Archived Exhibition

Paul Lee: Divided

Tue, May 12, 2020 → Sat, Sep 5, 2020

Paul Lee

OutSmart and Contemporary Art Daily

"(Paul) Lee’s current Houston show (his second at David Shelton Gallery on Montrose Boulevard) opened after the quarantine started, and has only been viewable by appointment. The gallery is keeping it up through the summer, which is a great gift to Houston’s safety-conscious art lovers. Lee shows at Karma Gallery in New York and Stuart Shave Modern Art in London (both of whom also show Houston’s most celebrated artist, Mark Flood), so getting this significant show in Houston is a huge deal." 

"Lee’s work can appear sternly minimalist at first glance—rectangles of flat color on notched rectilinear surfaces—and the artist’s queerness is incidental to the meanings and pleasures he provides. Yet the notches are filled with tambourines that are painted to unify them with the overall compositions. Tambourines were an accessory for a certain generation of disco-obsessed revelers, and we need think only of the iconic logo of the Paradise Garage—a hot guy with a tambourine—to see how the artist’s use of musical instruments in his work 15 years ago had a political cadence. Like the towels, the tambourines are meant to be held, so our frustrated desire to pull one off a painting and play it along to Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” is part of the experience. One piece with two tambourines touching is called The Kiss and conjures the pagan rite of a dance floor transforming into pure heaven via a transcendent kiss with a near-stranger. It is wildly evocative, romantic, and wistful."
--Bill Arning, OutSmart Magazine, June 2020