Maia Ruth Lee presents a series of paintings of decorative borders rendered in India ink on raw canvas. Each painting is based on a single page selected from a compendium that catalogues and typifies an array of stylized decorative borders - ranging from art historical motifs to clip-art.
In its entirety, the project has the earmark of the rigorous conceptualism underlying the most stark examples of appropriation - a single choice establishing the full authorial terrain of each work. As the meticulous application of the India ink makes it nearly indistinguishable from printed ink, Lee's works introduce an element of immense and nearly illegible labor into the act of transposition. In doing so, they highlight the modes of intellectual and manual labor that establish form, content, and value.
Accompanying the paintings are a series of wrought iron wall sculptures constructed from the decorative elements that adorn fences and window bars. Initially used to embellish structures that secures boundaries, Lee isolates and combines the found elements into a lexicon of glyphs which, by contrast, throw into relief the starkness of the exhibition space.