Taylor Lee “Moods of Venus”
January 16, 2021 / February 13, 2021
Open by appointment only.
Over the Influence is pleased to present Moods of Venus the first solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based ceramicist Taylor Lee with the gallery. Presenting new large-scale sculptures centered around the female form, the exhibition builds on Lee’s signature female subjects often depicted in bathing suits, and holding balls or bowls in their arms.
Taylor Lee’s aesthetic derives from her fascination with prehistoric female figurines such as the Venus de Willendorf. The physical solidity of the clay gives each figure an aura of confidence, while the large, exaggerated volume and lack of distinctive features generates comparisons to archaic totems. Lee wanted to reference these iconic forms’ voluminous shape and stark sexuality to make a strong woman figure emblematic of our times like the voluptuous, whimsical, goddess-like creatures of Niki de Saint Phalle and the sturdy voluminous forms of Fernando Botero. Holding up balls and bowls, the women possess the strength of the matriarch passed down through generations, their solid arms capable of holding up the world.
Lee’s use of ceramic stoneware in different firing techniques has a primitive and unrefined element that she counters with brighter colors and pop smiley images influenced by the mood and feelings of today’s culture. For this new series, Lee has introduced smiley face masks over some of her faceless figures which seem to conceal a weariness resulting from the psychological toll of living in today’s world. The figures carry flowers, and vases, with “happy” faces adorning their suits and bodies. Together Lee’s world of characters, sturdy in both physique and character, stand strong and hopeful (if not a little weary) in the face of hardship.
Alongside Lee’s solo exhibition will be additional works on view by Camilla Engström, Alexandre Farto AKA Vhils, Cleon Peterson, and Devin Troy Strother.