Jocelyn Lee

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Throughout her career, Lee’s photographic practice has utilised portraiture as a tool to explore the tactile qualities of the living world. Her richly descriptive colour works emphasise the tonal and textural richness of foliage, fabrics and flesh. Lee is driven by existential themes, including those of sexuality, family, death and aging.

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.

From 1990 1996, Lee lived with teenage mothers and fathers in Texas and Maine, documenting her compelling series The Youngest Parents: Teenage Pregnancy as it Shapes Lives (1997). The book was published in collaboration with Robert Coles and John Moses.

Her first monograph Nowhere but Here was published in 2010 and explored the idea of beauty and its poignant fragility. The subjects of Lee’s photographs frequently examine the concept of beauty. Lee’s series Women are Beautiful photographed women in intimate settings and aimed at expanding the definition of feminine beauty to include the more vulnerable stages of life, including adolescence, pregnancy, middle age, old age and illness.

Lee’s most recent series The Appearance of Things continues Lee’s ongoing examination of the physical world. The series encompasses still life, portrait and landscape genres as Lee explores the depiction of the body in an ephemeral landscape. The works in the series reflect in particular on the life cycle and the process of ageing.

Exhibitions and Awards

Lee taught photography at Princeton University from 2003-2012 and at The Maine College of Art from 1993-2001. She has been a visiting artist at Yale University, Bowdoin College, Mass College of Art, and New York University.

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.

News and Press

20th Apr 2018

Aesthetica Magazine: Transient Moments

It’s Nice That: Jocelyn Lee’s first UK solo exhibition