Magazine article Artforum International

Lee Kit: Shugoarts

Magazine article Artforum International

Lee Kit: Shugoarts

Article excerpt

For Lee Kit, painting is like breathing: an act of leaving an invisible trace within a space so that "[e]ven if a person isn't there, you can feel his breath." Lee treats surfaces like conveyors of personal residues, combining and arranging his works into installations that evoke the feeling of faint presence, as if produced from someone's recent departure from a now empty room. This approach is palpable in Lee's most characteristic works: faint transfer prints of well-known logos and labels--such as those of Johnson & Johnson, Pears, or Dove--on cardboard treated with watery acrylic color washes and pastel shades. These are often presented in spaces with towels, plastic hooks, and other household fixtures, so as to produce a sense of both familiarity and alienation through the domestication of the abstract space that surrounds an artwork.

And while this exhibition, "By the way," invoked that same double sense, it also marked a subtle turn in Lee's practice with the introduction of figuration into his paintings: the lower legs of a man wearing smart shoes emerging from a color block of sky blue in The Boy in Leather Shoes, 2013-14, for example, or a woman wearing a blazer, her head and neck similarly erased with the same brilliant hue in Mary Took It, 2014. Nivea Nivea, 2014, was one of two works featuring a product label: A black box with a white Nivea logo painted on it sat on the floor like a tombstone with a household light fixture dangling in front of it. Opposite this was an upright, sky-blue painting on cardboard, Uriage, Normal to Dry, 2014, placed on the floor and leaning against the wall, resting on a stack of foam packing material that resembled pediments of monuments or memorials. Both works recall a blue plywood painting shown in the catalogue for the artist's exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2013, in which FUCK YOU was printed in lieu of a label: Their placement suggested a demotion of sorts--a sign of an emerging concern with figure as opposed to product. …

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.