Pace Prints is pleased to present an exhibition by artist Austin Lee, on view May 5 – June 16, 2023, at 536 West 22nd Street.Titled Good Impressions, this is the artist’s first solo exhibition after five years of collaboration in the Pace Prints studio.
As in his painting practice, Austin Lee makes prints with a hybrid digital and analog philosophy. Whether it is creating plates from digital drawings, or manually airbrushing large-scale works inspired by digital color and form, his mode of making evolves to recontextualize conventional methods. The exhibition will present unique prints and multiples made using a broad spectrum of digital and traditional techniques, in scales ranging from the intimate to the monumental.
With On the Way, a new sculptural multiple in an edition of 25, Lee shares with us the three-dimensional object originally created in virtual reality for the painting of the same name. The sculpture depicts the emotional crisis of the mundane on a family drive. The artist seeks to make visible what was once hidden in the original painting and allow the viewer to experience the work from all sides and angles. We see not just what’s in the painting but the full digital space within which the painting was created. Cast in bronze and painted in likeness to the artist’s signature airbrush finish, the sculpture imparts a deceiving weightlessness.
In this exhibition, Lee also returns to portraiture from life, a practice which he first explored during his studies at Yale. These works started as a playful take on Leonardo da Vinci’s sfumato technique and are painted directly from live sitters, hoping to catch a hint or impression of them. The nature of sitting for a portrait allows for an intimate moment of direct human connection that the artist finds especially important today and allows a brief moment of access into another person’s inner world.
Austin Lee was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, and raised in Philadelphia. He received a BFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art in 2006 and an MFA in Painting from Yale School of Art in 2013. After attending Yale, Lee moved to New York, where he has lived and worked since 2013. In recent years, he has presented exhibitions worldwide, from Kaikai Kiki in Tokyo, to Mosaic Art Foundation in Istanbul, and M WOODS in Beijing. Lee collaborated with Jeffrey Deitch on the solo exhibition Feels Good in New York in 2019, a curated solo presentation at the Armory Show and the curatorial project Good Pictures, both in 2020, and most recently Like It Is in New York in 2022. Double Rendering, curated by Ho Won Kim was recently on view at the Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University Lenfest Center of the Arts in New York (2023).