Installation view of Adam Lee’s work on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne.   <br/>
Image: Sean Fennessy<br/>

Adam Lee

Adam Lee
(b. 1979, Melbourne. Lives and works in Macedon Ranges, Victoria)

Adam Lee’s painting and drawing practice ties together narratives of memory, imagination and transcendence. With a personal outlook informed by a wide range of sources – from folklore, legend and biblical narratives to natural history, music, film and literature – his works on canvas and paper build elaborate worlds where allegory and atmosphere converge.

For Melbourne Now, Lee presents seven watercolour works that emerged from the artist’s experiences during Victoria’s lockdowns. In Mr Jabs, 2022, the familiar sight of a bandaged arm recalls the vaccination drives of the past few years, while Final days, 2022, references the beak-like ‘plague doctor’ garb of the late Renaissance period, immortalised as a commedia dell’arte character. Other works are more personal in nature, drawing on objects connected to the artist’s family (A Covering, 2022) or a photograph taken in Japan and gifted by a fellow artist (Message (After HBS), 2022). Though diverse in subject matter, source material and degrees of abstraction, collectively the works form not only a snapshot of a moment in time, but also a series of alternate temporal and supernatural worlds that continue the artist’s ongoing interrogation of perception and experience.

Lee holds a Bachelor and Masters of Fine Art, and a PhD from RMIT University. He has exhibited throughout Australia and internationally, and recently participated in the Kyneton Art Triennial (2022). He has been a finalist in The Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize (2021, 2019, 2015, 2013); The Geelong Contemporary Art Prize (2014); National Works on Paper Prize exhibition (2014); The Churchie National Emerging Artist Award (2012, 2011); The Redlands Westpac Art Prize (2010); The Rick Amor Drawing Prize (2010); and The Sir John Sulman Prize (2010, 2006). His works are represented in public and private collections in Australia and internationally.