Monday 3 September 2012

Review of Transformers: Portraits by Sadie Lee at Ketchum Pleon

Transformers: Portraits by Sadie Lee
Ketchum Pleon, 35-41 Folgate Street, London, E1 6BX
27 August – 19 October 2012

Sadie Lee (born 1967) is not an artist who usually paints to commission. Her photo-realistic style is brutally honest, stripping her subjects – often quite literally – bare, revealing their inner identities, and questioning their outward presentation, both in terms of gender and sexuality.

Lee first came to public attention 20 years ago, when her painting ‘Erect’ was selected for inclusion in the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Portrait Award. The work, depicting herself and her partner, androgynously clothed and styled, sitting apart and glowering, but with their arms entwined, was used as the poster image, and, within weeks, it was a sell out. This was followed, two years later, by Lee’s first solo show, held in Manchester as part of the annual ‘It’s Queer Up North’ arts festival. Since then, her star has been rising, and, until 19 October, a selection of her works can be seen in PR agency Ketchum Pleon’s reception-area-cum-gallery, located at the boundary between the City and trendy arts hub Shoreditch. 

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