ACTION FOR FREEDOM: NEW WORKS BY LEE WELLS
AT ROOSTER GALLERY CONTEMPORARY ART
Rooster Gallery Contemporary Art announces “Action For Freedom: New Works by Lee Wells," featuring new video action paintings from the “Soul Series,” opening on Thursday February 17, 2011.
Lee Wells (born 1971), offers a complex intermix of images, which engage issues of war, sexuality, freedom and liberation. Deeply rooted in the history of painting and dialogue of the Avant-garde, “Action For Freedom”, presents portraits of humanity as an attempt to create order within the chaos, confusion and wonder of the early 21st century.
In the main gallery, the “Soul Series,” is comprised of life sized brightly painted, pseudoexpressionist portraits that have aggressive holes blasted through their surface, revealing found video footage of actual social unrest, suicide bombers, police brutality and military combat that expose our totalist media information world. Not only do these works inevitably question the act of painting in line with that of COBRA and Fluxus art but also attempt to offer a perspective into the global post-traumatic stress found within society today.
In the lower level, the artist presents realistic grisaille paintings, which include an oversized portrait of the US Army Ranger, football star Pat Tillman and friendly fire casualty along with small intimate nude portraits of veiled women, which form a silent fetishized audience to Wells’ first feature length film titled “Freedom Club.” Based loosely on the writings of Guy Debord, Ted Kaczynski and his own, the film is an experimental modern day science fiction faerie tale about love, revolution and freedom in the post-technological age.
Wells’ immersive high definition works for “Video Forest” are currently on view through 2014 at the Kimpo International Airport, Seoul, Korea, and was most recently commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum to write an essay on new video art and the Avant-garde, titled, "Andy, Nam June and Me at the Zoo."
His artwork and projects primarily question systems of power and control and have been exhibited internationally for over 15 years, including the 51st Venice Biennale; PS1/MoMA, New York, NY; and the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia. In addition, other Wells’ works are held by the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL.; the National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.; U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle, PA.; and Hana Bank, Seoul, Korea.
The exhibition catalog, which includes an essay by independant curator Lara Pan, will be publicly presented on Sunday, March 6, in affiliation with the Lower East Side Business Improvement District and the Armory Arts Week 2011 gallery walk. The artist will be present.