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Jocelyn Lee: Nowhere but Here

May 6–July 2, 2010

32 East 57th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY


Installation Views

Selected Works

Pace/MacGill Gallery is pleased to present Jocelyn Lee: Nowhere but Here, featuring approximately thirty recent chromogenic prints (2008-2010). The exhibition is accompanied by a monograph published by Steidl, with a foreword by Sharon Olds and afterword by Lydia Neuman. Whether classified as landscapes, portraits or nudes, Jocelyn Lee's photographs poignantly capture beauty and humanity's fragile nature. Her images of the natural and constructed world explore the sensuality and materiality of the environments against which life's events continually unfold.

Capturing solitary moments of self-reflection, Lee endows her subjects, be they familiar family friends or strangers, with a vivid yet dignified presence. Her portraits are filled with implicit stories, conveyed through the contemplative countenances and poses of her sitters. Lee seeks to reveal a subtle beauty, both physical and psychological, that is often overlooked: "the quality of a middle-aged woman's naked body, alone in a motel room; the way lingerie is filled with hope and expectation for physical intimacy; or the quality of light on a person’s skin as they sit on their bed before a day of activity." With a clear and compassionate eye, Lee encourages viewers to consider universal issues such as youth and aging, illness and mortality, vulnerability, and our relationship with nature. As Sharon Olds observes, "[Lee] gives us ourselves, in the eyes of others looking out at us."

In "Last Light" (2007-2008), Lee presents photographs made during the final year of her mother's struggle with lung cancer. Using a medium- format camera, a primitive box camera, and a digital camera, Lee meticulously recorded images of her mother, her home, their family and friends. The pinhole photograph phlox in your garden during the last hour of your life, July 11, 2008, 5:00 to 6:50 A.M. (2008) depicts a flower from her mother's garden. The intended multiple-hour exposure was never completed, however, as Lee stopped the camera's shutter upon learning of her mother’s death. As Lee explains, "[t]ogether, these images are a meditation on love, the beauty of the physical world, and the transience of both."

Jocelyn Lee (b. 1962, Naples, Italy) received a BA from Yale University in 1986 and an MFA in Photography from the City University of New York at Hunter College in 1992. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2001) and currently teaches at Princeton University. Since 1992, Lee has exhibited her work nationally in solo and group exhibitions. Her photographs can be found in the permanent collections of the Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine; the Colby College Museum of Fine Art, Waterville, Maine; the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine; the Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany; the List Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.

Lee's photographs have been published in The Youngest Parents: Teenage Pregnancy as it Shapes Lives (1997); The Spirit of Family (2002); and Nowhere but Here (2010).

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