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Margaret Lee

August 27 - September 18, 2021, East Hampton, NY

Black, white, and gray abstract work

Discutio #3, 2021

Black and white abstract work, with nails sticking out

Discutio (reversed) #1, 2021

Black, white, and gray abstract work

Discutio #1, 2021

black, white, and gray abstract work, individual shot

Discutio #2, 2021

Gallery view of abstract paintings and small wooden sculptures
Gallery view of abstract painting and small wooden sculptures.
Close up of three small wooden sculptures, painted black, with nails piercing through
Gallery view of abstract paintings and small wooden sculptures

Skepticism for what could have been doesn’t always end in paralysis. It can also encourage the repetition of form. Over and over again doesn’t always end in accumulation. Sometimes the specific end is more about dispersal. - ML


Jack Hanley Gallery East Hampton is excited to announce Summer Discutio, a solo exhibition with new work by Margaret Lee. The installation is comprised of three new abstract paintings and a sculptural wall work accompanied by series of small sculptures made of scrap wood, nails and screws. This exhibition combines Lee’s interest in gestural abstraction alongside her sculptural footing.

The small scale sculptures stem from Lee’s continued desire to use materials on hand. More specifically those bits and bobs that slowly accumulate in scrap wood piles, miscellaneous drawers, and old jam jars holding a jumble of nails and screws. These remnants and extras, left over from lofty projects, are often saved for years only to be tossed in moments of purging madness.

Stainless steel metal screws dot the surface of a black framed MDF ‘painting’ that bridges her interest in the gestural abstraction of her oil paintings and the sculptural work. Screwed in alongside the white brushstrokes and splatters on a black gesso ground, this work conveys a sense of feeble utility. Hung alongside black, white and silver paintings on canvas, it serves as a counterpoint or semi-negation in an attempt to bridge two mediums often considered to be oppositional.

Discutio can be defined as strike, bring to nothing or scatter. It can also be translated to mean "I shake violently". The artist holds the definition as relating to a positive connotation despite the pessimistic or fatalistic overtones. Strike a nail into wood, empty out the jar, scatter its content throughout new artworks, shake throughout the summer to slough off the season. 

Margaret Lee has organized and exhibited work at numerous venues domestically and internationally. A selection of the artist’s recent solo and group exhibitions includes: (2020) For a Dreamer of Houses, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX (2016) Duddell’s x DMA: Concentrations HK: Margaret Lee, Duddell’s, Hong Kong, China (2016) de, da, do...da, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Public collections include: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, Dikeou Collection, Rubell Family Collection, and the Astrup Fearnley Museet. In 2009, Lee founded the artist-run space 179 Canal and is the co-founder of the gallery 47 Canal.