Jivan Lee has become a leading figure in contemporary landscape painting known for his powerful visceral engagement with his natural environs mirrored by his highly physical approach to surface and an intense plein air painting process.

Lee’s new exhibition, “Hondo”, opens on Friday, 16 and remains on view through Saturday, July 15, 2023, with a reception for the artist on Friday, June 30.

A sense of place is paramount in Jivan Lee’s paintings of the landscape in and around Valdez, New Mexico. It’s this place, with a population of less than 500, whose wilds encroach on the half-hidden traces of human habitation—distant houses, tended fields, a glimpse of a curving road—with the drama of a winter storm or the peace of a quiet summer day – that capture the protean nature and ephemerality of this region of the Southwest and an incongruity: its inhospitable beauty reflected in this new body of Lee’s paintings.

Hondo takes its name from the Rio Hondo – “Deep River” in English – the river north of Taos along which much of the work in this show was made. The paintings were all made within about five miles of Valdez and are a hyperlocal travelogue, of sorts, each having been made along roads that wind to and through and around Valdez, along the Rio Hondo’s banks, and high above the valley on the edge of a nearly vertical escarpment to its south. They’re about what happens when the artist spends time deeply relating to one place through the seasons, or one moment or event – a sunset, a storm – many times. When instead of reaching out and out, wider and wider, broader and broader, he goes deeper into the landscape.

Jivan Lee is originally from Woodstock, New York, and studied painting at Bard College. His paintings have been exhibited at museums and educational institutions across the United States and featured in reviews and articles in publications such as Western Art & Architecture, Fine Art Connoisseur, Southwest Art, American Art Collector, and Plein Air Magazine.