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Willis F. Lee

Willis Lee

“My fascination with the interdependence of the diminutive and the colossal has been the dominating theme in my work for many years. The similarities between a micro crystal growing in a pool of water and a subterranean landscape the size of a football field are wondrous things. This is what I try to manifest in my work. There is a certain coziness in naivety, soothing that you don’t have to understand everything, just be an observer.” – Willis F. Lee

“Willis Lee’s prints join a rich tradition in the arts, which has for centuries explored the vitality and sensuousness of floral objects. From elegant, stylized carvings of lotus blossoms in ancient Egypt and Persia to twentieth century artists like Edward Steichen, Imogen Cunningham and Georgia O’Keefe, floral subjects form a continuum of aesthetic expression. Like those before him, Willis Lee has allowed his chosen medium to make its special imprint on that tradition.” – James L. Enyeart. Former Anne & John Marion Professor of Photography Arts and Director of Marion Center

“The most striking thing about Willis Lee’s photogravures is that you can feel them, they are soft. Terse and spare, they are a world of one carefully chosen subject, silent and stately, in a vortex of black that pushes the edges of the frame and beckons the viewer to become part of nature’s chain. Objects seem to glow. I can hear the wind blow. I can practically hear the object growing. It’s like being inside the picture. It’s disorienting. Suddenly a sunflower has become the sun, like those photographs where flame-like gases leap off the rim of the sun’s circle. The intense attention to microscopic detail makes each object vast, a perfect marriage of subject and painstaking technique that fall away and invite me inside to let me discover the random exactitude nature provides in the garden.” – Joan Tewkesbury, Writer/Director

“Willis Lee is widely known for his portfolios in copperplate photogravure and large scale photography. Lee has always been a visual explorer, pushing the envelop of contemporary printmaking. During his career he has acted as educator, lecturer, curator and publisher.” – Michael Costello, Hand Graphics Studio, Sante Fe