In an eventful week this past winter at the Armory Show (as the pandemic was taking its grip on not only NYC but the world), we had an extensive Radio Juxtapoz conversation with Austin Lee. We spoke about how intricate and laborious it was to create what appears to be almost lo-fi artworks, how considered ever mark is even when they look so loose. From an artist inspired by the early iPaint and other digital painting technologies, Lee is an innovator and a 21st Century old soul (if you can be one, that is). 

Peres Projects is pleased to present Aah, Austin Lee’s second solo exhibition at the gallery on the occasion of Gallery Weekend Berlin. The exhibition will present new paintings and sculptures. The works stage a collapse in the distinctions between real and imaginary, digital and physical. In our everyday lives, we move between online and offline space in an increasingly seamless way, in his translation between mediums, Lee’s practice becomes the conduit for bringing the digital into reality.

As Lee assumes this role of transmutator, the paintings and sculptures that comprise this exhibition are concerned with our ways of seeing and being in the world which now also includes the digital lived experience. Lee’s practice plays with how a work can be limited and defined by the tools and technologies that compose it, reflecting on our own experiences of mediation and how these same tools shape and construct our subjectivities.

Playful and childlike, the characters that dominate Lee’s paintings and sculpture operate through a visual language of simple lines, and direct emotion. Speaking across a register familiar to us from childhood, these works locate and acknowledge the formative power of images. Lee borrows this aesthetic language to create new and impossible worlds, and suggests that these realities can exist through digital space.