Lee Dawson: Approximation of a Tree
March 10 – April 23
Reception: March 10 from 6-8pm
Despite their often peculiar familiarity, the figures in Lee Dawson’s paintings are difficult to locate. Situated in nebulous color fields, the artist uncovers her forms through ritualized repetitions of scrapping, digging, or texturizing an abstracted canvas—a process as reductive as it is additive—in order to unearth lines and forms vaguely discernable as reality. Through a series of rehearsed and extemporaneous gestures, Dawson’s repetitions seek commonality within displaced settings, a near computational effort that yields multidimensional layers of both recognizable and unexpected outcomes.
Originally from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Dawson realizes her artistic findings in her own place of origin, a landscape as seemingly mutable as any in the digital realm. While many might view the deterministic functions of emergent algorithmic technologies as antithetical to the process of artmaking, Dawson embraces the notion that identities might be uncovered from behavioral patterning. Within her archaeological repetitions, discernable figures emerge and inside these foreign bodies, Dawson uncovers her own form of identity. The seemingly synthetic color schemes and humanoid representation similarly dissolves the dubious distinction between real and virtual experiences. Artificial light and color conform with organic bulbous shapes, uncovering bionic parts that the artist later contorts to make a complete figure, a process of recognition and formation founded in the extraction of only a slight geometric detail.
Once exhumed, many of Dawson’s figures confront their mirror opposites, the doubling effect of an additive inversion, similar to her process that subtracts as it gains, and much like her own life that travels far to take Dawson back to her starting place. After many experiments and long searches for an artistic identity, Dawson finds her figures right at home while looking inside oneself, the imaginative and infinite space of our own private universes.
Lee Dawson (b. 1993 New York, NY) Graduated from École des Beaux-Arts (2015) and The School of Visual Arts (2017). They’ve undertaken residencies at Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, Casa De Las Flores and Na Bolom. Recent exhibitions include Entanglement at James Fuentes Gallery, New York, Silver Horseshoe at Hyacinth Gallery, New York, JUXTAPOZ Group show, New York and Unser Haus at ZK/U, Berlin, Germany. Approximation of a Tree is Dawson’s first solo exhibition at Hyacinth Gallery.