The work of American photographer Jocelyn Lee is currently on display at Huxley Parlour Gallery in London. The exhibition, which is Lee’s first solo show in the UK, showcases a selection of portraits, landscapes and still lives, including images from her latest series “The Appearance of Things.”
“Lee’s work is driven by existential themes of sexuality, family, death and aging,” writes the gallery in a statement. “Throughout her career, she has utilized portraiture of the female form as a tool to explore the tactile qualities of the living world.”
“The Appearance of Things,” (2016-ongoing), continue’s Lee’s examination of the physical world through richly descriptive color images that emphasize the “tonal and textural richness of foliage, fabrics and flesh.” The photographs feature female forms submerged in water, resting on the grass or wrapped around a tree; the women are often splashed with sunlight. These images are juxtaposed with pictures of rotting flowers and gleaming fruit. “Collectively,” states the press release, “the works offer a melancholy yet unsentimental reflection of life’s transitions through stages of birth, blossoming and death.”
With her work, Lee aims to question and broaden traditional definitions of female beauty. “I want to expand the notion of the beautiful to include the more vulnerable stages of life, including adolescence, pregnancy, middle age, old age and illness,” says Lee. “I am interested in embracing what others may see as physical imperfection or vulnerability, and documenting it with the eyes of a lover.”
Jocelyn Lee was born in Naples, Italy in 1962. She received her BA in philosophy and visual arts from Yale University and her MFA in photography from Hunter College. Her first monograph “Nowhere but Here” was published in 2010. Lee has exhibited internationally, and her work is housed in the collections of many notable institutions, including The Yale Museum of Art, New Haven, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and The Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany.
Andrea Modica: As We Wait
Splash! Bodies in Water
Portraits That Tell Stories: Jocelyn Lee’s “Women and Girls” (for PDN subscribers; login required)