top of page
506 Warren Street
April/May 2007

John Lees: Selected Drawings


The Nicole Fiacco Gallery is pleased to announce Selected Drawings 1992-2006, a solo exhibition of drawings and mixed media works on paper by the artist John Lees (American, b. 1943).  John Lees was a recipient of the 2005 Francis J. Greenburger Awards, which are granted to under recognized artists of importance and exceptional merit. Francis J. Greenburger is the Founder and Chairman of Art Omi International Art Center and Fields Sculpture Park in Columbia County.  

On view will be a selection of significant drawings and mixed media works on paper dating from 1992 to 2006, many of which have been worked and reworked over the course of many years.  Materiality, memory and the passage of time are essential components of the work.  As if documenting the intimate details of a personal journal, the artist records the date of each drawing session which can range in number from 15 to 20 dates over the course of 3 to 10 years.

In a 1999 Art in America review of Lees’ work Michael Klein writes that “Lees bases his work on a delicate balance between the observation of nature and the recording of the sensations caused by those same observations. He wants to couple the act of seeing with the act of remembering.”  The heavily worked surfaces of Lees’ paintings and works on paper are the result of an intense, nearly obsessive manner of mark making where the marks create both surface and image.  Over time the artist retreats and then returns to a work; building up and breaking down mediums that include ink, pencil, gouache, charcoal, and, importantly, paper, which serves not only as the means to the compositions but also as an end in itself.  

In 2005, John Lees work was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art during Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection.  In 1993, John Lees was a recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Grant.  Lees work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY, NY; The Fogg Museum, Boston, MA; The New Museum, NY, NY and the International School of Art, Umbria, Italy, among others.  

Born in Denville, NJ, John Lees currently lives and works in the Catskills, which has served as inspiration for his work.  Lees’ received his B.F.A. and M.F.A at the Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA.  

John Lees is represented by Betty Cunningham Gallery, NY, NY.
Images courtesy of Nina Nielsen Gallery, Boston, MA and Betty Cunningham Gallery, NY, NY.

bottom of page