John Lees

New Paintings & Drawings

March 29 - May 6, 2018

Lunar Chorine, 2017-18

Ink, graphite and white out on paper

11 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches

JL16279

Trio, 2017-18

Ink, whiteout on paper

9 1/2 x 11 1/4 inches

JL16278

Three Women, 2017-18

Ink, graphite and white out on paper

5 1/4 x 11 inches

JL16277

White Towel, 2017-18

Pencil, ink, watercolor and white out on paper

5 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches

JL16276

Glimpse of Woman in Woods, 2006-2007

Oil on canvas

9 x 8 x 7/8 inches

JL16269

Seated woman, 2018

Oil on paper mounted on canvas

9 1/4 x 8 1/2 x 1 1/16 inches

JL16268

The Lunar Chorine, 2018

Oil on panel

10 3/4 x 7 x 7/8 inches

JL16267

Barrymore (my days in the sun), 2016

Oil on canvas

9 x 18 x 3/4 inches

JL16201

The Lunar Chorine, 2015

OIl on canvas

18 x 14 x 1 inches

JL16200

Two Women, 2017-18

Ink, watercolor and white out on paper

8 1/4 x 5 1/4 inches

JL16275

Caryatid in the Snow (Ruth in her Chesterfield), 2018

Oil on canvas

26 3/4 x 8 x 3/4 inches

JL16274

Woman Leaning Over, 2018

Oil on canvas

8 1/2  x 11 1/2 inches

JL16273

Ghost Trio, 2017

Oil on canvas

20 x 20 x 7/8 inches

JL16272

Two Women (L shape Border), 2017

Oil on paper mounted on canvas

12 1/2 x 9 x 1 1/4 inches

JL16270

Trio, 2017

Oil on canvas

15 1/4 x 17 x 1 inches

JL16271

JL16199

John Lees
Untitled, 3 Figures, 2017
Graphite and acrylic on paper
9 1/2 x 11 1/2 in.
JL16199

Press Release

Betty Cuningham Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by John Lees, March 29 – May 6, 2018. This will be the artist’s fifth solo show at the Gallery, located at 15 Rivington Street. The artist will be present for an opening reception on Wednesday, April 4th, 6 – 8PM.

 

The exhibition is comprised of 20 paintings (the largest of which, Ghost Trio, is 20 x 20 inches) and 6 drawings, all recently completed. Characteristically, Lees spends years working and reworking his paintings and drawings, often leaving a written diary on the front or back of the work as a physical reminder of the time spent. In these recent paintings and drawings, Lees sands down the surface, incorporates brighter color and introduces a more complex narrative into his work. He no longer concentrates on a single image: a person, a hill, a stream or his childhood home. In Trio, there are three figures all in different states of (un)dress, one in the shower, one wrapped in a towel and the other fully dressed.  Similarly, in Lunar Chorine – a subject repeated in several works – there is a conversation going on between the figures: a female figure in a dancing costume dominates, while a large man hides in the shadows. The players are anonymous and the narratives ambiguous, but, characteristic to Lees, all are drawn from an experience buried deep in his subconscious.   

Lees is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Hassam, Speicher, Betts, and Symons Purchase Fund Award; the Francis J. Greenburger Award; the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Grant; and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant.  His work can be found in a host of public institutions, most notably the Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI; the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA; The Kemper Collection, Kansas City, MO; the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and The New Museum, New York, NY.

 

John Lees was born in 1943 in Denville, NJ.  He received his BFA and MFA from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, CA.  He has been exhibiting in New York since 1977 and has been an instructor at the New York Studio School since 1988.  He lives and works in upstate New York.  

 

The exhibition will remain on view through Sunday, May 6th 2018.