Operating within the traditions of Dada, Art Brut and 20th century conceptualism, Lee locates the absurdities within everyday life, finding beauty in the ordinary and the grotesque. Using photography, painting, drawing, and sculpture, Lee’s early work was guided by concerns of the body, often his own, and by a cathartic exchange of ideas about mobility. After eschewing traditional media in a set of video performances and digital works inspired by conceptualist examinations of the art making process, Lee began employing his fellow local artists in a set of instruction-based projects that confronted issues of authorship and furthered his personal inquiries into the physicality of creative practice.
Thaniel Ion Lee The Ideal Viewer brings together examples from Lee’s past projects with his most recent drawings depicting spectral humanoid creatures engaged in cabalistic rituals set amid densely drawn labyrinthine backgrounds. The exhibition confronts audiences with Lee’s evolving use and portrayals of disparate bodies by implicating the viewer in a set of challenges to customary displays of art. Lee’s work will help place KMAC in a dialogue about museum accessibility by hanging and staging works in a way that subverts institutional hierarchy and standardized modes of viewership.