Paul Lee (B. 1974)
Paul Lee (B. 1974)

(i-(iii) Untitled (Can Sculpture)

Paul Lee (B. 1974)
(i-(iii) Untitled (Can Sculpture)
(i)(ii) can, printed paper, oil, found sock, magnifying glass, stone, light bulb and string
(iii) can, printed paper, oil, found sock, magnifying glass, found bath towel, light bulb and string
(i) 11 ¾ x 9 5/8 x 4 ¾in. (30 x 24.4 x 12cm.)
(ii) 12 ¼ x 7 5/8 x 3 7/8in. (31 x 19.5 x 10cm.)
(iii) 11 ¾ x 8 ¼ x 3 7/8in. (30 x 21 x 10cm.)
Executed in 2007
Peres Projects, Berlin.
Acquired from the above in 2007.
J. Cape, The Shape of Things to Come, exh. cat, London, Saatchi Gallery, 2009, p. 424 (illustrated in colour, p. 431).
Kreuzberg, Peres Projects, Paul Lee: Harbour, 2007-2008.
London, Saatchi Gallery, Abstract America: New Painting And Sculpture, 2009 - 2010.

Lot Essay

Using everyday objects including soda cans, light bulbs, and socks, Paul Lee’s Untitled (Can Sculpture) series explores the relationships between objects and their coded cultural and sexual meanings. Evoking the approach of Robert Rauschenberg’s ‘combines,’ Lee’s works create surprising and lyrical juxtapositions. Each work from the series begins with a soda can, with a photocopy of a young man’s face pasted over the label. The image is taken from a 1970s naturist magazine, and was chosen for the boy’s strong classical features, which exemplify archetypal ideals of beauty and youth. Gym socks and towelling conjure a lingering sense of locker-room contact; some cans, painted black, are poised in phallic stance; swollen lightbulbs, perhaps in a nod to Francis Picabia’s Surrealist use of the object, suggest ‘turning on.’ One throbs a sleazy translucent red. Pendulous magnifying lenses zoom in on details such as a bulb’s filament or the boy’s lips, amplifying the works’ heightened sense of intimacy and fetishistic detail: with a touching fragility, everything is held together only by string, often strung through the can like a facial piercing. At once harsh and subtle, these near-shamanic assemblages tremble with delicate sensual tension.

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