Yoora Lee

Selected Works


Born in 1991 in South Korea, Yoora Lee currently lives and works in Los Angeles, USA. Yoora Lee’s paintings are filled with analogous color relationships and wavering horizontal marks that imagine an impressionism derived from video tape distortion. The brush strokes blur the pictures like an analog TV glitch, undulating the image as though from an obsolete technology. The unreal color provokes a sense of fantasy, reminding people of brief moments when life felt like a movie or drama. Compositionally, the repetition of reflected spaces and screens creates sub-narratives that are open-ended and incomplete. The picture plane opens outward toward the viewer, inviting them into an awareness of a between-space where the painting is a stage and they are the theater. Yoora Lee creates images that evoke nostalgia of the recent past, as grainy VHS grade images or the retro mood of Japanese anime. The power of nostalgia, both romantic and empty, manipulates the viewers’ minds and emotions through imperfect memories. We recall our frustrated expectations of the future, which is now the present moment. For the artist, fiction needs characters. For that reason, most of her paintings are figurative. However, time is warped, resulting in figures of the present juxtaposing with those from the past. Through walls, windows and screens viewers can look back and forth. Nonetheless, the figures feel blank, inviting the viewer to project themselves into their points of view and wonder about their intentions. Their postures and environments mix feelings of emptiness, isolation and ennui. The only thing the viewer can be sure of is a hazy feeling of uncertainty.

Gallery Exhibitions

Selected Press

17 March 2022
It's Nice That
Art and film collide in Yoora Lee’s cinematic oil paintings
Hopper Prize
Yoora Lee on growing up with friends who practice a variety of art forms, an evolving definition of art, developing an affection for the 1990's & the power of the media.

From the studio: Yoora Lee

Studio Visit




M.F.A. Painting and Drawing, School of the Art Institute of Chicago


M.F.A., Painting, Rhode Island School of Design (One semester)


Post Baccalaureate Certificate in studio, Painting and Drawing, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

B.F.A., Painting, Gachon University

Solo exhibitions


‘Finding the Missing Half’, T293, Rome

‘Anemone’, Another Place, New York


‘Fallen Sakura’, Painterspaintingpaintings (Online), London, UK

‘BURN IN’, Jude Gallery Chicago, Chicago

Group exhibitions


‘Ripe’, Harper’s, Los Angeles


‘Disembodied’, Nicodim, New York

‘You me me you’, Nicodim, Los Angeles

‘Exodus’, Gallery Ascend + K11 Musea, Kowloon, Hong Kong

‘Best Practices’, Edgewood College Gallery, Madison, WI

‘Harmonious Arrangement’, Half Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

‘Escape from New York’, Another Gallery LA, Los Angeles, CA


‘Together / Apart’, Shin Haus, New York

‘Buy Now: In Technicolor, Tchotchke Gallery x Artnet’, Online, New York

‘Home Alone 2’: Lost in Miami, Surface Area. Miami, FL

‘Lucky Charm’, Moosey art, London

‘Strada Group Exhibition’, Strada, New York

‘A Missed Encounter’, Galerie Mighela Shama, Switzerland, Geneva

‘Summer Camp’, Tchotchke Gallery, Online, New York, NY


‘Launch Exhibition’, SAIC Galleries, Chicago

‘Long Hello’, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

‘Oaths’, Patient Info, Chicago, IL