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The Heatherley School of Fine Art, 75 Lots Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0RN  |  phone 020 7351 4190

Sadie Lee - Artists Talk

Monday 16th March | 4.30pm

Sadie Lee – Artists Talk

Sadie Lee is an award-winning British figurative painter.

Her challenging paintings focus on a range of subjects, including the representation of women in art, sexuality, gender and the aging body. She has been selected to show work in many group shows including exhibitions at The I.C.A. and Museum of London. Solo shows include exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery (London), Manchester City Art Gallery, Schwules Museum (Berlin) and Museum of Modern Art (Slovenia).

In 2009 two of her paintings were selected for the group show sh[OUT!] at Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, alongside David Hockney, Robert Mapplethorpe, Grayson Perry and Nan Goldin.

In 1996 she won the BP Travel Award, a major prize in the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery. The award enabled her to travel to the American Mojave Desert to visit a tiny museum dedicated to the provocative art of Burlesque. She met and painted fifteen former strippers, now elderly and retired, in costumes of their choice. Most chose to pose in a revealing outfit from their striptease past. The exhibition A Dying Art: Ladies of Burlesque was shown at the National Portrait Gallery in 1997 for three months. It then travelled to Aberdeen City Gallery, the Ulster Museum of Belfast and Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland. In total, the paintings were on show for over a year. The exhibition attracted huge press interest including double-page articles in The Guardianand Scotland on Sunday, a televised interview on BBC 2 and feature on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

In 2007 Lee exhibited And then He was a She, a collection of paintings of legendary drag queen, Holly Woodlawn. Holly was the inspiration for one of the characters in Lou Reed’s infamous song Walk on the Wild Side. She is best known for her memorable role in Andy Warhol’s ground-breaking film Trash, directed by Paul Morrisey in 1970. And then He was a She opened in April 2007 at Salford Museum & Art Gallery and was shown at The Drill Hall in London in September 2007. The project was sponsored by Arts Council England, The Drill Hall, queerupnorth and Salford City Council. And then He was a She then travelled to the Novas Contemporary Art Centre in Liverpool as part of the Biennial and Capital City of Culture Festivals and in 2009 was shown in the Schwules Museum, Berlin.

Sadie Lee has lectured on her paintings at institutions including The National Portrait Gallery London, Manchester City Gallery, Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Walker Gallery, Liverpool. Since 1998 she has worked as a freelance art educator at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Since 2007, she has run Queer Perspectives, a quarterly event at the National Portrait Gallery, London, where she invites an LGBTQI guest to join her in selecting and discussing works in the collection. Past guests include Peter Tatchell, Ali Smith, Alan Hollinghurst, David McAlmont and Andrew Logan.

Her paintings are in private collections including those of television presenter and historian Dr David Starkey, Oscar-winning costume designer Sandie Powell, and Hugh Cornwell – lead singer of seminal Punk band The Stranglers.

“Serious, quietly witty and sincere, Sadie Lee’s assured work is an impressive tribute to the Grand Ladies of Burlesque.” The Guardiandouble -page article on solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery

 “Confronting a major female taboo – that of active looking and the expression of active desire.”

Elisa Oliver, curator of exhibition Fabulous Transgressions

 “A traditional understanding of painting and portraiture with a sharp, post-modern sensitivity.”

Emmanuel Cooper, author The Sexual Perspective

“It’s the extraordinary way that Lee seduces you into a dialogue with the subjects, almost in spite of yourself, that makes these paintings resound and reverberate long after you’ve turned away.”

Cherry Smyth, author Damn Fine Art

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

16th March

admission: FREE

This event is free and open to the public but seating is limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.