Magazine article Artforum International

Li Lin Lee; WALSH GALLERY

Magazine article Artforum International

Li Lin Lee; WALSH GALLERY

Article excerpt

Li Lin Lee's recent paintings are certainly formulaic--each of the sixtyeight paintings shown here is made of oil, wax, and alkyd on plastercoated burlap mounted onto canvas; each is sixteen by twelve inches and is presented edge-to-edge in a horizontal group of four, creating seventeen works in all; and each is structured around some overt geometric shape or hard-edged pattern that Lee paints onto a richly scumbled and muted monochromatic field. They are like glyphs or pictographs, integers in some personal language impossible to decode fully. Lee's work invites visual and formal delectation and, as with indecipherable hieroglyphics, holds the optical shape and structure of language while keeping its content a mystery; it allows the activities of looking and reading to slide into one another. In other words, Lee's paintings imply rather than deliver transparent communication.

Many of Lee's titles--Domestic Tranquility, Guardians of Truth, Rural Forms, The Joyful Oracle--hint that the premise of these mysterious rebuses is spiritual or cosmological. Indeed, the project has a ruminative, Zen-like aura. But the subtly emotive, even narrative, intimations these titles offer must be taken on faith; what Lee seemingly perceives in these pieces remains locked in his own engagement with them. Each individual canvas isolates a geometric shape or a grid fragment, or shows a confluence of a few lines and rectangles, arcs, triangles, chevrons, diamonds, or rays--an assortment akin to the hard-edged shapes inventoried on Kandinsky's late paintings, but here rendered singly, one per canvas, and then grouped with three brethren. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.