Jivan Lee, "Superbloom"

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January 24, 2023


January 24 – February 4, 2023

Altamira Fine Art Scottsdale is pleased to present a new exhibition from New Mexico artist Jivan Lee, Superbloom. The exhibition opens January 24th, 2023 with an Artist Reception on Thursday, January 26th from 7-9pm.



Why paint? Why paint landscapes? Why paint this moment? Such metaphysical questions swirl around Jivan Lee as he paints en plein air around his home in Taos, New Mexico. Nature provides answers; nature as observed by Lee, by his brush, by his subjective gaze. He approaches the landscape as the vessel that bestows context on life—holding all aspects of existence, human and beyond, holding us together as molecules hurtling through celestial space.


In recent years, Lee has focused on exploring time and change by revisiting select sites. Through such intimacy with place, he marks subtle shifts amid the grandeur. “I’ve done 30 paintings of one riverbend; more than 300 paintings of Taos Mountain,” he says. This iterative approach “speaks to what it is to be related to any place at all, the ever-changing relationship between us and the landscape that sustains our entire society.”


And yet, as is nature’s way, singular phenomena can change our plans. In Lee’s case, nature required him to adjust his course and consider the recent super bloom that blanketed Taos, a rare seasonal occurrence defined by The Desert Sun (a newspaper based in the kindred high desert of California) as “a colloquial term to describe blooms of wildflowers that super-exceed expectations.” Last Spring in Taos, Lee found the plateau boisterously blanketed in yellow cow daisies and sunflowers. “Super blooms level us. They captivate our attention,” he says. “The super bloom required me to adapt to this unique thing happening only here, only now.”


Immersing himself in the blooms, he let his palette be defined by the hyperdrive hues he found in each location. Amid the canary cacophony, “all of the contextual colors were equally extreme. The contrasts were all punched in different directions,” he says. “The colors, out of context, can seem wild. But even in the extremity, there is harmony in nature. Back in the studio, the paintings felt so chromatic and full of life.” Only days after his painting blitz, the blooms died.


What began as a diversion became a full-circle exploration of the core concepts underpinning his practice. “Art, as an endeavor, is about bringing us into this place, this moment, which helps makes us happier, healthier, more insightful human beings,” Lee says. “There is a central philosophical call: To respond to this moment, as it is. This exhibition is a collection of these really special moments—singular unto themselves, united by their fleeting nature and the many facets of awe they inspired.”


Pre-sales available.

Contact the gallery for details: (480) 949-1256, az@altamiraart.com.