Myoung-Ae Lee and Isabel Rower at NADA
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Myoung-Ae Lee & Isabel Rower
May 02 – 05 2024
NADA New York

Join us in New York for the gallery’s inaugural participation in NADA.

NADA New York
548 West 22nd St.
New York, NY 90007

Hours
May 02, 4 – 7PM
May 03, 11AM – 7PM
May 04, 11AM – 7PM
May 05, 11AM – 5PM

Correspondence / Coexistence

Marta is honored to announce the gallery’s inaugural participation in NADA New York with a presentation of works by artists Myoung-Ae Lee and Isabel Rower. Spanning the floor and walls of the NADA Projects booth, the focus for this year’s New York program is on local and locally-connected female artists whose separate practices represent one node in a multi-generational artist lineage, highlighting the gallery’s interest in exploring the tracking and tracing of parent-offspring genealogy as it relates to zeitgeist, imprinting, and the proverbial passing of the baton.

Marta initially became familiar with the work of Korean artist Myoung-Ae Lee through her New York-based son, the artist and designer Minjae Kim, whose work the gallery first exhibited in 2021. Lee’s shaped canvases present a typology that exists in-between painting and sculpture; one whose inability to be traditionally framed announce their objecthood in a satisfying, slippery-to-classify way that resonates with the gallery’s curatorial interests. Beyond these paintings’ formal success is an elemental and non-representational trompe-l’œil that puts to use a compellingly focused palette. With the Zeuxisian suggestion of shape and dimension within the surface of the paintings, paired with the tangible depth of these works—sometimes the pieces protrude several inches off the wall—the shallow painted sculptures span more than a decade of output from a matriarch whose oeuvre has laid the foundation for her progeny’s torch-bearing in and around the arts.

Lee’s paintings read, in many ways, like textiles—their softly rippling shapes gathered, as in Work 2310 – Correspondence (2023), like the fabric of a capped sleeve, lending a sense of movement to her distinctly un-angular canvases. Even those forms that lean toward 90°, such as the asymmetrically rectangular shapes of Work 1701 – Coexistence (2017), appear hemmed—embroidered together with the care of a quiltmaker’s discerning needle. In this way, the artist pays homage to the materiality of canvas itself, amplified by the use of other natural fibers and plaster to broaden the traditional focus of the medium beyond the marks of a painter’s brush to the nuances and possibilities of the expanse on which they are applied and face us.

In reverse-generational order, the gallery first encountered the ceramic work of Isabel Rower via the output of her mother Maria Robledo. In this new body of work from the younger Rower—who showed an early, related functional sculpture, Box Chair I, at Mart’s Make-Do presentation in New York last spring—the artist uses discarded cardboard from her and her mother’s clay orders to make interior frameworks for stoneware pieces whose end forms gently suggest, or occasionally feign, the very same material that define their structure: [cardboard] boxes. By materially abstracting their modest source, Rower, too, engages with a different kind of trompe-l’œil: one that disguises furniture as sculpture (and-vice-versa), and presents one medium play-acting as another.

Through this process, the artist confounds viewers’ tactile expectations of her work, causing surprise, and delight, when hand and seat are met with the firm, cool response of ceramic rather than the temperate pliability of the paper product each are camouflaged as, imitating their material assumption with ease and a touch of humor. Realized in warm tones of brown, Rower’s floor works appear both grounded and weightless, the suggestion of air beneath their softened angles providing a counter to the heft of their scale and composition. The subtle glow emanating from Box Lamp and the liquid invitation from Box Teapot cues our relationship to these works and their participation in patterns of domestic living, announcing the day’s arrival and waiting, patiently, for its hours to unfold.

Myoung-Ae Lee &
Isabel Rower

About the Artists

Myoung-Ae Lee (b.1956, Seoul, Korea) is an artist currently living and working in Daejeon, South Korea. Myoung-Ae has been active in the Korean art scene since 1982, participating in multiple group shows and featured in several trade publications. In 2000, she received her Masters degree in Fine Arts from Kei-Myong University, and in 2016 received her PhD in Fine Arts at Won-Kwang University with her dissertation ‘The Reinterpretation of Space Through Shaped Canvas.’ Lee’s work—which comprises oil paint on canvas, as well as collages of natural fiber, fabric, and plaster on shaped canvas—explores the delicate relationships of individual entities as they relate to the whole, translated by way of the broad and recurring theme of coexistence (after which many of her works are named). She has shown her work in New York, Los Angeles, Wiesbaden, Berlin, Daejeon, Jeju, and Seoul.

Isabel Rower (b. 1998, New York) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Rower studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she began making work that operates as both sculpture and furniture. She has shown with galleries such as Fairfax Dorn Projects, Alcova Milano, Europa Gallery, and Marta, and has been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Dezeen. Working primarily with clay, Rower utilizes the forms of everyday and often prime objects to explore the transformative properties of material and the elements of nature, blurring the boundaries between practicality and adornment. Her work was recently acquired by SFMOMA for an upcoming exhibition, and her dishware was featured in a recent presentation with her mother, Maria Robledo, at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Portraits by Sean Davidson

Works — Myoung-Ae Lee

Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 0710 – Coexistence, 2007
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
37.0 × 45.0 × 2.5 in
94.5 × 115.0 × 6.0 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 1402 – Coexistence, 2014
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
41.3 × 59.0 × 2.5 in
105.0 × 150.0 × 6.0 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 1701 – Coexistence, 2017
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
19.0 × 32.0 × 2.5 in
48.0 × 81.5 × 6.0 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 1912–3, 2019
Oil on Canvas
24.0 × 19.7 × 2.0 in
60.6 × 50.0 × 5.0 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2107–1, 2021
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
12.0 × 10.4 × 1.0 in.
30.5 × 26.5 × 2.5 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2110 – Correspondence, 2021
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
22.4 × 34.5 × 2.5 in
57.0 × 87.7 × 6.0 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2211–1, 2022
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
17.7 × 17.7 × 1.5 in
45.0 × 45.0 × 3.8 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2211–2, 2022
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
13.0 × 15.5 × 1.5 in.
33.0 × 39.4 × 3.8 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2211–3, 2022
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
Approx. 14.5 × 14.0 × 1.5 in.
Approx. 36.8 × 35.6.0 × 3.8 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2211–4, 2022
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
15.5 × 10.5 × 1.5 in.
39.4 × 26.7 × 3.8 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2211–5, 2022
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
13.0 × 15.25 × 1.5 in.
33.0 × 38.7 × 3.8 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2211–6, 2022
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
13.0 × 12.0 × 1.5 in.
33.0 × 30.5 × 3.8 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2211–7, 2022
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
15.5 × 12.7 × 1.5 in
39.4 × 32.3 × 3.8 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2211–8, 2022
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
Approx. 14.5 × 14.0 × 1.5 in.
Approx. 36.8 × 35.6.0 × 3.8 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2310 – Correspondence, 2023
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
20.0 × 24.0 × 2.5 in
50.8 × 61.0 × 6.0 cm

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Myoung-Ae Lee
Work 2404–4, 2024
Mixed Media on Shaped Canvas
26.8 × 39.75 × 2.0 in.
68.0 × 101.0 × 5.8 cm

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Works — Isabel Rower

Isabel Rower
Box Chair 2, 2024
Stoneware
26.0 × 24.0 × 23.0 in.
66.0 × 61.0 × 58.4 cm

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Isabel Rower
Box Chair 3, 2024
Stoneware
24.5 × 25.0 × 23.5 in.
62.2 × 63.5× 59.7 cm

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Isabel Rower
Tall Box 1, 2024
Stoneware
19.25 × 15.0 × 15.75 in.
62.2 × 63.5× 59.7 cm

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Isabel Rower
Low Box 1, 2024
Stoneware
15.25 × 14.0 × 14.5 in.
38.7 × 35.6 × 36.8 cm

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Isabel Rower
Low Box 2, 2024
Stoneware
14.75 × 17.25 × 16.5 in.
37.5 × 43.8 × 42.0 cm

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Isabel Rower
Low Box 3, 2024
Stoneware
11.5 × 15.5 × 14.5 in.
29.2 × 39.4 × 36.8 cm

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Isabel Rower
Trash Box, 2024
Stoneware
12.0 × 11.25 × 8.0 in.
30.5 × 28.6 × 20.3 cm

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Isabel Rower
Tall Box 2, 2024
Stoneware
21.75 × 15.0 × 14.5 in.
55.2 × 38.1 × 36.8 cm

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Isabel Rower
Box Shelf, 2024
Stoneware
4.75 × 25.25 × 9.75 in.
12.1 × 64.8 × 24.8 cm

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Isabel Rower
Tall Box Light, 2024
Stoneware, Lighting Components
30.5 × 15.75 × 14.5 in.
77.5 × 40.0 × 36.8 cm

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Isabel Rower
Medium Box Light, 2024
Stoneware, Lighting
18.5 × 15.75 × 14.5 in.
47.0 × 40.0 × 36.8 cm

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Isabel Rower
Small Box Light, 2024
Stoneware, Lighting
12.75 × 15.75 × 14.5 in.
32.4 × 40.0 × 36.8 cm

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Isabel Rower
Wide Box Lamp, 2024
Stoneware, Lighting
22.0 × 19.0 × 25.0 in.
56.0 × 48.3× 63.5 cm

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Isabel Rower
Box Sconce 1, 2024
Stoneware, Lighting Components
13.5 × 13.25 × 4.0 in.
34.3 × 33.7 × 10.2 cm

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Isabel Rower
Box Sconce 2, 2024
Stoneware, Lighting Components
13.5 × 12.25 × 3.5 in.
34.3 × 31.1 × 8.9 cm

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Isabel Rower
Box Pitcher 1, 2024
Stoneware
10.0 × 10.0 × 7.25 in.
25.4 × 25.4 × 18.4 cm

Isabel Rower
Box Pitcher 2, 2024
Stoneware
11.5 × 9.25 × 7.0 in.
29.2 × 23.5 × 17.8 cm

Isabel Rower
Box Teapot, 2024
Stoneware
9.25 × 8.75 × 6.0 in.
23.5 × 22.2 × 15.2 cm

Isabel Rower
Large Box Object 1, 2024
Stoneware
13.25 × 5.0 × 4.5 in.
33.7 × 12.7 × 11.4 cm

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Isabel Rower
Large Box Object 2, 2024
Stoneware
12.5 × 6.5 × 8.75 in.
31.75 × 16.5 × 22.2 cm

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Isabel Rower
Medium Box Object 1, 2024
Stoneware
10.0 × 5.25 × 5.75 in.
25.4 × 13.3 × 14.6 cm

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Isabel Rower
Medium Box Object 2, 2024
Stoneware
9.5 × 5.0 × 4.75 in.
24.1 × 12.7 × 12.1 cm

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Isabel Rower
Medium Box Object 3, 2024
Stoneware
7.75 × 4.25 × 4.25 in.
19.7 × 10.8 × 10.8 cm

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Isabel Rower
Medium Box Object 4, 2024
Stoneware
7.75 × 4.25 × 4.25 in.
19.7 × 10.8 × 10.8 cm

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Isabel Rower
Medium Box Object 5, 2024
Stoneware
8.0 × 5.0 × 5.75 in.
20.3 × 12.7 × 14.6 cm

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Isabel Rower
Medium Box Object 6, 2024
Stoneware
6.75 × 7.75 × 4.75 in.
17.1 × 19.7 × 12.0 cm

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Isabel Rower
Small Box Object 1, 2024
Stoneware
6.25 × 3.0 × 2.75 in.
15.9 × 7.6 × 7.0 cm

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Isabel Rower
Small Box Object 2, 2024
Stoneware
6.5 × 3.0 × 2.0 in.
16.5 × 7.6 × 5.0 cm

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Isabel Rower
Small Box Object 3, 2024
Stoneware
5.5 × 3.0 × 2.5 in.
14.0 × 7.6 × 6.3 cm

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Isabel Rower
Small Box Object 4, 2024
Stoneware
6.0 × 3.75 × 3.0 in.
15.2 × 9.5 × 7.6 cm

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Isabel Rower
Small Box Object 5, 2024
Stoneware
8.0 × 3.0 × 2.75 in.
20.3 × 7.6 × 7.0 cm

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Isabel Rower
Small Box Object 6, 2024
Stoneware
3.25 × 1.25 × 2.0 in.
8.3 × 3.2 × 5.0 cm

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Isabel Rower
Small Box Object 7, 2024
Stoneware
3.25 × 1.25 × 2.0 in.
8.3 × 3.2 × 5.0 cm

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Marta

Marta is a Los Angeles-based, globally-engaged art gallery. Founded in 2019, the gallery makes space for artists to experiment with the utility of design, and for designers to explore the abandonment of function. Marta’s curatorial and publication programs take interest in the process of a work’s creation as well the narrative of its creator(s). Marta embraces the intersection of and the transition between disciplines, advocates for diversity in design, and promotes broad access to the arts.