Rhys Lee’s works are rich in line and gesture, often vibrant in colour with dark undertones. His portraits depict mystical figures and otherworldly atmospheres through painterly washes and subliminal shadows. Borne out of sub-cultural aesthetics, Lee’s practice predominantly revolves around painting but at times extends from the canvas, lending itself to large-scale murals, installation and sculpture.
Lee graduated from a Bachelor of Visual Arts, Queensland College of Art in 1997. Solo exhibitions include Rhys Lee: Recent Works, Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane, 2014; A Bag Full of Ears, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2014; Cracked Pots, Venn Gallery, Perth, 2013; Recent Works, Jan Murphy Gallery, Brisbane, 2012; Scarecrow, Karen Woodbury Gallery, Melbourne, 2011; New Work, Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney, 2011; Drawings from New York and Peru, Block Projects, Melbourne, 2010; Works on Paper, Apartment #2, New York, 2008; Gaggedfix, Melbourne Art Fair, Helen Gory Galerie, Melbourne, 2006;Squad of Crack, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne, 2004; and Squad Crack Two, Volume Gallery, New York, 2004. Selected group exhibitions include Animal/Human, The University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, 2012; 1.85 Million Art Peripheries, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney, 2011; Immemorial Manilla, Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines, Philippines, 2010; Beleura National Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, 2010; and Unnaming of Parts, Blackstone Gallery, New York, 2009. Lee was finalist in the Archibald Prize, 2012 and the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, 2009. His work is held in the Artbank, United Bank of Switzerland, BHP Biliton, Sothebys and University of Queensland Art Museum collections, as well as various private collections in Australia, the USA and the UK. Lee held his first solo exhibition with Utopian Slumps in 2013.