GR Gallery, NY // September 08, 2022 – October 01, 2022
GR gallery is pleased to present Passive. Aggression, an exhibition of new paintings by self-taught artist Joseph Lee. This marks the first solo show of Lee with the gallery after former collaborations, and chiefly the artist’s first public presentation in nearly three years. A total of 19 artworks, in various dimensions, executed with his signature technique, will be exhibited for the first time, recording Lee’s fundamental production over the last few years in an essentially anthological exhibition.
His highly unique style exposes abstracted portraits that disclose impressions of anatomic details hidden between extra textured layers of paint that contrast with a flat and mostly monochromatic background.
Passive. Aggression documents Lee’s time during 2020 – 2022. As his daily distractions dissipated under lockdown, he was forced to examine gaps, namely his liminality and inability to verbally communicate emotions, which made him unrecognizable to himself and others around him. Lee is both Korean and American, husband and son, actor and painter, passive and aggressive. Lee’s subject matters grapple with the way his liminality and thus, lack of a solid identity, began to impact the world he inhabited. The artist’s first instinct under duress was to isolate and paint. During these years, the process of creating the works showcased in ‘Passive. Aggression’ was a salve. To finish a painting was not the intent. These works capture moments in Lee’s life where he deflected to his studio in fear and uncertainty. At the time of inception, these paintings were the best representations of what words escaped him, to convey – in composition – what he was unable to articulate. They are a line of expression uninterrupted. Passive. Aggression is a collection of the artist’s self-reflections, love letters, and apologies translated onto canvas.
The opening reception is Thursday, September 8th, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm ET with Joseph Lee in attendance. Visitors who want to attend the opening can RSVP by contacting the gallery.
Check out some of our recent short videos: