18 Wooster Street
Deitch Projects presented Monsters, an exhibition of new sculptures and related paintings and drawings by Lee Bul.
Synthesizing elements from art history, critical theory, science, and the popular imagination, Lee’s work conflated traditional figurations of the human form with fantasies revolving around the post-human trope of the cyborg. Developing, in part, out of the provocative performances that propelled her to the forefront of the artistic vanguard in her native Korea in the late 1980s, Lee’s sculptural production was both intellectually engaging and powerfully sensuous in its formal inventiveness. Her Monsters appeared as visions of beautiful failure, countering our faith in perfectibility, and pushing the fantasy of the cyborg, in the words of the artist, “to the point of convulsion, a shattering that gives rise to extravagant, auto-productive forms.”
Despite its distinctly contemporary, even high-tech, appearance, Lee’s work was deliberately and painstakingly manual in its method of production, combining traditional sculptural techniques with an embrace of the latest industrial materials. Her sculptural work, alluding to genetic or atomic structures and suspended between the mechanical and the biomorphic, was fashioned from hundreds of crystal particles threaded by hand on an armature that was a delicate web of nickel-chromium wire. For this exhibition, Lee Bul also unveiled new paintings and drawings, intricate renderings of phantasmic morphologies issuing from an aesthetic sensibility informed equally by surrealism, science fiction, and the culture of animation.
Lee Bul’s work was known to the New York art audience from her solo exhibition at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Lee Bul: Live Forever, in 2002, which featured three fully functional karaoke pods that were a cross between futuristic racing cars and cryogenic chambers. Her work was also included in the second Hugo Boss Prize exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in 1998. At the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999, she represented Korea and was also included in the international exhibition curated by Harald Szeemann. Her work was featured in a number of influential exhibitions, such as 01.01.01: Art in Technological Times at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2001; and Let's Entertain at the Walker Art Center and the Centre Pompidou, 2000.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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