Sunday, September 09, 2007

Queens Museum of Art

Visited the Museum for the first time on Saturday. It is located behind the Unisphere, a metal globe surrounded by fountains, in Corona Park, Flushing Meadows. Of the works on display in the exhibition, Generation 1.5, I was most excited by the ballpoint pen drawings of the Korean artist, Il Lee. According to this NYT article, Mr. Lee has been making ballpoint pen drawings for 25 years; he began shortly after moving to the United States in the mid-1970s from his native Korea, where he was born in 1952. He went first to Los Angeles then to New York.



Of the above painting, “BL-060” (2005), the NYT article says: "[it] is pure graphic intensity. A large, horizontal, heavily inked abstraction, it suggests a mountain range, the ocean, a wide-open landscape and even a rain cloud — nature captured in abstract terms. From some angles you’d swear you could step right into the picture."

The drawing I like best is the one below. I don't know its title. Its beautiful abstraction reminds of Chinese landscape paintings.

4 comments:

Brent Goodman said...

I saw his exhibition at the san jose museum of art in June - very stunning pieces, very simple on the surface but increasingly granular and complex when you look closer. Each supposedly created with one continuous line using only ball point pens. Very zen.

Jee Leong Koh said...

I was impressed, in particular, by the interplay of colored and blank spaces, and by the transformation of line into shade. I was thinking today about the NYT comment that the drawings are not masterpieces. I feel so too, but I cannot explain why, despite their beauty, they miss.

hon said...

why am i not surprised that you keep a blog about poetry and the arts?

how's the big apple so far? it's been ages since ive last saw any traces of you!

- honwai

Jee Leong Koh said...

hi honwai,
fancy seeing you here! I enjoyed reading your ruminations on your blog.