Kang Seung Lee; Jennifer (2014-2015); 52 x 38 inches; Ink, watercolor, colored pencil, acrylic, gouache, pen, pencil, collage on paper; Courtesy of the artist
Kang Seung Lee: Untitled (Artspeak?)
September 12-December 11, 2015
Lenzner Family Art Gallery
Saturday, September 12, 3-5 p.m.
Nichols Gallery, Pitzer College Art Galleries
Kang Seung Lee in conversation with Leslie Dick, artist, writer and faculty at California Institute of the Arts
Wednesday, October 28, 4:15 p.m.
Room Q116, West Hall, Pitzer College
Kang Seung Lee’s installation Untitled (Artspeak?) takes as its starting point ARTSPEAK (1st edition, 1990), the mainstream compendium of “contemporary ideas, movements and buzzwords” from 1945 to 1989. Situating art movements and genres within the context of cultural and historical events, ARTSPEAK provides an overarching view of artistic practice from a Western European perspective that privileges a first-world patriarchal view of art history. In contrast, Lee challenges this narrow interpretation by re-writing the timeline from a critical queer perspective that includes women and artists of color previously erased from the narrative.
In keeping with the page layout and format of the book, artists, Lee invited writers and critics to contribute images and other textural references from the year of their birth that resonate with particular artistic, cultural and political moments. The resulting large-scale works, which are produced by Lee, are populated with his collaborators’ individualized responses that re-imagine history from the perspective of previously marginalized cultures and identities. Functioning as alternative historical narratives, they also operate as portraits of the participants, who include Leslie Dick, Millie Wilson, Gina Osterloh, Yong Soon Min and Jennifer Moon.
In a related project, Covers (2015), Lee excavates the gender and racial demographics of catalogues collected by CalArts Library since it opened in 1971. Comprising five bound books, each representing a decade, Covers documents the number of monographs on women and artists of color. By creating this counter-archive, Covers highlights forms of discrimination implicit in conventional systems that construct and disseminate knowledge.
About the Artist
Kang Seung Lee is a multidisciplinary artist who was born in South Korea and now lives and works in Los Angeles. He has had solo and group exhibitions at Centro Cultural Border, Mexico City, Mexico; the Weatherspoon Art Museum at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC; Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky, Mexico City; SOMArts, San Francisco, CA; Center for Art and Thought, Los Angeles, CA. Lee received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2015.