Stanford Art Spaces
From February 12, 1999 to April 8, 1999 , Stanford Art Spaces features an exhibit by two artists:
James Heron
Seung Chul Lee
© 1999 James Heron © 1999 Seung Chul Lee

This exhibit is located on the Stanford University campus in four buildings: the Allen Center for Integrated Systems (CIS), Gates Computer Science, Terman Engineering Center, and Humanities and Sciences.    

James Heron

© 1999 James Heron
When I look at paintings, and when I paint, I always feel there is a struggle between abstraction and representation. On one hand there is the objective reality of the surface, and then there is the subjective interpretation of the image. This fact seems to be true for all paintings even as they polarize toward pure "realism" or pure "abstraction". This tension, I think, is the excitement at the core of painting and is what I explore when I paint.

As abstraction, my cityscape paintings give me a freedom of working expressively with surface, the tactile joy of the paint itself. Architecture is abstract to begin with, and, while it lives within rules, it can invent itself. Architecture is among our first expressions of surface. (Where do we find paintings hanging other than on walls?) The treatment of architectural form and surface seems to beg for expressiveness as a contrast to its own ideal structure.

These cityscapes are also unavoidably representational. Behind the surfaces, and in front of them, we imagine spaces for things to happen, places to be explored, extensions of our own space. Our minds are hungry to resolve the forms and spaces our eyes see, especially when we see ambiguity. Our inventiveness in assigning meanings and contexts is satisfied as we resolve the illusions of stark, hard-edged realism.

I have never wanted to embrace either pure abstraction or pure realism to the exclusion of the other. My goal in painting is to interweave these two sensibilities, allowing them to be mutually beneficial, even dependant, on each other, abstraction for its reality and realism for its deceit.

James Heron's paintings have appeared in over 20 solo and group exhibits, primarily in California. His work appears in over ten permanent corporate collections.

Works are for sale directly from the artist. For information, contact M. Grossman, Curator Stanford Art Spaces (650) 725-3622,

Seung Chul Lee

© 1999 Seung Chul Lee
My work is significantly influenced by the two poles of the Yin and Yang, the Asian positive and negative, and interactions between humans and nature. The four principles of my work are:

First, art should be a fusion of two schools:

  • art should be created for art itself; art like art
  • art should be used for societal and political reasons; life like art
Second, lines are meaningful just as they are in ancient Asian art. The Chinese Brush Stroke is like Tai-Chi. The Japanese Brush Stroke and Buddhism have both impacted my artistic thinking. I study the line by virtue of its consequence in defining the visual form. Lines are the most essential ambient factors of my work.

Third, I stand between two cultures; Western and Asian. The Western focuses on extroversion and speed. The Asian is introverted and intentional in its focus.

And fourth, my art reflects an interplay between objects or forms that communicate a story or message. Some examples are: man and animals, nature and man, and man-made things. These objects represent communication between myself and the environment and reflect my experience. The objects are common and amiable to us. They are commonplace concepts with effects on each other, for example man and his dog, man and mountain.

Seung Chul Lee's woodcut prints are made by up to 9 progressive reductions from a single block. His work has appeared in over 20 solo and group exhibits. His work appears in three permanent corporate collections and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. He has received numerous art awards in Korea and the USA.

Works are for sale directly from the artist. For information, contact M. Grossman, Curator Stanford Art Spaces (650) 725-3622,

Go to top of this page                                                 Return to SAS Schedule