' Art in the Parks program, the first being Jonathan Prince's G2V in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.
Jaehyo Lee exhibits internationally, with recent works included at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Saatchi Gallery, London; and the Sungkok Museum, Korea, among others. LOTUS follows Lee's signature use of Korean big-cone pine. For this work, the artist meticulously carved, shaped, and burned the individual wood elements that are attached to a steel armature that stretches 12 feet high.
Lee's works emphasize his materials' essential nature and inherently complex texture. The artist says, "Those who make a hard living may be the ones who make this world a beautiful place. I certainly do not have the power to create 'beauty'. I just hope to reveal the beauty in what is usually seen but not noticed. If one looks closely, one sees how beautiful simple elements can be."
Often minimalistic, his typically monumental work centers on circular motifs and issues of gravity. The trajectory of his current work reveals Lee's refined approach to nature, muse to his ideological and spatial concerns.
Of the artist's work, art critic JoNathan Goodman wrote in Sculpture Magazine, "Allowing the materials to speak to him, [Lee] builds self-contained worlds that mysteriously communicate with their outer surroundings...Texture is deeply important to Lee, who emphasizes the façade of the wood, crosscut and planed to reveal the character of the grain. The surface thus reveals the character of its making, becoming indicative of the creative process and holding interest by itself." (Sculpture Magazine, The Possibilities of Nature, May, 2009)
Lee's sculptures have caught the attention of international audiences, including the recent viewers of Saatchi Gallery's summer exhibition, Korean Eye, which premiered during the London 2012 Olympic Games, and originated at the Museum of Arts and Design in 2011 - 2012. His conspicuous use of natural materials and steel remain his primary media, including hardwoods, bamboo, and leaves. The artist has gained a reputation for innovative sculpture, in both functional and non-functional approaches, and has been the subject of numerous auction highlights, including the recent Sotheby's New York private sale, Hunters & Gatherers.