Artist Talk: September 23, 6pm
Paul Nicholson, Gallery Director
Muhlenberg College will host Sandra Eula Lee for a solo exhibition in the Martin Art Gallery for the opening of their 2021/2022 School year. The Gallery plans to hold a public reception on Thursday September 9th, from 6:00 – 7:30pm. Additionally, Sandra will give an artist talk in the Center for the Arts Recital Hall [adjacent to the Gallery], at 6pm on September 23rd, which is also open to campus and community. Masks are required for all visitors entering Muhlenberg College’s indoor spaces.
Sandra Eula Lee is a multidisciplinary artist who employs a range of unconventional artistic processes to pose questions about form and materiality. Her works use raw elemental materials, which she transforms through a series of deliberative steps. As if she were performing a science experiment, these materials are combined then burned in kilns, smashed together, or otherwise manipulated into a range of creative artifacts. Many of her works tend to conflate an end-product with the basic components that comprise something. In her work Ash (2021), she begins with over a hundred square terracotta panels which are kiln fired with various mixes of sodium bicarbonate and copper imposed upon them. Changing the recipe on each panel, some result in a carbon black patina while others end up ash white. Varying the thickness or time in the kiln means some panels are encrusted with a rust-red patina, akin to Martian moonscapes. This is heightened as parts are arranged into a pixelated matrix on the floor. The final layout evokes an overhead navigational satellite photography, with images stitched together.
In her work Electronics Garden / Slow Burn (2021) colorful wire from discarded and smashed electronic components is wrapped around petrified wood and various minerals. Visibly at the center of these works, Lee has placed chunks of Cassiterite, Bauxite, Sphalerite, Chalcopyrite (the rocks and minerals from which we get Tin, Aluminum, Zinc, and Copper). Making the micro, macro, the artist is manipulating scale, resulting in forms that resemble teaching models of novel atomic structures. Like an applied citizen-scientist sharing her data, Lee seems to be inviting us to reconsider the environmental costs of our built environment.
Lee’s works have been exhibited internationally, including at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, The Hilliard Museum in Lafayette, LA, Art Space Pool in Seoul, Inside-Out Museum in Beijing, Smack Mellon and Rush Arts Gallery in New York, Goucher College in Baltimore, and Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. Recently her work has been featured at The Delaware Contemporary, Ethan Cohen Fine Art KuBE in Beacon, NY and The Border Project Space in Brooklyn. Lee is currently an Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellow and a recipient of the 2020 Individual Artist Award from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. She’s been an Artist-inResidence at The Elizabeth Foundation Studio Center in New York, The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Seoul Museum of Art, and the Vermont Studio Center among others. Her work has been discussed in The New York Times, Time Out New York, Boston Globe, and Harper’s Bazaar Seoul. Upcoming projects include Philadelphia’s Cherry Street Pier and The Phillips Museum at Franklin & Marshall College in PA where she runs the Expanded Sculpture program.