Peres Projects presents Tomato Can, the first solo exhibition in Berlin of American artist Austin Lee.
Lee’s impetus for making art capitalizes on his obsession with a digitally and technologically advancing world, the impact this has on contemporary culture, society, politics, and how it affects the way we look at art. Lee’s ambition in this body of work is to ask the viewer to question the relationship between digital manipulation and physical experience, and the exhibition functions as an intersection between reality and a surrealism driven by technological advancement.
In Tomato Can, Lee focuses on paintings which are executed based on digital sketches and painted on canvas with an airbrush. The works follow basic compositional forms, have a flattened spatial depth and are heavy on primary colors, a nod to Lee’s digital sketching process. Lee’s choice of color is based on the purpose of stimulating light and creating intense vibrations, reminding the viewer that the primary way of thinking about color today is in the context of the digital realm. However, the way our computers display color is only an imitation of the way we as humans biologically process it. The human eye is sensitive to three different wavelengths of light – red, green and blue, but by combining these three signals, the brain creates millions of different hues.
With so much of our brain activity devoted to vision, Tomato Can is an effort to translate this activity into perceptual reality. Rooted in perception, interpretation, emotion and action, Lee’s latest exhibition is led by the question of how to take the invisible and make it visible.
Austin Lee (b.1983) lives and works in New York. He received an MFA in Painting from Yale School of Art and a BFA from Tyler School of Art.