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Lee Waisler

Portraits and Abstractions

September 11 – October 11, 2008

Aung San Suu Kyi, 2007, Acrylic and wood on canvas, 50 x 50"
The Bride, Acrylic and wood on canvas, 72 x 48"
Dr. Ho Shi-Xiu, 2008, Acrylic and wood on canvas, 60 x 50"
Empress Flight, 2008, Acrylic and wood on canvas, 60 x 50"
Kafka, 2008, Acrylic and wood on canvas, 60 x 48"

Press Release

Sundaram Tagore Gallery in hong Kong is pleased to present works by American artist Lee Waisler, in Portraits and Abstractions. The exhibition opens with a cocktail reception on September 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and runs through October 11, 2008.

Gallerist Sundaram Tagore said, "We are excited to bring the first solo exhibition of Lee Waisler's art to Hong Kong, his work spans a colossal range of styles and media. Waisler is one of the most influential West Coast US artists. He revived the notion of portraiture after Andy Warhol and lends a distinct technique and style to interpretation of influential personalities in our history. This show speaks to the soul of society, something that critics have repeatedly noted about Waisler's work." The paintings are dramatic and some of the portraits are rather large in scale, almost three meters tall.

Waisler tackles current social and political issues, and offers a way to examine the spiritual, intellectual and aesthetic elements simultaneously in his work. He presents the viewer with a series of portraits of cultural and political icons, who have defined the modern world. The portraits are presented alongside thoughtful abstractions with multiplicity of forms, textures and perspectives. Painting beautiful forms replete with cross-cultural symbols and references, Waisler layers his canvasses with thick pigments, incorporating organic materials for their innate associative values: sand for time, wood for life, and glass for light.

The portraits in this show are of historic and heroic figures, people who have had a deep impact on the world, including Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Franz Kafka, Nobel laureate and pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, and micro credit guru and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus. For this exhibition, Waisler created a stunning new body of work incorporating Chinese culture and imagery. The show includes a portrait of Anna May Wong, a famous Chinese-American actress of the 1930s and 1940s; one of Marilyn Monroe dancing with Chairman Mao. A more political work, "Imperial Petrol," shows an emperor sitting next to an oil derrick. This painting touches on the subject of the ancient world colliding with the modern, our perception of the ancient world, and the physical and environmental effects on it now. Lastly, "Portrait of Doctor Ho," is of the famous healer from China.

Lee Waisler's art is in permanent collections of prestigious institutions around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, the British Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Bibliotheque Nationale and the National Gallery of Art, New Delhi.

Sundaram Tagore Gallery is devoted to the examination of intercultural dialogue and the confluence between East, West and other parts of the world. Our global community of over 25 artists originates from India, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Europe and America. We communicate not only through aesthetics, but rather with a unique approach that encompasses all forms of art, including film, poetry, dance, and literature. Our publications department has produced more than 20 books on our artists, and we are currently developing a department dedicated to film production. In New York, our non-profit division has hosted hundreds of charity events, dance performances, book launches, poetry readings, and fundraisers for the artistic, international and NYC community. We look forward to continuing to extend this tradition of comprehensive and holistic artistic support to Hong Kong and Los Angeles.