Gavlak Gallery is pleased to present two solo exhibitions of new sculptures and collages by Phillip Estlund and cut paper works by Bovey Lee. Both artists, from diverse cultural backgrounds, use vastly different media to address the dramatic impact of humans and industrialization on nature.
For his second solo exhibition with the gallery, Phillip Estlund (b. 1974, Athens, Greece) will present sculptures and assemblages made from the architectural ruins and detritus that remain after natural or man-made disasters. Based in South Florida, Estlund draws upon his first-hand experience of the devastation caused by hurricanes, explosions, and civilization encroaching upon the endangered species and delicate everglades environment. Structures such as homes jutting out of the wall are formal architectural models made from ordinary materials collected from demolition sites, such as old wood, blue tarps, aluminum slat window blinds and weathered appliance doors. These works, including an assemblage of an image from a vintage magazine of a man vacuuming, collaged within a large expanse of debris and mounted onto a found piece of rusted steel, work to suggest the physicality and fragility of humankind’s pursuits, but also our ability to rebuild. Phillip Estlund received a BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore and this past February exhibited his work in a three-person exhibition “Work/Space” at ACME Los Angeles. He has participated in group exhibitions in New York at Cheim & Read, Eleven Rivington and Gagosian New York, as well as Fold Gallery and Shizaru, London. Estlund’s work is in the permanent collection of MOCA Miami.
Exhibiting for the first time with the gallery, Bovey Lee, who was born in Hong Kong draws inspiration from her life growing up in the fast-changing culture of China and it’s rich tradition of calligraphy and paper cutting. Using an X-Acto knife and rice paper mounted on silk, Lee’s work is like drawing with a blade and is rooted in traditional Chinese calligraphy and pencil drawing. Lee creates beautiful and delicate images of the ominous and foreboding impact of such rapid expansion and industrialization in the East. Whether it is mushroom clouds and tsunamis, skyscrapers or assembly lines associated with the Chinese manufacturing boom, all are represented in exquisitely made paper cutouts. For her solo show at the gallery, Lee has created five large works called “Falling Water”, named after the historic Frank Lloyd Wright home outside of Pittsburgh where she now lives and works. The cut-out paper of water dripping over chain link fences, is reminiscent of Lee’s growing up in Hong Kong surrounded by the South China Sea and refers to abstract painting, particularly that of one of her heroes, Pat Steir. Also included in the exhibition are snowflakes made from palm tree images as well as other coral and wave imagery. Bovey Lee received a B.A of Fine Art at The Chinese University, Hong Kong and holds two MFA’s from Pratt, New York and UC Berkeley. Recent solo exhibitions include Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, and the Nevada Museum of Art. Lee is also a recipient of The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.