Silent Gestures

New Work by Hyunmee Lee
November 17- January 12, 2013

Closing Reception: January 5th, 6-9 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Silent Gestures, a new exhibition of works by Korean-born artist, Hyunmee Lee.  Known for her signature style of gestural abstraction, Lee's most recent body of work reflects the diversity of her background and artistic influences in a way that is spectacularly simple, yet decidedly bold.  This striking duality is a theme that persists throughout Silent Gestures, with the title itself suggesting an inherent paradox-an action that is simultaneously careful and unrestrained, quiet and confident. 

Her large, abstract canvases delight in the union of opposites, where vast fields of carefully delineated color and expanses of blacks and whites intermix with expressive lines and painterly brushstrokes. The resulting works are beautifully balanced as a result of Lee's skillful use of color, composition, and design and are reflective of her extensive artistic training in Western Modern art with experience in Eastern painting and calligraphy.  Lee's art and life have been heavily influenced by the ideas of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.  Accordingly, in these recent Silent Gesture paintings Lee seeks to combine opposing forces to reflect her own life, which conveys both East and West.  In her vibrant black and yellow canvases, nonrepresentational and representational forms inspired by her roots are brought out slowly through silent gestures.

Hyunmee Lee was born in 1961 in Seoul Korea.  Her art practice crosses three continents over two decades.  Lee's works have been featured in museums and galleries in South Korea, Japan, Australia, and the United States, and are in numerous collections worldwide.  She recently retired from teaching to focus on her art full time.  

In the rear gallery: 

Refueling, Sisavanh Phouthavong

In her new body of work, Refueling, Sisavanh Phouthavong explores the commonality of hummingbirds to human behaviors.  Both exhibit agility, efficiency, and versatility in a time of crisis, and while beautiful in all shades of color, are practical, extremely territorial, and resilient.  Through vibrant and aptly titled paintings such as "Cacophony," "The Tempest" and "Discombobulated," Phouthavong takes the image of a hummingbird-a heuristic for spring's whimsicality-and crafts it into a writhing cyclone of hummingbirds.  Her systematic compositions and use of monochromatic, intense colors reflect current environmental as well as personal events. Yet the openness and clarity of the design does not detract from the works' underlying meaning, which playfully seems to tell the viewer to just embrace the madness. 

Sisavanh Phouthavong-Houghton is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro where she teaches advanced level painting courses.  She was born in Vientiane Laos in 1976. At the age of four, her family emigrated from Thailand to Winfield, Kansas. She attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting in 1999. Sisavanh continued her education at Southern Illinois University of Carbondale where 2003 she received her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting and Drawing. She has exhibited her work in solo, juried, and invitational exhibitions throughout United States, Canada, and New Zealand.  Sisavanh resides in Woodbury, TN with her sculptor husband Jarrod Houghton, their two daughters Zoe and Ava, and two cats Mr. Peacock and Gwen.