Margaret Lee

Jack Hanley Gallery / Misako & Rosen / The Green Gallery / CV


Passivity seemingly marks the experience of accumulating time along familiar pathways, until it doesn't. Breaking with assumed understandings allows for a cumulative view and reveals overlooked marks. At this point of engagement, that which comes into focus demands more than acknowledgement, it pushes back.
- November 2022, Seoul

Irregardless of the conditions that may have resulted in the formation of a pile, the accumulation has sway. Here or there, weight and volume are not always commensurable. Commitment takes more than an allotment of space and maybe shouldn’t be confused with holding one’s ground.
- March 2022, Milwaukee

As hard as it gets, holding on can get you to the other side of a situation. Specific attachments can be contested as can the sides but the intimacies found beyond self-disclosure require fidelity. Practical work grounds the line. Relationality ensures transference. Push and pull won’t let you down.
- March 2022, Tokyo

Skepticism for what could have been doesn’t always end in paralysis. It can also encourage the repetition of form. Over and over again doesn’t always end in accumulation. Sometimes the specific end is more about dispersal.
- August 2021, East Hampton

Suspense arouses expectations but what good are expectations if they inevitability end in disappointment. Been thinking about ways up, out and around but I keep coming back to accepting that bad immediately is just fine.
- January 2021, NYC

Reciprocation is an elusive thing. Stop short of articulation. It’s OK to make yourself unintelligible, I c what u mean.
- September 2020, Brussels

Walking through life head down is the easiest way to go unnoticed and also to not notice. How long until you want to bring your head up? Leaks and ominous clouds abound, not new but maybe new to you. Head down, head up, whether or not it matters is up to you.
- August 2018, Milwaukee

Taking turns can mean feeling things out but it is sometimes hard to know whether the tables are turning or if we are going in circles. There are times when XXX = ♡ but also times when it is quite opposite. Let’s try to get on the same page … shall I put a banana in your tailpipe, so you know how it feels?
- January 2018, London

This isn’t what I expected or what I wanted. What comes after XXX and ♡ when forward becomes reverse and stalling preferable to both? There might be some or a lot of waiting involved before I figure out where to put my flow. Trying to be more accepting of the situation but there is a banana in my tailpipe, do you know how that feels?
- November 2017, Tokyo

It’s not that I’m not taking (this) seriously but I am most definitely looking for other options or should I say maybe an out. Who knew cracking the nut would be so hard when for so long I thought the pressure valve was there just for show. A viable option for some but I’ve been trained not to touch. Let’s see what happens with the release. Would you want that in your house?
- October 2016, NYC

- March 2016, Hong Kong

- November 2014, Los Angeles

Transitions are not always easy and it might be fair to say that often times they are difficult. It’s hard to know the best course of action. Tenacity helps but sometimes it’s ok to settle into the maybe. Drawings include: dots, dalmatian, grid, bananas, chains, squiggles, potato, carrot, apples, pumpkin, and bonsai. Grass provided by Central Sod Farms.
- August 2014, Oak Park

In finding the balance between one’s true desires and realizable good taste – displays of self control can take you very far. Inspiration can be found in the unexpected so keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to borrow and steal as long as you make it your own. Closer to right than wrong / closer to wrong than right… Either way, this one is for me but also for you.
- February 2014, NYC

Selecting things is not always easy but seems to happen frequently. Images and objects include: elephant, pink, grey, black, dots, cactus, Paintings, table, bench, middle age, loneliness, circle, half circle, pear, banana, tangerines. Read a book: Dennis Cooper’s ‘Idols’ and ‘The Tenderness of Wolves’, Bob Nickas’s ‘Live Free or Die’ and ‘Theft Is Vision’, George Melly and J.R. Glaves-Smith’s ‘A Child of Six Could Do It!’, and Sam Kash’s ‘Surf Goddesses’. There is no telephone in this show but there is a third artist. Thank you.
- April 2013, Los Angeles

- September 2013, Lyon

You can find things or make things, it doesn’t really matter. Images and objects: grey triangle, pink semi-circle, yellow circle, silhouettes, wrong, blue, red, black, white, cucumber, eggplant, telephones, table, plant, stool, books. Read a book, selection includes: David Robilliard’s “Swallowing Helmets; Bruce Hainley’s “Foul Mouth”, and Paul McCarthy, Miles Varner and Carol Lingham’s “Wolfgang Stoerchle.” Do not put the receiver to your ear. Thank you.
- August 2012, Milwaukee

-December 2012, NYC

This economy forces double-fisting sometimes but mostly triple or quadruple. How much can you carry? I have 17 keys on my keychain and this show was made on stolen time. There are 4 pieces in this show and all of them are exactly what they are: backdrop painting of a jungle, oil on muslin, 10’ x 27’; cast watermelon, acrylic on plaster, 11” x 8” x 8”; zebra skin painting, oil on linen, 9’ x 6’; color photograph, 19” x 24”. Actually, 3 of the 4 are replications of what they are meant to be: a jungle, a zebra skin, a watermelon.
- November 2011, NYC

- January 2010

- May 2009 - May 2010

Selected News


Zing Magazine interview

“Gray Areas: Artists On Jasper Johns”, Art in America

White Columns Talk

IWWD op-ed with Jamie McCallum, Jacobin

Artforum Review

Best! Letters from Asian Americans in the arts

Abstraction! CADAN Yurakucho

Grouper, Broadway

Bad Immediately book available at Jack Hanley Gallery

Pictures not Immediacy / print on demand


I.C.W.U.M. book available at Misako & Rosen

I.C.W.U.M. Conceptual Fine Arts review

For a Dreamer of Houses, Dallas Museum of Art


The Artist is Present, Yuz Museum

...banana in your tailpipe Art Asia Pacific interview

...banana in your tailpipe Art Observed review

Oomingmak, Capital Gallery

30th Anniversary Exhibition Attics of My Life, Jack Hanley Gallery

Sea Sick in Paradise, DEPART Foundation


Her Crowd, Bruce Museum

"Snapping in Chinatown", Affidavit


Having it Boths Ways, The Windows at Barneys

in conversation with Dennis Freedman, Garage Magazine

de, da, do...da, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

Caza, Bronx Museum

Artforum "Critics' Pick", Caza

The New York Times, Caza

Lost For Words, Murray Guy

In the Making, Luxembourg & Dayan

Artforum "Critics' Pick", Hong Kong

"A Loop Repeats Itself", TEXTE ZUR KUNST


No Man's Land, Rubell Family Collection

You Can Teach an Old Zebra New Tricks, Hannah Hoffman Gallery

Los Angeles Times Review

Artforum "Critics' Pick, Los Angeles

All Watched Over, curated by Tina Kukielski


DISPLAYED, curated by Matthew Higss

Art in America Review

Artforum Review

Interview Magazine


12th Biennale de LyonLyon, France

The Time Machine (The Survivors), curated by cura magazine

Parasitic Gaps, curated by Miriam Katzeff

New Pictures of Common Objects, MoMA PS1, curated by Chris Lew

Permutations 03.2: Re-Place, P!, New York, NY

MHMMML: Matthew Higgs, Marlon Mullen, Margaret Lee, China Art Objects, Los Angeles, CA


It’s Hardly Softcore, curated by Janus Høm and Mikkel Carl, BKS Garage,Copenhagen Denmark

Bulletin Boards, curated by Matthew Higgs, Venus over Manhattan, New York, NY

Should’ve Heard Just What I Seen, curated by Kelly Taxter, Riverview School, East Sandwich, MA


Looking Back, curated by Ken Okiishi and Nick Mauss, White Columns, New York, NY

December, organized by Howie Chen, Mitchell Innes and Nash, New York, NY

... in progress