Painted primarily on location among the great mountains, rivers and sunsets of New Mexico, Jivan Lee’s art is a visual testament to his close engagement with the land, as well as his visceral exploration into the raw material of paint. Yet his art emanates a sense of appreciation and reverence for the land beyond even its staggering beauty, and in so doing inspires our imagination. It is this sense of appreciation, combined with a fresh interpretation of the landscape and a deeply gifted eye for color and atmosphere, which have contributed to his growing reputation as one of the most revelatory contemporary artists working en plein air.
Rendered in thick paint and lush color, Lee’s tools include spatulas, broad brushes, and his own bare hands. Up close they celebrate paint for paint’s sake – luscious, colorful, moldable. In their opulent textures, his surfaces assume the felt sensation of earth, rock, water, and sky. When viewed at a distance, the paintings collect into studies of light, architecture, and land forms – a dazzling transformation that highlights the relationships between familiar image and raw material.