Lee Lee attained her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and has spent time in over 40 countries. These experiences have led her to develop a wide range of painting styles in response to the diverse conditions of our world. Her work is informed by several movements through art history including the feminine expressionist drawings of Kathe Kolwitz to the actions of the 1970s which embraced processes using a shotgun or fire. Rich textures developed through destructive means speak to socio political situations imposed on people as well as environmental degradation. Sensitive mark making atop of these textures explores the emotional textures within a community, emphasizing resilience in the face of adversity. Recently, strong environmental themes have entered into her repertoire as she recognizes that social and political stress is driven by the scarcity of our resources.
Resilience as a theme was manifested through the opportunity to curate an exhibition in regards to Genocide for the Mizel Museum which grew into an installation for the 7th Biennial International Conference of Genocide Scholars in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Other international exhibitions have included an installation of prints at the Instituto Allende in Mexico and paintings exploring the imprint of tradition in contemporary Vientnamese culture at the Metropolitan Center in Saigon, Vietnam.
Recent environmental exhibitions have included REAP: The Environmental Unsustainability of the American Food Machine at C Emerson Fine Art in St Petersberg, FL, Extinction at the Denver Botanic Gardens, and Vanishing Pollinators as part of the Bioneers Conference on Sustainability in San Raphael, CA. Resilience in the face of environmental degradation was explored through an series of work, Guatemala: Mayan Women, created for the 2010 Biennial of the Americas in Denver.
Currently, Lee Lee is using plastic as a material to explore the impacts of plastic on the environment as well as the chemical imprints left in our bodies. The UN Environment Programme recently wrote a feature article on her work about ocean plastic, entitled, The Plastic Flow: From Waste to Waves. Complimenting this theme is work being created which follows the development of a permaculture installation around her Taos, NM studio. The small scale production of food will be presented in contrast to industrial agricultural practice, which like plastic, is exacting a tremendous toll on the environment.