A LANDMARK EXHIBITION OF KOREAN MONOCHROME PAINTING CURATED BY SM FINE ART GALLERY
LOS ANGELES, CA–For its 22nd edition, LA Art Show 2017 is pleased to announce its third consecutive exhibition highlighting the art of Dansaekhwa with Dansaekhwa III: Formation and Recurrence, curated by SM Fine Art Gallery in Seoul, South Korea and New York. Featuring the multilayered monochromes of Kim Tae-Ho and the iconic water drop paintings of Kim Tschang-Yeul, who has been painting this fluid life
force for more than four decades, this survey includes some of the most iconic works from two of the genre’s
Widely considered one of the most influential Korean art movements of the 20th century, Dansaekhwa (pronounced “dawn-say-qua”) is rooted in mesmerizing abstractions. Though the methods and mediums vary greatly across the monochromatic genre, works are typically rendered via pushing layers of white, black, blue, or earth-toned paints across soaked canvases or dragging pencils across (sometimes ripped) pieces of traditional hanji paper. While eliciting notions of austerity and tranquility, the rigorous workmanship behind
Dansaekhwa is highly emotional, and has recently been the focus of various museum and gallery shows in addition to an acclaimed show during the 56th Venice Biennale. In fact, in January, Artsy declared “Korean Minimalism is the Next Big Art Market Trend” citing strong auction results and recent shows in London, Los
Angeles, South Korea and Brussels as evidence of the
growing interest in the genre.
“People often talk about my artworks as ‘strict spirit of artisanship’, ‘consistency’ and ‘thoroughly planned artwork from the start of having an idea’ and so on. Indeed I would like to express my abilities or mind in maximum when I plan, calculate, and think about my artwork,” says Kim Tae-Ho, who is always concerned with expressing the flow and rhythm of mind in his multilayered paintings. “However, the artwork shows many more things that can’t be expected by planning. In a way, I think it shows infinite possibilities of art which only humans can do.”
One of the most esteemed philosopher-painters of the late twentieth century, Kim Tschang-Yeul, has spent the past half-century investigating the fundamental meanings of representation and abstraction. His works are unique fusion of Asian metaphysics and calligraphy, New York color field painting and trompe l’oeil
illusionism. “The effect of surprise in the picture is comparable to Zen dialogue,” he says.
“After seeing a museum show about Dansaekhwa in Seoul five years ago I’ve been closely following Korean monochrome painting. I was very fortunate to give the movement its first platform at an international art fair with an inaugural exhibition at the LA Art Show 2015,” says Kim Martindale, general manager and producer of the LA Art Show. “Since that time we’ve seen a wave of museum and gallery shows in the US and abroad along with auction records for many of the movement’s top pioneers. So I’m honored to introduce the works of two more Dansaekhwa masters, Kim Tae-Ho and Kim Tschang-Yeul, at this year’s fair.”
Kim Tae-Ho was a leading light among the first generation of Korean monochrome (or Dansaekhwa) practitioners, including Ha Chong-Hyun, Chung Sang-Hwa, Lee Ufan and Park Seobo. Born in Busan, Kim Tae-Ho moved to Seoul to attend the Seoul Arts High School, followed by Hongik University where he studied painting. The artist first gained recognition through his “Form” series in which illusory female figures are “hidden under the horizon” of dark vertical and horizontal grids that were spray painted to look like shutters from local bank buildings. He later began making works on hanji paper followed by his “Innate Rhythm” series in which layers of paint are stained on the canvas in graph-paper-like grids, whose 13th or
20th layer of paint, are dissected with a special knife after This relief work allows for the undertones to shine
throughout the structure of the beehive-like grid, adding depth and tonality to his “monochromes”. “The layers of colors inside are revealed through such repeating works of vain and the minds of human are displayed on the artwork,” he says. Over the past four decades these layers have been exhibited around the
world and resides in the permanent collections of The British Museum in London and Seoul’s National
Museum of Contemporary Art among many other esteemed institutions.
Kim Tschang-Yeul has spent almost half a century devoting his painting practice to one motif: water drops. Now 86, the renowned “water drop painter” was born in 1929 in the North Korean mountain town of Maengsan. Growing up under Japanese colonial rule at the time, Kim Tschang-Yeul got interested in art as a teenager after reading a book on Leonardo da Vinci, through whom he learned: “I don’t need to be ashamed of painting.'” After briefly studying art at Seoul National University, the artist was forced to leave school
when the Korean War broke out in 1950. After the war, he helped lead Korea’s Art Informel movement in Europe making abstract expressionistic works. He later studied at the Art Students League of New York, then in 1970 he settled in France where he has resided for the past 45 years. In that time his work — namely painted dyes on colored, calligraphed, or camouflaged canvases depicting the form, reflection, and shadows
of these droplets (sometimes few; sometimes numerous) as a meditation on life and loss — has been acquired
by Seoul’s National Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC. And last year the provincial government of South Korea’s Jeju Island opened the minimalist Kim Tschang-yeul Museum as a tribute to the artist, who briefly lived on the island during the war, and has donated 220 pieces of work to its collection.
Image credits from top: Kim Tschang Yeul, Recurrence 2014, 73 x117cm, acrylic and oil on canvas, courtesy SM Fine Art Gallery. Kim
Tae Ho, Internal Rhythm, 2015-14, 73.5 x 61cm, acrylic on canvas, courtesy SM Fine Art Gallery.
LA Art Show 2017 Opening Night Premiere Party – Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Patron Reception $250, 7pm–11pm Vanguard Entrance $200, 7pm–8pm Friend level $125, 8pm–11pm Purchase tickets at laartshow.com
General Admission Ticket Prices – per person
One Day Pass: $30 – Receive $5 discount if purchased online in advance
Four-Day Pass: $60 – Received $5 discount if purchased online in advance
Red Card provides access to a complimentary, VIP, invitation-only advance preview of the Show received through gallery, museum, or non-profit participants. Red Card preview 3pm–5pm, Wednesday, January 11, 2017
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