Pasatiempo (The Santa Fe New Mexican)August 7, 2009
IL LEE: Ballpoint Drawings at Gebert Contemporary is reviewed in the cover article of Pasatiempo, The Santa Fe New Mexican’s Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture, August 7-13, 2009.
One of the most striking aspects of Il Lee’s ballpoint drawings is how he manages to convey a great sense of depth using only one color applied to either canvas or paper in a seemingly uninterrupted flow. One work, titled MBL-020, draws your attention from the loose, flowing, gestural lines at the left side to the dense and dark area on the right side that seems to recede into distance. The scale — the piece is 41.5 by 30 inches — is large enough that, standing before it, one has the sense of being at the mouth of a cave. Conversely, the density Lee achieves with the ink he uses in MBL-020 gives the image the appearance of being a near-solid mass, so his drawing seems to shift between the objective and the nonobjective, or between the figurative and the purely abstract. It might be more accurate to say that this drawing, as well as many in Lee’s show at Gebert Contemporary’s Railyard location, shifts between representing being and representing emptiness or void space.