Work > Absence without leave

Untitled (Leonard Fink_Pier 48 Interior_1980),
Black and white engineering prints on wall
Approx.13 x 9 feet
2017
2017
2017
Untitled (Martin Wong by Peter Bellamy_1985)
graphite on paper
12 ½ x 11 inches
2016
Untitled (Peter Hujar_Blanket on a chair_1983)
Digital print on blanket, polymer hardener
Approx. 33 ½ x 36 x 32 inches
2016
2017
2017
2017
Untitled (Namjin Kim_Nights in Itaewon_1984-85)
Inkjet print
32 ¾ x 48 ¾ Inches
2016
Untitled (Leonard Fink_Pier 48 Interior_1980)
inkjet print
32 ¾ x 48 ¾ Inches
2016
Untitled (Kohei Yoshiyuki_The Park_1970s)
inkjet print
32 ¾ x 48 ¾ Inches
2016
Untitled (David Wojnarowicz by Peter Hujar_1983)
inkjet print
48 ¾ x 33 ¾ Inches
2016
Untitled (Martin Wong by Peter Bellamy_1985)
inkjet print
45 ¾ x 33 ¾ Inches
2016
Untitled (Isaac Julien_Film Noir Staircase_1989)
inkjet print
48 ¾ x 32 ¾ Inches
2016
Untitled (Robert Mapplethorpe_Self Portrait_1978)
inkjet print
32 ¾ x 32 ¾ Inches
2016
Untitled (António Variaçõe_1981)
inkjet print
48 ¾ x 32 ¾ Inches
2016
Untitled (William Yang_The Morning After_1976)
inkjet print
32 ¾ x 48 ¾ Inches
2016

Poof—you are neither here nor there, but there remains proof you are still everywhere. Today and tomorrow, we touch the residue of your being once again, as we did yesterday. Together we find you in-between us, ours to keep.

Commonwealth and Council presents the first installment of a two-part exhibition of new work by Kang Seung Lee which challenges how bodies (as marked by difference) are represented in moments of pandemic and social unrest. Both “Absence without leave” and “Leave of absence” (forthcoming) deploy the touch of the magic wand to obfuscate the human body prior to rendering the figureless tableaux in graphite.

“Absence without leave” begins with a selection of iconic representations of male bodies in public and domestic spaces documented by photographers. In some photographs, the bodies remain anonymous (work by Alvin Baltrop, Leonard Fink, and William Yang); others profess an intimacy with their subject (portrait of David Wojnarowicz by Peter Hujar and Martin Wong by Peter Bellamy) or are examples of the artist’s oeuvre (Isaac Julien’s film noir staircase and Robert Mapplethorpe’s self-portrait).

Installed in the front room of the gallery, Lee’s work employs various display methods: scanned and enlarged photographs of drawings, printed fabric draped in the form of a chair, a framed drawing hung on a mural. Each image conjures the departed through absence, alluding to the interstitiality of presence.

LA Weekly by Catherine Wagley

All installation photos by Ruben Diaz