Klaus von Nichtssagend is proud to announce Jennifer J. Lee’s second solo show with the gallery, Planet Caravan. Inspired by the Black Sabbath song of the same name which follows the travails of lovers floating endlessly through space, Lee channels this sense of wistful drifting into works that explore the emotional range of the past year, shifting between muted terror and a nostalgic longing for simple comforts.
For this show Lee continues her practice of painting densely compact images with oil on jute in a quasi photo-realistic style. The work in Planet Caravan is sourced from photographs of psychically familiar subjects such as a vending machine or a bar glowing in neon light, an empty subway platform, a large quantity of popcorn, and a torso clad in an acid yellow cable-knit sweater. Lee’s search for source images is an integral part of her practice that functions like a preliminary thematic sketch.
After zeroing in on photographs to use, Lee is invested in rendering them accurately. Her process and her acute skill complicate the imagery she is exploring. She paints in multiple, thin passes of color on the jute, filling in detail to the entire composition with each layer. The endeavour is repeated until the loose weave of the jute will not allow more definition. The final effect is at once illusionistic and abstract. Often there is a play between perspectival renderings and a flattening of spaces within the grid of the rough fabric. The work in this show lends itself to repeated exploration, allowing discovery of new connections between picture and material each time.