Sadie Lee

About artist / group: 

Traditional painting generally presents woman as an object of desire. She can be soft and seductive, or even vulgar; she can be anything but the subject who desires. That is simply unthinkable. The young British painter, Sadie Lee (born in 1967) depends in her work on both traditional subjects, as well as traditional methods of oil painting; by focusing on the woman’s perspective, however, she changes these traditions and parodies the old masters. Between 1992  and 1998 she won four consecutive prizes and recommendations for the best portrait (BP Awards) given by the British National Portrait Gallery. In 1994 her first independent exhibition, Venus Envy, was staged in Manchester City Art Galleries. In 1995 Portraits were shown in Green Street. In 1997 Lee had an exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery in London; it was entitled A Dying Art: Ladies of Burlesque, and in it she presented portraits of ageing starlets of vaudeville, a form of entertainment popular in the 1940’s. While the splendour of vaudeville disappeared a long time ago, its starlets still radiate a primitive allure and glamour. “I wanted to paint each woman in a proud and dignified way, and at the same time let her strong sexual identity triumph over her ageing appearance.”
A year later she exhibited work in the East West Gallery in London. The title of the exhibition was Inappropriate Women, and she portrayed women of unconventional looks or behaviour who do not meet the norms of society.
Sadie Lee paints women. But her work is not exclusively intended for either gender. Through her work she addresses people who are capable of maintaining eye contact, because her pictures look back and ignore the traditional categories of subject and object. If you cannot maintain eye contact, Don’t look.

List of artist's projects