APRIL 29 - JUNE 11, 2022


Friday, April 29 | 5 PM - 7:30 PM

Pentimenti Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of the work of Kay Seohyung Lee. This is the artist’s first show at Pentimenti, and her first solo exhibition in the United States.

Kay Seohyung Lee constructs an ecstatic, dire realm of visions and dreams in gouache on panel. In making sense of her interior and exterior worlds, Lee paints vibrant tableaus of uniformly nude women, tangled up in each other and their surreal surroundings, and enmeshed in chaotic and meticulously choreographed dances with a host of different characters and symbols.

The flat, graphic depiction of fantastic scenes gives Lee’s work the quality of fairy tale illustration, and highlights the winding narrative of each scene. Vibrant landscapes enter animated repartee with the figures, and pop culture references abound. The principal figure, cloned throughout the body of work, is a young woman with few distinctive features other than her black hair. She can be read simultaneously as a direct projection of the artist herself into the work, or as a generic character whose personality is activated through her interactions with her surroundings.

In the project room, Lee presents a series of drawings in graphite. These works hone in on details, and develop another dimension to the world created in the paintings. In the drawings, small groups of figures engage expressively with one another. Their body language is communicative, and the scenery acts as a support for the interpersonal drama playing out.

Born in South Korea, Lee creates work that responds to her multifaceted experience living in America and making sense of the culture and the world at large that surrounds her. Lee’s paradoxically warring and loving relationship with her surroundings is centered in her work. In "mess" Lee aims to untangle the mess of the world and synthesize the pieces to create a mess of her very own.

Kay Seohyung Lee (b. 1995, Seoul, South Korea) received her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis, and her MFA from University of Pennsylvania. She has exhibited internationally at museums and institutions including National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Rutgers University Camden, Camden, NJ; CICA Museum, Gimpo, South Korea, Chosunilbo Museum, Seoul, South Korea; Geumgaang Nature Art Center, Gongju, South Korea; Seongnam Arts Center, Seongnam, South Korea; among many others. In 2022, she collaborated with DKNY Korea on the DNYK 22SS Tennis clothing collection featuring her artwork. She is the recipient of a 2021 Illuminate the arts grant from The City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy, and a 2021 AAPI Artist Grant from The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, among other awards and honors.

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