Pryce Lee
What LIES Beneath
Feb 19 – Mar 21 2015

NEOCHROME is pleased to present What LIES Beneath, the first solo show in Europe by Pryce Lee.

What LIES Beneath takes form through the pictorial appropriation of the urban landscape and the multiple realms of symbolism whose aesthetic basis is found precisely in the streets of Manhattan.

The result of over two years of documentary research, the “Street Hieroglyphics” reflect the artist’s interest in the language of construction work. Red engineering signs sprayed on asphalt, skillfully reproduced through the combination of polymers, brick dust, black sand, metal shavings and other materials on canvas, become a new vocabulary for Lee through which to face the viewer with a new semiotic investigation, raising the “trace” of a metropolitan reality that in the past has been neglected even by the most avant-garde Street Art to the level of the artwork. 

Every part of the hard work of those street worksites is granted its own nobility. Behind the simple gestures of each sign, complex engineering plans, long periods of sacrifice, determination and humility are concealed. A fragment of contemporary history that Lee intends to archive and at the same time to reinterpret in his paintings. The result is a radical reversal of perspective between the tangible function of urban signs and the unexpected celebration of their artistic value.

The conceptual completion of this body of work is represented by a second series of paintings, entitled “Unreal Estate”, which takes a critical approach to the progressive rise of real estate prices in the Western world. The gilded glimpses that appear on the same material base as the “Street Hieroglyphics” ideally correspond to luxury properties, in a market by now far from any concrete fundamentals and packed with false tenets. Once again, as the title of the show suggests, something “lies” under the surface. The levels of interpretation are multiple, and are clearly underscored by the sculptural work.

Pryce Lee was born in 1975 in Coventry, lives and works between Birmingham and New York.

Selected exhibitions: Anonymous Gallery (New York and Mexico City), Kowal+Odermatt (Miami), Mama Gallery (Los Angeles), Eric Firestone Gallery (New York). 

Curated by Marco Marrone