Deanna Lee: Echo Lineation
December 12 through January 25, 2015
Opening reception: December 12, 2014, 6-9pm
Massachusetts native Deanna Lee intuitively paints flowing lines and shapes that pool, drape and cluster into areas of visual tension and evoke organic forms, natural systems, geographical strata and topography. Echo Lineation will feature 10 new paintings in gouache, ink and acrylic on panel and 6 new ink on vellum drawings.
Lee’s fascination with abstracted nature began in early childhood after seeing electron microscope slides and lab specimens. This experience continues to exert its influence on her studio practice. Her work—combining shapes and forms inspired by this experience and multiple disparate sources from Asian traditional arts to wood-grain patterns, cracked plaster and peeling paint—explores tradition and time and delights in the beauty of line, shape and color.
Lee has developed a process of roughly tracing or rubbing textures and patterns from these sources. In some pieces, Lee copies lines and shapes from reproductions of Chinese scroll paintings, for example, as “a casual, almost flippant adoption of the pedagogy of copying masterworks that echoes [her] personal distance from a Chinese heritage and tradition.” In other work, tracings or rubbings from eroded surfaces of aging building interiors—like cracked plaster and peeling paint—organically grow through a series of actions and reactions into abstracted interpretations of found processes of decay. Lee says, “I consider my traces and rubbings of non-art sources like plywood and cracking walls as calligraphic gestures by some non-human artistic predecessor.”
Stemming “from patterns and traces of growth and decay in the natural world and the built environment,” and combined with influences and inspirations from Asian ink painting and calligraphy to cartoons and urban graphics, artists like Clyfford Still, and the Surrealists, Lee merges these diverse sources into colorful, graphic, landscape-like compositions where history is her collaborator in the transformation of tradition and evidence of decay into expressions of transformation and markers of time.