The first UK solo exhibition of American photographer, Jocelyn Lee, will open at Huxley Parlour Gallery in April. The exhibition will showcase a selection of Lee’s portraits, landscapes and still lifes, including works from her latest series The Appearance of Things.
Lee’s work is driven by existential themes of sexuality, family, death and ageing. Throughout her career, she has utilised portraiture of the female form 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.
New works on display from the series The Appearance of Things, (2016 – ongoing), continue Lee’s ongoing examination of the physical world. Encompassing and fusing still life, portrait and landscape genres, the works depict bodies enmeshed in an ephemeral environment. The female forms are submerged in water or dappled in sunlight, counterpointed with contemporary memento mori of vivid and painterly still lifes of rotting flowers and glistening fruit. Collectively, the works offer a melancholy yet unsentimental reflection on life’s transitions through stages of birth, blossoming and death.
Lee’s photographs seek to question and expand on the traditional definitions of female beauty her portraits steer clear of the conventional and idealised. Women, both old and young, are posed in the natural landscape, creating raw and honest portraits, rich in implied narrative.
‘I want to expand the notion of the beautiful to include the more vulnerable stages of life, including adolescence, pregnancy, middle age, old age and illness. I am interested in embracing what others may see as physical imperfection or vulnerability, and documenting it with the eyes of a lover.’
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. Her first monograph Nowhere but Here was published in 2010. 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.