Frieze week preview thing: You might say Lee Maelzer is a painter’s painter, her paintings feel like they are as much about painting itself as anything else. About the paint, about the emotion of the process, not just that though, if that’s all her paintings were then we wouldn’t be previewing her forthcoming solo show at D Contemporary here now would we? As bleak as they can sometimes be, If you like painting then you really should try to see a Lee Maelzer painting or two. I’m not sure I would say “cinematic”, but hey I’m not here to take issue with a press release or a gallery statement – her paintings feel intimate to me, almost disturbing, voyeuristic, private, a stolen glimpse of reality, too close to home, or not having a home, the reality of life, insecurity, They are beautiful paintings, as cold as they are, as insecure as they are, they are rather beautiful in a rather perverse way, no, not beautiful, the beauty in in the way she paints, her paintings are powerful, there’s nothing beautiful about them, and it is so easy just to paint beautiful things. Anyway, Lee has a show opening later on this (Frieze) week, I know we’re in for a busy Frieze week but this one should really be on your list.
D Contemporary say the gallery is delighted to present Lost Sleep, a solo show by Lee Maelzer, here’s the aforementioned statement
“Lee Maelzer is a painter, known for her cinematic depictions of abandoned places, unheimlich interiors and dystopian landscapes. An urban explorer, they are normally based on her own photographs. This body of work, however, stems from images found on Facebook Marketplace for rooms to let in London. Appalled by the prices and quality of what is on offer, she was spurred to begin making what has become an ongoing series that explores the pressing subject of poor housing and the threat of homelessness that hangs over the heads of so many. The bed, in so many historical artworks a place of repose, sensuality and succour, instead becomes uninviting, lumpen, repellent.
The rooms are placed to the rental market with the knowledge that they will be taken, even vied for – so the photographs, apart from the use of wide-angle to make them look larger than they are – make no attempt at an aesthetic. Hangers are left on the bed, kettles on the floor, bare bulbs, crooked curtain rails and rumpled bedding or mattresses still in plastic propped against the wall. They are lonely rooms with no promise of comfort, simply a ‘place to be’.
Still itinerant, the artist’s lifelong experience of bad and insecure living conditions has imbued these paintings with a sense of claustrophobia and melancholy, without in any way being voyeuristic or exploitative.
Lee Maelzer is London-based artist, though primarily a painter she also makes collage and video. She studied at Central St Martin’s College and the Royal College of Art. Maelzer is exhibited widely and internationally, with twelve solo exhibitions to date. She has also curated seven exhibitions in London and is a senior lecturer in Fine Art at the University of East London”.
The Lee Malzer exhibition opens on Tuesday 11th October and runs until November 5th 2022, with a late evening Private View on Thursday 13th October (from 6pm until 8.30pm, not clear if you need to be on a list or not, never clear how “private” these things are? Watch this space, see if anyone replies to our e.mails – stop press, we’re told you won’t get turned away,”The more the merrier”.
D-Contemporary is at 23 Grafton Street, London, W1S 4EY. The Gallery is open Tuesday until Saturday, entry is free, 11am until 5pm (Saturday, Midday until 6pm)