Yun Hyong-keun
October 30December 23, 2015

YUN HYONG-KEUN
Blum & Poe New York 

October 30 — December 23, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, October 30, 6-8pm

Blum & Poe is pleased to present a concise survey of 12 works by Yun Hyong-keun (1928–2007), one of the leading figures of Dansaekhwa, the monochrome painting movement that redefined Korean art starting in the mid-1960s. This is Yun’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and his first posthumous solo presentation in North America.

The Dansaekhwa artists variously soaked canvas, pushed paint, dragged pencils, ripped paper, and otherwise manipulated the materials of painting in ways that questioned the terms by which the medium was known. One of the most important and successful artistic movements of 20th-century Korea, Dansaekhwa was promoted in Seoul, Tokyo, and Paris, quickly becoming the globally recognized face of contemporary Korean art.

From the beginning of the 1970s, Yun produced his distinctive Umber Blue series. Straddling the division between ink and oil painting, these abstractions are neither geometric nor gestural. Restricting his palette to umber and ultramarine, Yun diluted the paint with turpentine and allowed it to wash over the canvas, layering it over days, weeks or months to create intense fields of darkness. Each layer of pigment seeped into the fibers at a different rate, resulting in blurred edges along the unmarked expanses of canvas. In the 1990s, these boundaries gradually became more defined, eventually sharpening into hard edges in the final decade of the artist’s life.

This exhibition has been organized in collaboration with the Estate of Yun Hyong-keun and PKM Gallery, Seoul.

Previously, Yun was featured in the survey From All Sides: Tansaekhwa on Abstraction, held in September 2014 at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, and curated by Joan Kee, Associate Professor of History of Art at the University of Michigan. He was also included in PROPORTIO, a critically acclaimed exhibition that explored universal proportions in art, science, music and architecture, held from May to November 2015 at the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice, Italy. 

Yun Hyong-keun was born in Miwŏn, Korea, in 1928, and graduated from the Department of Painting, Hongik University, Seoul, in 1957. He has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions in Korea, Japan, Germany, France and the United States, including at the Judd Foundation, New York (1993), and the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX (1994). The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Strasbourg, France, held a major retrospective in 2002. His work has also been celebrated in landmark surveys such as Dansaekhwa: Korean Monochrome Painting, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon (2012); Korean Abstract Art: 1958–2008, Seoul Museum of Art (2008); Gwangju Biennale (2000); Venice Biennale (1995); Working With Nature: Traditional Thought in Contemporary Art from Korea, Tate Liverpool (1992); and the São Paulo Biennial (1969, 1975).