March 12, 2021

Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul’s exhibit at Lehmann Maupin Gallery is an unexpected but perfectly complementary pairing
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Galleries

About the Exhibit - Recombinance

This exhibit features two powerhouse female artists, whose works I wouldn’t have initially paired together, but now that I’ve seen them, it’s absolute perfection. Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul’s exhibit Recombinance at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Chelsea is on view from February 25 – April 10, 202. 

Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
“Spanning two generations, both artists are known for their highly process-driven practices that often engage the human body through an exploration of materiality, science, literature, and medical technology.” - Lehmann Maupin Gallery (source
Mandy El-Sayegh
Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

Lee Bul grew up in Korea during the time of dictator Park Chung-Hee’s rule. She creates a dystopian world within her works, potentially as an outlet from the harsh realities she’s experienced as a part of this world.

Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

She uses organic and inorganic materials such as mother of pearl and layers of acrylic paint to create cyborg bodies. Pictured here is a sculpture of hers that hangs ominously in the entryway to the next gallery space. 

Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

“Bul’s floating marble-white cyborgs have the elevated position and missing limbs of classical sculptures, a nod to our shifting ideals of beauty and imperfection.” - The Guardian (source

Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

Mandy El-Sayegh is best known for using newsprint and other forms of text from media, collaged to "call into question our assumptions and understanding of typically unquestioned systems."

Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

At first I was hesitant to walk on the flooring of the exhibit in the heart of the gallery, but I remembered that El-Sayegh is known for covering not only the walls but the floors as well in her exhibits. Normally she uses The Financial Times but in this exhibit she’s used some type of rubber mat material, which actually made for a very pleasant walking experience. 

Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
“[Mandy El-Sayegh] collages these elements together and asserts her own perspective by drawing directly onto the works to create double-meanings and call into question our assumptions and understanding of typically unquestioned systems” - Lehmann Maupin Gallery (source
Mandy El-Sayegh at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
Mandy El-Sayegh  at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

Video of the Exhibit

To see a walkthrough of the exhibit, skip ahead to 7:09 in the video below.

About the artists

Mandy El-Sayegh 

Mandy El-Sayegh lives and works in London. She works with a wide variety of mediums such as “densely layered paintings, sculpture, installation, diagrams, and sound and video (source).” You can follow her on Instagram here

Mandy El-Sayegh at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

Lee Bul

Lee Bul lives and works in Seoul. She also works in a wide variety of materials such as “drawing, sculpture, and painting to performance, installation, and video (source).”

Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
“Her installations and sculptures explore universal themes including the utopian desire to achieve perfection through technological advances and the dystopic suspicions and failures that often result.” - Lehmann Maupin Gallery (source
Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery
“I’m trying to question the modern human with a modern mind, and I can’t find the answer, My labyrinth is in two halves. In one, it’s hard to exit. The other is always open. You can escape any time. That’s my dream.” - Lee Bul (source)
Lee Bul at Lehmann Maupin Gallery

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