It’s not remarkable these days to replicate digital effects on canvas. But Austin Lee’s works, which often start as sketches on an iPad finger-painting app, stand out—perhaps because they’re about software imitating brushwork as much as the reverse. “Nothing Personal,” his second show at Postmasters, shows off new developments to his wonky, funky style: hazy edges of soft-focus figures, sharp drop-shadow details and swiped-on eyes and lips that look ready to peel off goopy faces that almost seem molded from clay. Abrupt changes in texture and perspective come off as palpable traces of the artist’s switching from one tool to another, whether selecting from a software menu or from the materials on his studio desk. Horse Fantasy (Diptych), 2015, comprises two attempts at recreating a single digital sketch: the JPEG is always the same when copied, but the human makes spontaneous, weird choices, both in the window and on canvas.
Pictured: Austin Lee: Eye 2 Eye, 2015, flashe acrylic on canvas, 80 by 96 inches. Courtesy Postmasters, New York.