Yaniya Lee is a writer interested in collective practice and the ethics of aesthetics, and a PhD student in the department of Gender Studies at Queen's University. She taught Art Criticism at the University of Toronto from 2018-2021 and she is currently a tutor in the Critical Inquiry Lab at the Eindhoven Design Academy. Lee was a member of the editorial team at Canadian Art magazine from 2017-2021, and she joined Archive books’ editorial team this spring.
Lee has written for has written about art for museums and galleries across Canada, as well as for Vogue, Flash, FADER, Art in America, Vulture, VICE Motherboard, Chatelaine, Canadian Art and C Magazine.
In November 2019, Lee and curator Denise Ryner co-convened the Bodies, Borders, Fields Symposium in Toronto. The 3-day series of workshops, performances and talks revisited a 1967 roundtable conversation from artscanada magazine on the theme of “black.” The next year, Lee and Ryner guest-edited Chroma, an issue of Canadian Art magazine, dedicated to black artists and black art histories.
She was a founding collective member of MICE Magazine and is presently a member of the EMILIA-AMALIA working group, which was artist-in-residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario in the summer in 2017. Lee has participated in residencies at Banff (2017), the Blackwood Gallery (2018), Gallery 44 (2018), Vtape (2019-2020) and Artexte (2020-2021).
She has been on the organizing committees for several conferences, symposiums, and public events, including the MICE Symposium on Transformative Justice in the Arts (2016) and the Ghost Intimacies Symposium (2017); Holes and How to Fill Them (2018-2019); Bodies, Borders, Fields Symposium (2019); Zong! Global (2020) and the upcoming BLACK PORTRAITURE[S]: Toronto, Absent/ed Presence (2021).
Lee was previously on the editorial advisory committees for Fuse and C Magazine, and she now sits on the board of directors at Mercer Union.
Lee has taugh art writing at institutions across canada. In the fall of 2019, with poet Fan Wu, she led the Desire x Politics writing workshop at Mercer Union. This past spring, co-presented by Cassandra Press and the Women's Center for Creative Work, Lee and critic Jessica Lynne designed and facilitated a writing workshop titled Song. Prayer. Scream. A praxis of looking. With Cason Sharpe and Zoe Sharpe, Lee organized the workshop series “WhAt She SaId": Promiscuous References & Disobedient Care as a part of the Contingencies of Care summer residency.