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LEE MAELZER: LOST SLEEP
11 October - 5 November
Private view: 13 October 2022
D Contemporary is delighted to present Lost Sleep, a solo show by Lee Maelzer.
Lee Maelzer is a painter, known for her cinematic depictions of abandoned places, unheimlich interiors and dystopian landscapes. An urban explorer, they are normally based on her own photographs.
This body of work, however, stems from images found on Facebook Marketplace for rooms to let in London. Appalled by the prices and quality of what is on offer, she was spurred to begin making what has become an ongoing series that explores the pressing subject of poor housing and the threat of homelessness that hangs over the heads of so many. The bed, in so many historical artworks a place of repose, sensuality and succour, instead becomes uninviting, lumpen, repellent.
The rooms are placed to the rental market with the knowledge that they will be taken, even vied for – so the photographs, apart from the use of wide-angle to make them look larger than they are – make no attempt at an aesthetic. Hangers are left on the bed, kettles on the floor, bare bulbs, crooked curtain rails and rumpled bedding or mattresses still in plastic propped against the wall. They are lonely rooms with no promise of comfort, simply a ‘place to be’.
Still itinerant, the artist’s lifelong experience of bad and insecure living conditions has imbued these paintings with a sense of claustrophobia and melancholy, without in any way being voyeuristic or exploitative.
Lee Maelzer is London-based artist, though primarily a painter she also makes collage and video. She studied at Central St Martin’s College and the Royal College of Art. Maelzer is exhibited widely and internationally, with twelve solo exhibitions to date. She has also curated seven exhibitions in London and is a senior lecturer in Fine Art at the University of East London.