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Deanna Lee

Studio Building
Studio Interior
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Studio Location
Dov'e (2011, acrylic on paper, 34 x 58 inches)
Miss Aquatic (2011, acrylic on paper, 35 x 46.5 inches)
Belly wave (2010, acrylic on MDF panel, 17 x 25 inches)
A-mare (2011, acrylic on paper, 58.5 x 34.75 inches)
Entwining (2009, acrylic on MDF panel, 35 x 17 inches)
Artist's Statement

I use a process of intuitive, controlled doodling to create line clusters. These clusters grow in an organic fashion and in relationship to preexisting lines and forms. The resulting masses of line clusters evoke organic forms (like hair, muscles, and fungi), natural systems like waves and wind currents, geological strata, and topographical maps. To me, the masses convey a range of entities or characters. I think of them as visual metaphors for social relationships and emotional states.

I am inspired by non-Western art—particularly Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan art—as well as cartoons and urban graphics. Underlying the imagery of my work is the idea of hair as a typically feminine characteristic, a metaphor of life energy and vanity, with associations ranging from strength to grace to fear.

I develop each image until I feel it has curiosity and tension, when the forms suggest but do not declare their identities or purpose.


Born in Carmel, New York, raised in suburban Boston. Studied at Oberlin College, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Tyler School of Art in Rome.
Solo exhibitions: Wave Hill, Bronx; PS122, New York City; Artemisia Gallery, Chicago; Edward Williams College, New Jersey; Earlville Opera House, New York.
Two-person show: Lake George Arts Project.
Group shows include: The Drawing Center, Abrons Art Center, ArtBridge, Artists Space, Lower East Side Printshop, NURTUREart, Sikkema Jenkins Gallery, Society Contemporary Art, and ZieherSmith Gallery in New York City; Aron Packer Gallery, Hyde Park Art Center, Jan Cicero Gallery, and Klein Art Works in Chicago; and SPACES in Cleveland.
Awards include: The National Academy, BRIC Arts Media, Manhattan Graphics Center, Asia Society.
Residencies: Millay Colony for the Arts, 2004; Alternate Associate Artist, Atlantic Center for the Arts, 2010.
Deanna lives and works in Brooklyn.