Jonathan Lee is an artist and librarian living and working in Richmond, Virginia. His studio practice explores ephemeral memory, secret histories and social constructions; often through abstracting activated materials. His social practice utilizes multi-modal approaches to engage individuals, small groups, and communities with ideas through discussion, art making and display.
Lee's work is made predominantly from used, discarded or repurposed materials. Charged by exchanges and interactions of often unknown consequence, these materials have the power to reveal things about our past, present and future, not just because of what they are, but who we are. By altering their original form and function, Lee investigates how information is created, interpreted and renewed through individuals, communities and systems. By engaging in both art making and the research process, he solves problems of his own design while reflecting on problems in the world.
In the studio, Lee is engaged in at least two conversations. One is with himself (What am I feeling and thinking?) The other is with the materials (What are they doing and saying?) Where these dialogs overlap is where the work takes shape; a product of following small details to unexpected places.
Lee's work responds to both the materials and the maker, a collection of personal and communal experiences where patterns and connections are both made and broken. These abstractions offer an alternative apparatus for taking in and questioning information. An opportunity to consider things differently.