Opening Reception

Thursday, Sep 4, 2014
6:00 - 9:00 pm


Sep 4, 2014 - Nov 9, 2014


Main Gallery

Related Events

Topographies of Grace


After 32 years working in New York and London, Catherine Lee returned to her native state and built a studio in the Texas Hill Country, where her work continues, without the distraction of urban life. Lee has exhibited extensively, abroad and in the United States, having had one person exhibitions in galleries in New York, London, Paris, Zurich, Milan, Salzburg, Barcelona, Zürich, Copenhagen, San Francisco, Cologne, Tokyo, Osaka, etc. Spend time reviewing Catherine’s extensive body of work on her website at www.catherinelee.net.

In conjunction with Lee's exhibition, the Shay Ishii Dance Company will perform at both the opening reception and the following night for First Friday. Two additional performances will be held during subsequent First Fridays. More info.



…the totality is not, as it were, a mere heap, but the whole is something besides the part…       Aristotle

In philosophy, science, economics, nature and art, emergence is a process whereby larger entities, patterns, and behaviors arise by means of interactions between smaller or more elemental entities that by themselves do not exhibit such characteristics. George Henry Lewes coined the term “emergence” in 1875 when he introduced the subject in his philosophical treatise, Problems of Life and Mind, by stating, “emergence is the co-operation of things of unlike kinds.” Consciousness can be seen as an emergent property of the brain. Biological life can be understood as an emergence of interacting molecules. Molecules themselves can be seen as an emergence of elementary particles. Most importantly, emergence describes the naturally occurring phenomenon of self-organization. In nature we see emergence everywhere - in the formation of snowflakes, coral reefs, sand dunes or in the behavior of flocking birds.

To whatever degree we might imagine our knowledge of the properties of the several ingredients of a living body to be perfected, it is certain that no mere summing up of the separate actions of those elements will ever amount to the action of the living body itself...         John Stuart Mill

When I have the rare opportunity to see a collection of my work that spans decades, I’m made aware, once again, of the extreme variability of forms, materials, approaches, results. There are paintings, for instance, stretched and unstretched, with color and without; sculptures that are three dimensional, some that are flattened on a wall, and some that spill onto the floor; there are unique singularities and repeating forms; there are both stationary and moveable works; graphic works and bolted objects, works of wax, wood, iron, fiberglass, bronze; all manner of materials. And although my work has no one signature ‘look,’ I feel that it’s clearly all of a piece, made all by one mind. The totality of the body of my work over time seems an emergence, a multiplicity of unlike objects and intentions which, within a lifetime, have self-organized into a unified whole, with unexpected characteristics not evident when viewing the component parts separately. The variety of forms, materials, expressions, which I’ve rendered for forty years, are not merely a succession of single, disparate objects, willed into existence (although they are that too!), but more - that they are a “co-operation of things of unlike kinds,” which somehow cohere into a single articulation of who, abstractly, I am.


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Blue Star Contemporary gratefully acknowledges major support from the City of San Antonio Department for Culture & Creative Development; The Lifshutz Family; Ann Griffith Ash; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Charles C. Butt; Capital Group and The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation; Penelope Speier and Sonny Collins; the Mary Hobbs Griffith Foundation; H-E-B and H-E-B Tournament of Champions; the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; Ricos Products Co., Inc.; a grant from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation; Valero Energy Corporation and the Valero Energy Foundation; and Weston Urban. Additional essential support is provided by 1010 South Flores Lofts and 1111 Austin Highway Lofts; Argo Group; C.H. Guenther & Son, Inc.; Dr. Dacia Napier; Frost Bank; Sarah Harte; King William Association; Kim Lewis and Jessica & Clint Worth; Neiman Marcus; Rackspace; Silver & Black Give Back; Silver Eagle Distributors; Texas Commission on the Arts; Wendy & Tom Wirth; and the Community Partners, Members, Individual Donors, and Board of Directors of Blue Star Contemporary.

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