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Press Releases - The Metal Gallery

10th April, 2008

Press Release

William Lee solo show of recent works entitled

ZEN “when silver has a soul”

10 to 28 June, 2008

The Metal gallery is hosting its first solo show for artist William Lee from June 10th to 28th. This will be the first time the gallery has offered a silversmith a solo exhibition and reflects their confidence that the art market will recognise William’s virtuoso skills.

Gallery Director, Francis Raeymaekers says: “I have watched William develop over the last four years. He first came to my attention in 2003 when he won the ‘Young Designer Silversmith Award (1st prize) from the Goldsmith’s Company. He graduated from Camberwell College of Art in 2004 and we showed his work in the gallery that summer in our annual Graduate show. Shortly thereafter, William became Artist in Residence at Sheffield Hallam University and it was only in November 2007 that we reconnected. He had recently set up a studio, which I immediately visited. I quickly realised that the student prodigy had evolved into a mature artist with brilliant prospects. There were 12 pieces on display and I took them all for the gallery. By January 2008, less than three months later, we only had one piece left, having sold the rest to collectors from the UK, Holland, America (Paul Storr’s great, great, great grand-daughter, Cecilia Storr) and Australia”.

Lee’s work is always raised from a single disc of silver and is therefore seamless. He belongs to a very small and select group of artists that have this ability. (Hiroshi Suzuki, Ndidi Ekubia etc.) While Suzuki’s work is a festival of shapes and textured surfaces and Ekubia work is so impregnated with her vibrant character that prolonged viewing can raise blood pressure, Lee’s work has a purity of line that diffuses a benign, calming aura. His vases have a Zen-like quality that would sit just as comfortably on an offerings altar in a 2000 year old Buddhist monastery as on a perspex table in a high tech New York loft apartment. It is hardly surprising that the pieces sold by the gallery to date have gone 50% to traditional antique collectors (mostly their first contemporary acquisition) and 50% to contemporary collectors.

Finally, in contrast to many other contemporary silversmiths, Lee is not afraid of scale. He is currently finishing a vase for this exhibition that will measure 55cm in diameter and weigh over 11 kilos (seamless).

Public Collections: Aberdeen Museum of Art
Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA)
Goldsmiths’ Company
The V&A Museum

For more information, please contact Francis Raeymaekers on 020 7242 7624 or themetalgallery@aol.com


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