Solo Exhibition | Jackson, WY
Altamira Fine Art Jackson is pleased to present a solo exhibition for New Mexico based artist Jivan Lee.
Please join us for an Artist Reception the opening night of the show, Tuesday, June 11, 5:30-7:30pm.
A 2015 trip to the Tetons inspired deep inquiry for Jivan Lee. Upon returning to his studio in Taos, New Mexico, one painting emerged as an unexpected distillation of his experience in Wyoming: a cropped-in view of the Grand Teton, slightly comical, slightly unnerving.
Mystery and wildness are the core of his passion as a painter; usually his pursuit of them leads him to focus on entire landscapes, “emanating and immersive in their impact.” Which is initially what drew him to the Tetons. And yet, the quintessentially-American mountains led him in a completely different direction. He arrived at a question as self-challenge: What if he did a series of paintings that decontextualized a powerful, ancient, and “iconic” subject like the Tetons?
Through this intensive, inquisitive process, paintings emerged as their own strain of icons—signposts along an alternative route toward insight. Bold, bright and dismounted from direct observation, only the peak’s silhouette and structure remain recognizable, the rest extrapolated from emotion.
Buoyed by this experiment, Lee then returned to his enduring practice of closely observing oft-overlooked moments in nature, and found his perspective altered by his paintings of the Tetons: couldn’t these subtle scenes be considered quiet icons, as worthy of celebration and reverence as grandiose peaks? And when he turned to prime places in northern New Mexico—the third set of paintings on view at Altamira—he let his icon exploration inform his true-to-observation plein air paintings. From the Pop-inspired Grand Teton iterations to relatively anonymous places to renowned New Mexico destinations, Lee has followed his curiosity and passion into a fresh body of work.
“I’ve come to realize that I essentially create icons in the original Greek sense of the word eikōn, “likenesses, images”—in my case of the landscape,” Lee says. “In so doing, I am increasingly finding unexpected conceptual intrigue and meaning. Sometimes I paint icons of things that are ‘iconic:’ famous places, vistas, subjects. But it's also true that with my paintings—not unlike the intent of religious icons—I hope to provide a window, of sorts, into a reverential experience of the beauty and power that is the landscape.”
Pre-sales available. Call (307) 739-4700 or email [email protected] for more information.
Jivan Lee is an oil painter based in Taos, NM. He grew up in Woodstock, NY and studied painting at Bard College. His work explores the nature of paint as raw material, creator of image, and catalyst for emotional response, and is increasingly addressing the complexities of how humans see and shape their environment.
His paintings are rhythmic, colorful, textural responses to the Western landscape in its many forms, from untrammeled wild lands to urban machinery to iconic chapels. They’ve been exhibited nationally at museums and educational institutions and covered in publications such as Fine Art Connoisseur, Southwest Art, Western Art Collector, Art Business News, and Plein Air Magazine among others. In addition to painting as much as time allows, Jivan occasionally teaches and continues work with his Project for Art and the Environment.
Jivan was named an artist to watch by Fine Art Connoisseur in February 2016 and his work was featured on the cover of Southwest Art Magazine’s February 2015 annual landscape issue. Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine published a six-page feature on his work and process, “A Respect for the Land,” in December 2016. Selected recent exhibitions include the 2017 and 2018 Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale in Denver, CO, where Jivan won the Fine Art Connoisseur award for excellence two years in a row, and New Regionalisms: Contemporary Art in the Western States, an exhibit curated by art critic Michael Paglia at the McNichols Building in Denver. Jivan’s paintings are in corporate and private collections nationally and internationally.