Hollis Taggart Presents Rice-Based Paintings and Sculptures by South Korean Artist Hayoon Jay Lee

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • December 20, 2022

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Hayoon Jay Lee Echo I, 2022 Rice, modeling paste, and acrylic 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 2 1/4 in. (21.6 x 21.6 x 5.7 cm)

Fields of Vision will be on view at Hollis Taggart January 5 - February 4, 2023

Opening Reception Thursday, January 5, from 5-8PM

Special Performance by the Artist Thursday, January 19, at 6:30PM


Hollis Taggart is pleased to announce Fields of Vision, an exhibition of new and recent work by the New York-based, South Korean multimedia artist Hayoon Jay Lee. Using rice as her primary medium, Lee meticulously arranges individual grains to create abstract canvases that resemble otherworldly landscapes. Featuring 28 wall reliefs and sculptures by Lee, Fields of Vision is the most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work to date. The exhibition will be on view from January 5 through February 4, 2023, with an opening reception on Thursday, January 5, from 5-8PM. A special performance by the artist will take place on Thursday, January 19, at 6:30PM.


Featuring works from the last ten years of her practice, Fields of Vision demonstrates Lee’s tremendous creativity in pushing the boundaries of the basic nutritional staple. By embracing the diversity of the kinds of rice and their tonality, Lee has created an unusual artistic medium that is as impressive visually as it is historically. For Lee, rice is much more than a material: in addition to the significant cultural role it plays in East Asian countries, Lee considers how it relates to life and death, brings people together, and can be used politically. The artist was drawn to rice in part from her experience witnessing widespread hunger while growing up in South Korea, and began to contemplate the seed’s vital importance.


Lee creates her compositions by starting with an intuitive sketch and then layering the support surface with acrylic paint and modelling paste, almost as if creating a topography on her canvases. She then uses tweezers to meticulously arrange the individual grains of rice. Her process is meditative and requires painstaking precision over extremely long periods of time – some of the works in Fields of Vision took months to create. Once she has sculpted the rice, Lee covers the final arrangements with archival quality varnish. The resulting undulating forms at times resemble otherworldly landscapes, and at others, biomorphic forms: the artist is fascinated by internal human anatomy and is inspired by the shapes of organs and blood vessels.


In addition to her rice-based sculptural practice, Lee is known for her intimate and interactive performances which often subtly address the cultural, social, and political impact of rice. Her highly cathartic performances blend Korean traditions, spirituality, and avant-garde movement. Details of Lee’s performance at Hollis Taggart will be announced in January.


Born in Daegu, South Korea, Hayoon Jay Lee obtained both a BFA and MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Among other awards, Lee received a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship award (2008) from the U.S. Department of Education and a Full Fellowship Artist in Residency Award (2012) from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Her work is in the collections of the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), Gwangju Contemporary Museum of Art (Gwangju, Korea), and the Henan Museum (Zhengzhou, China).




About Hollis Taggart
Founded in 1979, Hollis Taggart presents significant works of American art, showcasing the trajectory of American art movements from the Hudson River School to American Modernism and the Post-War and Contemporary eras. Its program is characterized by a deep commitment to scholarship and bringing to the fore the work of under-recognized artists. The gallery has sponsored several catalogue raisonné projects, most recently for the American Surrealist artist Kay Sage, and has been instrumental in advancing knowledge of such artists as Alfred Maurer, Arthur B. Carles, and more recently, Theodoros Stamos, Marjorie Strider, and Michael (Corinne) West. In the summer of 2019, the gallery announced the formal expansion of its primary market business and focus on the presentation of contemporary work. It continues to expand its roster of contemporary artists, focusing on emerging and mid-career talents. With more than 40 years of experience, Hollis Taggart is widely recognized by collectors and curators for its leadership, expertise, and openness, on matters of art history, and market trends and opportunities. The gallery’s flagship location is in Chelsea, and it also operates a space in Southport, Connecticut.


For press inquiries, please contact Aga Sablinska at aga.sablinska@gmail.com or 862-216-6485.

Aga Sablinska
Hollis Taggart Galleries

Hollis Taggart
521 W. 26th Street
Fl. 1
New York, New York
About Hollis Taggart

Hollis Taggart—formerly known as Hollis Taggart Galleries—was founded in 1979, with a mission to present museum-quality works of art, maintain a program motivated by scholarship, and offer personalized support in all aspects of art collecting. For nearly 40 years, the gallery has offered significant works of American art—showcasing the trajectory of American art movements from the Hudson River School to American Modernism and Post-War and Contemporary eras—and curated countless critically acclaimed shows in collaboration with the foremost leaders in the field. Hollis Taggart has also worked with more than thirty museums and institutions to produce scholarly catalogues. In addition, Hollis Taggart has sponsored three catalogue raisonné projects. The first was the two-volume catalogue raisonné of Pennsylvania Impressionist Daniel Garber, which was published in 2006 and includes over 1,500 entries. In 2000, the gallery launched the Frederick Carl Frieseke catalogue raisonné, which is currently being compiled by the artist’s grandson. Most recently, the gallery has undertaken the compilation of the catalogue raisonné of Surrealist artist Kay Sage, in partnership with Mark Kelman and Sage scholar Stephen Robeson Miller. In the summer of 2015, Hollis Taggart opened its first space in Chelsea, moving from the Upper East Side where it had been operating since its inception. In fall 2018, Hollis Taggart will move to the street-level space at 521 W. 26th Street and open a private viewing and storage annex across the street, fully consolidating its operations in Chelsea. Together, the spaces provide Hollis Taggart with nearly 4,000-square-feet to host exhibitions and engage clients with select works of art in its inventory, while improving ease of access between its locations. Today, the gallery’s program has grown to encompass contemporary practitioners, as a vital component to art historical discourse. It also continues to show significant works of historic American art, with a particular focus on the Post-War era. These two intersecting threads offer Hollis Taggart’s audiences and clients a dynamic and diverse set of offerings. As the gallery looks to the future, fostering scholarship and dialogue on American art through time remains core to its work with artists, scholars, and curators. In addition to its public program, the gallery also advises private collectors, corporations, and museums on acquisitions and assists its clients in the development of their personal collections. Hollis Taggart welcomes all inquiries from collectors who may wish to sell or consign works of art or estates. The gallery can also provide appraisal services.

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