Lee Grandjean - From the Deep Woods - 2012

From the Deep Woods Photographed by Andy Crouch
From the Deep Woods Photographed by Andy Crouch
From the Deep Woods Photographed by Andy Crouch
From the Deep Woods Photographed by Andy Crouch
From the Deep Woods Photographed by Andy Crouch
From the Deep Woods Photographed by Charley Ramm

Lee Grandjean

From the Deep Woods

2012

Oak branches, tin cans, paint

 

Paradoxes and contrasts

 

Lee Grandjean is a sculptor who creates strongly tactile and visceral objects. His work is both philosophical and physical. In combining materials, sometimes from contrasting genres or worlds, his work suggests tensions, opposites, dialogues, paradoxes, such as urban-rural, animate-inanimate, human-vegetal, fragile-solid.

 

In this work, From the Deep Woods, Lee crosses between disciplines, media, and the worlds of nature and the industrial environment. His forest of trees, created from waste oak prunings and discarded tin cans forms an environment which is  immediately understandable from its familiar elements, and appears at first sight as a hospitable place, at human scale, through which visitors may walk, and where, even in the limited formal space of the gallery, different directions are possible.  The staggered arrangement suggests the potential for a snaky meandering route. One may pause here for reflection or even for performance. It is by turns prosaic and literal, as one recognises the kitchen and garden refuse, and odd and poetic as we the viewers, as explorers, are invited to transform it imaginatively into undulating foliage and fungoid growth.

 

The evocation of the deep woods of the title suggests somewhere to be lost, immersed, a dark core, a bit menacing, the frightening unknown. Yet the branched forms have a cheery wave, a lilt of humour. The formality of the large back-drop  painting, has a regularity and structure and hard colours of the city rather than nature. Lee often plays on these kinds of boundaries, being intentionally both serious and humorous, wayward and controlled.  This work evokes the worlds of the garden, the wild, the wasteland, the kitchen, the theatre, the fairy-land and the studio, where everything is both resolved and confused. 

 

Lee Grandjean, based in rural Norfolk, was formerly deputy head of sculpture at the Royal College of Art.

 

Veronica Sekules