Yuran Lee

Bio

Korean Literature of New York, Vol. V, 1995 (covering image)

Kim, Insook "interview with Yuran Lee"

the Korean Times

Awards

1996 Winner of open studios 1996 New York

1996 -1999

Selected as participant in U.S Dept. of state " art in Embassies Program"

Untitled

Acrylic on Canvas

24" x 30"

YURAN LEE

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

2007 Fleeting Moment, Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York, NY

2002 Road Home, Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York, NY

2002 Dolan Center Gallery, Friends Academy, Locust Valley, NY

1999 Ariel Fine, Locust Valley, NY

1999 Saginaw Art Museum, Saginaw, MI

1998 Whispering Wood, Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York, NY

1996 Summer Solstice, Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York, NY

1994 Sun’s Path, Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York, NY

1976 Korean School Of New York, Riverdale, NY

1974 Green Gallery, New Rochelle, NY

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHBITIONS

 

2006 Phoenix Gallery, New York, NY

2003 Space World, New York, NY

2002 New Century Artists, New York, NY

The Korean Association of NY, New York, NY

2000 Hofstra Museum, Hempstead, NY

1999 Markins Hall Gallery, New York, NY

Gallery West, Hackensack, NJ

Melvin Art Gallery, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL

Art Center Gallery, Okaloosa Walton Community College, Niceville, FL

Santa Fe Gallery, Santa Fe Community College, Gainesville, FL

1998 Phoenix Gallery, New York, NY

Hammond Museum, North Salem, NY

Richards and Westbrook Galleries, Robert Ferst Art Center Georgia Tech University, Atlanta GA

Bayer Corporation, Fairfield, CT

1997 Bank Hauswolbern, Hamburg, Germany

1996 United States Embassy, Manila , Philippines

1994 Japanese Credit Bank, Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY

1993 Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York, NY

1987 Alpine Gallery, New York, NY

1975 Roevogenly Gallery, Livingston, NJ

Fall Arts Expo, Garden City, NY

1974 Art League Exhibit, Bloomfield, NJ

1972 Chamber of Commerce Art Show, Bayshore, NY

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Korean Literature of New York, Vol. V, 1995 (cover image).

Kim, Insook, “Interview with Yuran Lee,”  The Korea Times, November 2, 1994.

 

AWARDS

 

1996 Winner of Open Studios 1996 New York City Competition

1996-1999 Selected as Participant in US Dept. of State “Art in Embassies Program”

 

EDUCATION

 

1982 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY (Continuing Education Program)

1963 Ewha Women’s University, BFA, Seoul, Korea

1959 Seoul Arts HIgh School, Seoul, Korea

The Magic of The Everday

 Anyone who has visited Korea knows about the Korean respect for craftsmanship, and the delight Koreans feel in creating and using objects that are both simple and refined. This respect has also manifested itself in Korean painting, but usually in abstract work. Yuran Lee extends this exquisitely refined, subtly nuanced approach into the realm of figurative painting. Her work is flawlessly elegant, and yet it retains a respect for everyday happenings and everyday things.

 

 If one looks for a comparison in European art, an unexpected comparison suggests itself. The classic Modernist master whom she most resembles, in this new series of paintings, is Robert Delaunay. De-launay was the most cosmopolitan artist of his time. He influenced the Russian avant-garde, and the Italian Futurists. His biggest impact, however, was on the German artists of the Blaue Reiter group, based in Munich. In a letter to August Macke, on the leading member of the group, Delaunay said: "Direct observation of the luminous essence of nature is for me indispensable. I do not necessarily mean observation with palette in hand, although I am not opposed to notations taken from nature itself. I do much of my work from nature, "before the subject," as it is commonly called. But what is of great importance to me is observation of the movement of colors." This seems to fit Yuran Lee's work so exactly that one feels a slight shiver in reading it.

 

 What is seductive about these paintings is their complete sense of ease. They never strain for effect, the color contrasts are never forced. They have an occasional touch of melancholy but at the same time they seem to radiate a sense of well-being.

 One of the problems faced by contemporary art, in the wake of artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Beuys, is that it isn't transformative. What I mean by this is that artists often present us with inert objects, which are only transformed, if at all, by their context, and by the declaration that they are in fact to be thought of as art. Hence all those sniggering stories about cleaning ladies who, working uninstructed in some place where contemporary art is displayed, have thrown out some important piece of art with the rubbish. One never quite knows who is being mocked here - the ignorant cleaner or the artist.

 

 It is obvious that this could never happen with one of Yuran Lee's works, not only because they are obviously paintings - things that most people would recognize as art, or as intended to be art - but because they lead the spectator into a world that he or she knows, but one that is demonstrably transformed.

 

 In other words, when we look at her paintings we go through a doorway and find ourselves inhabiting a sensibility that is much subtler and better tuned than our own. I believe one of the functions of the visual arts is to reveal the magic of the ordinary. Sir Ernst Gombrich, one of the greatest of 20th century art historians, one cited Chardin's famous painting of a vase of flowers in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh as an example of "what only paint can do." I think one can apply the same phrase to these pictures.

Edzvard Lade-Smith