Work > Books + Press

Sandra Eula Lee’s sculpture, like Chois’, embeds details of her Korean family history. But the evidence of narrative in Lee’s work is coded in its disparate material components and their elegantly intelligent deployment. Bits of torn newspaper might be the most literal, but a delicate pane of triangular glass, sheets of plastic arranged on the floor, weathered rocks, and the carefully calibrated spaces between things also speak directly to details of the histories she’s observed. Lee is Korean-American and grew up in the U.S., but spent much of the past two years in Korea and China. It’s not too much of a stretch to read her installation here as a landscape – perhaps in the sense that Smithson’s non-sites were interior landscapes in their own rite. Not that her decorative rocks look anything like Smithson’s: Lee seems to read landscape, or its individual elements, as they come to her, coded as art. Her formal alphabet comprises not just newspaper, glass and rocks, but carefully crafted sculpture. Her stacks of paper immediately conjure Felix Gonzales-Torres; her carpet reminds of David Hammons or Paul Thek before him; her photos index the blue sky ubiquitous in so many Korean paintings and maybe a bit of Seoul cityscape; the color-coordinated junk on the wall looks a lot like Jessica Stockholder. But the idiom is entirely Lee.

From a catalogue essay by Curator Linda Norden for the exhibition “Casting Memories” at Art Gate Gallery, New York