“I photograph because I am interested in people, what it means to be alive, and how we make sense of the world. Whether I am photographing on assignment, or for personal work, the same ideas direct my attention. On the psychological and narrative level, I am interested in looking at states of being: birth, childhood, aging, physical fragility, death, sensuality, the animal world and people in nature.”
Jocelyn Lee has been making psychological portraits for over 35 years. Since her move to Maine 5 years ago, the landscape has taken on a greater role in her work. Her recent work has been made largely out doors with a medium format film camera. All the images, be they of animals, plants or humans beings, describe the tactile and sensual nature of the world and our place, as embodied beings, within this material continuum.
In 2018 she installed a large-scale exhibition of more than 40 photographs at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art titled The Appearance of Things. This body of work encompasses still life, portrait, and landscape photographs, as well as many images that fuse these genres. This mingling is partly what the work is about: creating a shift in perspective where a body (portrait) becomes a landscape; a still life becomes a portrait; and a landscape becomes a body. The works are meant to engage the body of the viewer and become galaxies of their own through the use of space and the dilation and contraction of scale.
The installation evoked the sky at night (the perspective from the deep universe above) looking down at illuminated stages -- spotlit moments of real magic occurring all over our extraordinary planet simultaneously.
Minor Matters Books will publish a monograph of The Appearance of Things in Fall of 2020. A solo exhibition at Flatland Gallery in Amsterdam will coincide with the publication.
Most recently Lee has been working on portraits that speak to the invisibility of mature women and, with her sensual treatment of these subjects, calls them back into relevance in a society that has deemed them undesirable and invisible. Topic Magazine will publish a portfolio of this work in September 2020.
Jocelyn Lee was born in Naples, Italy and received her B.A. in philosophy and visual arts from Yale University, and her M.F.A in photography from Hunter College. In 2013 she received a NYFA Fellowship, and in 2001 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship.
She is represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York, Huxley Parlour in London, England, and Flatland Gallery in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Her first monograph Nowhere but here, published by Steidl Publishers in December 2010 with a forward by Sharon Olds. In 1996 her work The Youngest Parents was published by DoubleTake Books and The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
Lee has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in solo shows at the Huxley-Parlour Gallery, London (2018) and The Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockland, Maine (2018). She has also been included in significant group shows at Flatland Gallery in Amsterdam, NL (2019), The DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts (2018); the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine (2017) and (2013) for which she won a purchase prize; Wesleyan University (2017); Rose Gallery in L.A. (2017); Pace MacGill Gallery (2017); The Print Space in London, UK (2014); The Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, MO (2014); and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI (2014)
Other significant solo and large exhibitions of her work include a solo show at Flatland Gallery in Utrecht, The Netherlands (2012); Rose Gallery in L.A. (2011) and Pace MacGill Gallery in NY (2010) to accompany her the publication of her monograph Nowhere but here; “Feature Photography” at The National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, (2008); "Last Light" at The University of Southern Maine, Solo (2008); Pace MacGill Gallery in NY, Solo (2007) and Group (2005); The De Cordova Museum in Waltham, MA (2007); The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, ME, Solo (2007); The Bates College Museum of Art in Augusta, ME, (2004); The Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, MA (2004); The Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME, (2004); Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta, GA, (2003); and The LFL Gallery in NYC, Solo (2001).
Her works are in the collections of Maison Europeén de la Photographie, Paris, France; The Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; The Yale Museum of Art, New Haven, CT; The List Center at MIT, Cambridge, MA; The Portland Museum of Art; Portland, ME; The Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO.; The Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME; The Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; The Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME; The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, N.C.; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; The Bates College Museum of Art. Lewiston, ME; The Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockport, ME; The Margulies Collection; The Agnes Gund Collection, among numerous other private collections.
Her work has appeared in many national and international publications including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Photo Raw (Helsinki, Finland), Real Simple, MORE magazine, PDN, DoubleTake, the Hayden Review, Marie Claire (Taiwan), Harper’s and others.
City University of New York at Hunter College, M.F.A.
Yale University, B.A. in studio art and philosophy.
2014 Purchase Prize, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine
2013 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, New York, New York
2003 International Association of Arts Critics/USA, Award for Best Emerging Artist Exhibition in New England
2001 Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
2000/2002 The MacDowell Colony, Residency in Peterborough, NH.1994 The Banff Center for the Arts, Residency in Banff, Alberta, Canada.
1993 Texas Photographic Society Production Grant, Austin, TX.
Maison Européen de la Photographie, Paris, FR
The Yale Museum of Art, New Haven, CT.
The List Center at MIT, Boston, Mass.
The Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
The Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME
The Bates Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME
The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Durham, NC
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX.
The Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, ME.
The Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME.
The Nelson-Atikins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
The Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaulkee, WI
The Agnes Gund Collection
The Martin Z. Margulies Collection
2019 Yummy Yummy, Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, NL (Group)
2019 Group Show: PORTRAITS, 8 March - 22 April, Dresden, Germany
2019 Group Show: (DÉ)POSER., 6 March - 26 May, Paris, France
2018 The Appearance of Things, Huxley-Parlour, London, England (Solo)
The Appearance of Things, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland, ME (Solo)
Presumed Innocence: Photographic Perspectives of Children, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (Group)
2017 Last Light, complete room sized installation, The Karachi Biennial, Karachi, Pakistan
Reconsidering Adolescence, The Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine.
Summer Show, Pace MacGill Gallery, NYC.
Converging to Center-Photographs from the Collection of Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Wesleyan University.
HE/SHE/THEY, Rose Gallery, L.A.
2014 About Face – Contemporary Portraiture, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
Hunting, Flatland Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Insights, The Print Space, London, UK.
2013 The Kids are All Right, John Michael Kohler Arts Centre, Sheboygan, WI
2013 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship recipient.
Piecework, The Portland Museum of Art Biennial, Portland Museum of Art,
Biennial Purchase Prize,The Portland Museum of Art.
Dark Blue: Water as Protagonist, The Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI.
2012 Jocelyn Lee, Solo Show, Flatland Gallery, Paris, France.
2010 Jocelyn Lee, Nowhere but here, Pace MacGill Gallery, NY, NY.
2008 Jocelyn Lee, Last Light, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, Maine.
Jocelyn Lee, Feature Photography, The National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Jocelyn Lee, Last Light, University of Southern Maine, Portland, Maine.
2007 Jocelyn Lee, Grounded, (solo) Pace MacGill Gallery, NY, NY.
Jocelyn Lee, Children’s Games, (solo), Maine Center of Contemporary Art, Rockport,ME.
Presumed Innocent, Photographs of Children, The DeCordova Museum of Art, Waltham, Mass.
2006 Jocelyn Lee, Youth, (solo) The University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, ME.
2005 Made in the Shade, Pace MacGill Gallery, NY, NY.
She Is—Perceptions of Female Identity, Stonehill College, Easton, MA.
New Work: Jocelyn Lee and Sa Schloff, Zero Station, Portland, ME.
Sportsman Redux,The Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland,ME.
2004 New Aquisitions: The Global and the Local, Bates College Museum of Art,
Sites Unseen, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME.
Standing Figure, The Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA.
Maine in America, Images from the Permanent Collection, Farnsworth Art
Museum, Rockland, ME.
2003 Jocelyn Lee: Portraits, The Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA. (Solo)
Jocelyn Lee: New Work, The University of Maine at Farmington. (Solo)
“Swim Suits and Sports”, Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GA.
Undomesticated Interiors, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA.
Selections from the Bruce Brown Collection, Colby College Museum of Art,
6 From Maine, Hampshire College, Amhest, MA.
Taking Pictures, ICON Contemporary Art, Brunswick, ME.
2002 Preview/Review: Recent Work by David Hilliard, Jocelyn Lee, Abelardo
Morell, Deborah Bright, Virginia Beahan and Laura McPhee, Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA.
5 Fictions, Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA.
Genetic Imprints, DNA Gallery, Provincetown, MA.
Recent Acquisitions, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME.
2001 Jocelyn Lee: New Work, LFL Gallery, New York , New York. (Solo)
Local Color, The Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME.
Summer Show, DNA Gallery, Provincetown, MA.
2000 The Lois Foster Exhibition of Boston Area Artists, The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.
Undoing Motherhood, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME.
Photographing Maine 1840-2000, Maine Coast Artists, Rockport, ME.
New Beauty--A Girl's Story, Maine Photo Co-op, Portland, ME. (Solo)
1999 Recent Developments, Silverstein Gallery, New York, NY.
Still, Maine Coast Artists, Rockport, ME. (Solo)
1997 The Youngest Parents, national traveling exhibition, The Center for
Documentary Studies at Duke University, Durham, NC. (2 solo shows)
The Youngest Parents, The National Humanities Center, Chapel Hill, NC.
1996 4 Photographers, Icon Contemporary Art, Brunswick, ME.
Backyard, The Dead Space Gallery, Portland, ME. (Solo)
2018 Jocelyn Lee’s Painterly Portraits of Nudes Immersed in Nature, Photo Booth feature, June 15
Jocelyn Lee - The Appearance of Things, The Eye of Photography, July
Jocelyn Lee: The Appearance of Things, fisheye, June
Transient Moments, Aesthetica Magazine, 11 April
The Unclothed Body is Our Primary Vessel” : Photographing Vulnerability, Miss Rosen, AnOther Magazine. April 20
Vulnerability, Miss Rosen, AnOther Magazine. April 20
Maine’s Mini-Mecca: Contemporary on the Coast, Greg Morell, artscope Magazine, July 5
Jocelyn Lee’s first UK solo exhibition surveys the Appearance of Things, Lucy Bourton, It’s Nice That, 19 April
Jocelyn Lee Explores the Cycle of Life in Photography Exhibition in Rockland, Bob Keyes, Maine Today (Portland Press Herald), June 18
10 Must-See Artists at AIPAD’s Photography Show, Artsy, April 5
Photo London Top 5, Lee Sharrock, FAD Magazine, May 17
Features section, DownEast Magazine, June
The Appearance of Things: vita e more nelle foto di Jocelyn Lee, Claudia Fuggetti, Collater.al, 25 July
Jocelyn Lee Captures The Appearance of Things, Rosie Flanagan, ignant, July 23
Art Review, Dan Kany, Portland Press Herald, July 15
The Body Now, Thames and Hudson, Edited by Nathalie Herschdorfer
2013 Photo Raw, Helsinki, Finland; Jocelyn Lee: Women are Beautiful
2012 The New Yorker, Creatures, Text by Marisa Silver, Photographs by Jocelyn Lee, December 2012
Snoeks, Jocelyn Lee: Naakt is kwetsbaar is schoon, Text by Leslie Van Hecke, Photographs by Jocelyn Lee, Genc. , Fotograftaki Kadin!, Photographs by Jocelyn Lee, May 2012
2011 Nowhere But Here, Monograph, Photographs by Jocelyn Lee , Steidl Publishing
2008 Presumed Innocent, The DeCordova Museum. Book plublication to accompany exhibition. February.
2007 The New Yorker, Review of Grounded, Pace MacGill Gallery, May.
2005 The New Yorker, Review of Made in the Shade at Pace MacGill Gallery, August.
2003 The Boston Phoenix, “The Power of Paper”, review of show at Bernard Toale Gallery. June 5.
2001 The New Yorker, "Jocelyn Lee", review of LFL Gallery Show, May 7.
The Village Voice, Voice Choices: "Jocelyn Lee", review, May 8.
Antiques and the Arts Weekly, "Local Color: 6 Maine Photographers show contemporary work at PMA", February.
Maine Sunday Telegram, "Local Color", April 1
2000 The Boston Globe, "Artists explore transformations, real and implied". Review of the exhibition at The Rose Art Museum. December.
Paperback publication of The Youngest Parents, W.W. Norton and Co. and DoubleTake Books.
Photographing Maine 1840-2000, catalogue and CD-ROM, Center for Maine, Contemporary Art, Maine Coast Artists, Rockport, Maine.
1998 The Times Literary Supplement, review The Youngest Parents, March.
1997 The Youngest Parents. Text by Robert Coles; photographs by Jocelyn Lee and John Moses. W.W. Norton and Co. and DoubleTake Books.
The Today Show, interview with Robert Coles and presentation of photographs from The Youngest Parents. July 1.
DoubleTake magazine, The Youngest Parents, photographs by Jocelyn Lee and John Moses. Durham, North Carolina. Issue # 7. Pages 31-40.
Publishers Weekly, review The Youngest Parents, February 10.
Boston Phoenix, review The Youngest Parents, June.
The New Yorker, review in "Briefly Noted": The Youngest Parents. Sept.
The New Leader, “How it Goes for Some Folks," Review, New York. Sept.
The Wilson Journal, photograph from The Youngest Parents, The
Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC.
Un Siècle de Liens Amoureux Aimer, photograph from The Youngest
Parents, Editions du Chene, Paris, France.
1996 Art New England, “Four Photographers," review of exhibition at Icon
Contemporary Art. Winter Issue.