Jennifer Lee: Tokyo and L.A.
I am lucky to have Jennifer Lee’s work in my collection. I have a sense of solitude when I look at the small pot, and a feeling of balance, a kind of stillness. Her quiet, contemplative work has an intimacy, communicated by the scale and surface. The pot in my collection is a darker olive-brown form and shows Lee’s use of banding, haloes and painterly color. Nature, perhaps the dry desert landscape or the sedimentation in geologic forms, seems to be a source. Jennifer’s work also has a sense of personal poetry and tremendous presence. I am looking forward to her show at the gallery, opening April 4.
Right now, Jennifer is part of an amazing exhibit in Tokyo. The Issey Miyake Foundation in Tokyo, 21_21 Design Sight, currently hosts an exhibition that features 100 works by 3 different artists. It is organized by Issey Miyake and the installation is designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
Miyake had previously encountered Lucie Rie’s work, and was impressed by its presence. When describing Lucie Rie’s work, the world-renowned designer Miyake noted the simplicity, nobility and natural character. “The appeal of her work lies in the warmth and nostalgia of the hand-work that floods our hearts,” he wrote. For this Tokyo show, Miyake included the work of two more contemporary artists. Jennifer Lee, “who has inherited Lucie’s sensibility and who has given modern ceramics a new direction” has been presented on a huge table of water, as if the perfectly balanced works were floating. Tadao Ando frequently uses pools of water in his architectural designs. As Miyake notes, “photographer Hiroshi Iwasaki has captured the cosmic beauty of the vessels.”
Writing about Lee’s work in a recent publication, Alun Graves of the Victoria and Albert Museum noted: “Lee’s pots have frequently and not unreasonably been compared to landscape, their tilted horizontal striations appearing like geological strata. Yet unlike some of the freer branches of organic sculpture, these are clearly not objects formed by natural processes, brought into being through the chance accumulation and manipulation of earth and rock. For the viewer who knew nothing of their age and origins, their status and human artifacts would be immediately apparent.”