Hannah Lee, Magic Shell
Exhibition • May 6–21, 2022
Reception Friday, May 6, 6–9pm.
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Curated by Caroline Frost
Magic Shell displays Hannah Lee’s newest body of work that she created over six weeks as an artist-in-residence at The LINE Hotel’s Austin Artist Residency sponsored by Big Medium. Curated by Caroline Frost, Magic Shell features eleven oil paintings that build upon Lee’s exploration of the discrepancies between how we perceive ourselves, how we present ourselves based on that self-perception, and how that presentation is perceived by others. Through her practice, Lee attempts to reconcile those disconnects by tapping into the moment between looking and interpreting.
Turning inward, Lee wrestles with the idea that how others perceive her as a person is often in contradiction to their interpretation of her artwork. Magic Shell explores the human tendency to make judgements about one’s internal faculty based upon external characteristics, whereas the truth is often found in the space between our intention and another’s interpretation. In this body of work Lee expresses her fascination with the body’s role both as a complex organism and as a signifier of our identities.
The featured work reads as vignettes of intimate moments with the body and other objects we encounter as we acquire information regarding notions of the Self and of others. Magic Shell celebrates the unremarkable moments we spend in a truly remarkable anatomy, while embracing that we often never fully understand ourselves, others, or the bodies that carry us through life.
The integrity of what we encounter depends largely on the integrity of our approach towards interpreting it. It is the quality of looking that determines what we see. What it means to be truly human is found in a space beyond the surface of our own immediate perception- somewhere between experience and response, intention and interpretation.
I accept my inability to not only understand others fully but myself as well. There is a disconnect between who we truly are, how we present ourselves, and how we are perceived. My works are painted as I consider how we might reconcile those gaps in more constructive ways.
About the Artist
Hannah Lee was born and raised in Louisiana. She received her BFA in Painting from Baylor University in 2012 and her MFA in Painting from The New York Academy of Art in 2020. Hannah recently had a solo show at Cloud Tree gallery in Austin, and her work has been in numerous group exhibitions including local galleries Martha’s Contemporary and Canvas ATX. This year her work has been featured in New American Paintings #153 and Create Magazine #27. She has just finished a six week residency at The Line Hotel Austin in partnership with Big Medium.