Adam Lee

Adam Lee works from his studio in the hills of the Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia, and he works mostly with traditional painting and drawing materials. His work references a wide range of sources including historical and colonial photography, biblical narratives, natural history, and most recently seem to embody more imagined or fantastical sources, investigating aspects of the human condition in relation to ideas of temporal and supernatural worlds. There is a sort of unsettling stillness to Lee’s work, a type of peaceful disquietude, where figures are situated in strange, unearthly spaces seem to tend to their own spiritual procession.

As his practice has moved from more traditional ‘landscape’ painting to a practice that incorporates more emotive, poetic and narrative qualities, the work seems laboured upon with an almost religious reverence – somewhere between RB Kitaj and Rothko, oddly enough. There is a stylisation of all Lee’s forms – where the figures become almost crystallised – and the viewer senses the creative and critical processes Lee undergoes to create his distinct bodies of work.

From hunters to shamanism, to fatherhood, Lee’s themes result in an informative nucleus from which he works prolifically to create large paintings and drawings that respond to a central theme. As viewers, we become complicit to the world he creates.

ADAM LEE (b. 1979, Melbourne, Australia) lives and works in Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia. He obtained a PhD from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2015, and graduated with a Masters by Research and Bachelor of Fine Art from the same university in 2006 and 2002 respectively.

Solo exhibitions include: Dry Bones, Crying Stones, STATION, Sydney (2023); Wrestling Smoke, BEERS London, London (2023); World Sick Hermit, STATION, Melbourne, Australia (2022);  O Restless Earth, STATION, Sydney (2020) ; My Thousand Sounds, BEERS London, (2019); Stratum with Jon Cattapan, STATION, Melbourne (2019), Monolith, Gertrude Glasshouse, Melbourne (2018), Lament Asunder (All is Dark is Midnight to Me), STATION, Melbourne (2017); This Earthen Tent, BEERS London (2017); Of a Great and Mighty Shadow, Angell Gallery, Toronto (2016); Eden. Exile. Babel, STATION, Melbourne (2015); A Long Obedience, BEERS London (2015); Into the Heart of the Sea and to the Roots of the Mountains, KALIMANRAWLINS, Melbourne (2012); The World Travailing, KALIMANRAWLINS, Melbourne (2011); And They Built for Themselves Kingdoms, Tristian Koenig, Melbourne (2011).

Group exhibitions include: Dark Is The Night Before Day, STATION, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart (2023); MELBOURNE NOW, The Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2023); Spiritual Understand in a Secular Age, cbOne Gallery, Melbourne (2023); paper., BEERS London, London (2022); Holding the Circle, Kyneton Contemporary, Australia (2022); Ten Year Show, STATION, Melbourne (2021); Pleasure Plants, STATION, Sydney, Australia (2019); Shanti Shanti Shanti, STATION, Melbourne (2018); Sirens (I Heard Voices In The Night), Gertrude Glasshouse, Melbourne (2016); 35 Works on Paper, BEERS, London (2016); Angell Gallery’s 20 Year Anniversary, Angell Gallery, Toronto, (2016); I Heart Painting 2, Angell Gallery, Toronto (2015); In the Dust of This Planet, STATION, Melbourne (2014); Ready Player One, STATION, Melbourne (2013); and ‘Art Stage Singapore (with Karen Black), Tristian Koenig Gallery, Singapore (2012).

Lee has been shortlisted & finalist for numerous awards including the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize (finalist) in 2021 & 2019. The Geelong Contemporary Art Prize 2015, The Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize 2014, the Sulman Prize, the RBS Emerging Artist Award, the Rick Amor Drawing Prize, the Mornington Peninsula Drawing Prize, the Redlands Westpac Art Prize and The Churchie National Emerging Artist Award. In 2017 he was the inaugural recipient of the Glasshouse Stonehouse Residency in France. The first monograph of his work, VOTIVE, was published through Perimeter Books in 2018. Lee’s first group showing with BEERS London was in The Fantasy of Representation, London (2015).

Lee’s work has been collected by The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Artbank, The University of Melbourne Art Collection Acacia Collection, as well as numerous private collections in Australia and internationally.