Thursday, November 22, 2007

glad I was able to make it to Evan Lee's beautiful new show--

"At Monte Clark Gallery, Evan Lee’s Drawing, Photography juxtaposes small graphite drawings of elderly Chinese women with two large scale black and white photographs, one of a woman working in a backyard garden, the other a portrait of the artist’s frail grandmother shortly before her death, reclining on a bed surrounded by framed family photographs of her children and grandchildren.

Much of Lee’s work plays, like Gergley’s, with double meanings. Lee has previously photographed cardboard boxes that look like smiling cartoon faces, ginseng roots resembling exotic birds, and transparent plastic drafting tools that imply flamingos or cartoon snakes. In this new exhibition, the “doubleness” of Lee’s work is put aside in favor of the direct representation of his subjects. His pictures’ apparent lack of a straightforward message, moral, or theme is actually the result of Lee’s deliberate decision to represent his subjects as they are, paying careful attention to each woman’s gestures, clothing, and physiognomy, thereby representing their individual specificity and avoiding the temptation to convert them into symbols or representatives of a “class.” Lee’s show is not flashy, and lacks the dry wit characterizing much of his recent photography, but the work is solid, brave and nakedly biographical..."