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Lee Ufan (Korean, b.1936)
LOT ID: 63828
Correspondence, 1995

Mixed Media, Pigment suspended in glue, on canvas
51.3 х 38.2 in. (130.3 x 97.03 cm.)
Signed, and dated, right side edge and on verso.
Lot description
Seemingly simple in appearance, this work from Lee Ufan's 'Correspondence' series is an example of the pivotal style the artist is known for, suspending pigment in glue to create subtle works of abstraction. Appearing like blurred squares carefully laid across the canvas, the work maintains a minimalist style and color which has become Ufan’s signature style.

Lee Ufan is a painter, sculptor, writer and philosopher born in South Korea in 1936. As a young man, he was witness to the tumultuous period of Japanese occupation that tore apart the peninsula in the early 1950’s. He began to study painting at the College of Fine Arts at Seoul National University, but interrupted his studies to travel to Japan to earn a degree in philosophy. Coming to prominence as an artist in the late 1960’s, Lee became one of the most outspoken advocates for what is often viewed as Japan's first contemporary art movement to gain international recognition, the avant-garde Mono-ha (Object School) group. Lee was also a central figure in the Korean tansaekhwa (monochrome painting) school. This group offered a new approach to minimalist abstraction by using repetitive gestural marks as a record of the act of creating the work. His signature works involve suspending forms of pigment in glue, which is set upon canvas and creates the illusion of painted lines. Confusing truth with artifice allows Lee Ufan to connect the visible with the invisible, engaging viewers with his works while expanding upon ideas of the real verses the imagined, and the interrelationship thereof.

Lee Ufan was a truly international artist in a time before this was really recognized, having lived, taught and worked in Korea, Japan and France. In 2000 Lee Ufan was awarded the UNESCO prize at the Shanghai Biennale, and had has exhibited extensively, with exhibitions held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tokyo, Japan), Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Belgium, Brussels), Tate Modern (London, UK), with a retrospective recently held at the Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY).

Select Public Collections:
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
Berlin National Galerie (Berlin, Germany)
Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne (Paris, France)
National Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul, Korea)
National Museum of Modern Art (Tokyo, Japan)

흰색의 캔버스위에 소수의 회색점이 위치하고 있는 작품 ’Correspondence'시리즈는 작가 이우환의 대표적인 작품형식이다. 형식적으로 색이 옅어지는 회색점은 그의 전형적인 스타일로 미니멀리즘과 유사한 형식을 보여주는 작업이다.

이우환은 작가, 조각가 그리고 사상가로 1936년 한국 태생으로, 어린시절 1950년대 초반, 혼란스러운 한반도의 상황을 지켜본 세대이기도 하다. 서울대학교에서 미술을 전공한 이우환은 졸업을 하지 않고 일본으로 건너가 철학을 공부하였다. 그리고 1960년대에는 여전히 일본에 머물며, 작가가 되어 일본의 모노하(Mono-ha)를 조직한 주요인물로 활동하였다. 그와 동시에 한국에서의 작가 이우환은 ‘한국모노크롬’계의 주요 작가로 활동하였다. ‘한국모노크롬’그룹은 일정 모티브를 반복하여 화면을 구성하는 형식을 보여주고 있다. 그의 작품 점, 선등에서 기인한 그의 작품에서 유사함을 찾을 수 있다. 많은 사람들이 이우환 작업 앞에서 혼란을 느끼는 가장 큰 이유는 눈에 보이지 않는 개념, 현상등을 캔버스에 표현해내는 작업이므로 실제로 많은 것이 표현되 있는 않은 캔버스 앞에서 많은 사상과 개념을 이해하고 생각해내야 하는 점이다.

이우환은 한국, 일본, 프랑스를 오가며 활동하는 국제적인 이력의 소유자이다. 2000년에 이우환은 상하이 비엔날레에서 수여하는 유네스코상을 받고, 주요작품을 전시하였으며, 동경의 메트로폴리탄미술관에서 개인전을 개최하였으며, 왕립미술관(벨기에, 브뤼셀), 테이트미술관(런던, 영국)과 2011년에는 뉴욕의 구겐하임미술관에서 대규모 회고전이 열리기도 하였다.

주요작품소장처:
국립현대미술관(뉴욕, 미국)
베를린 국립미술관(베를린, 독일)
프랑스 국립미술관, 퐁피두센터(파리, 프랑스)
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Lee Ufan

    Correspondance
    pigment on canvas
    (H 76.4, W 51.2) in.
    (194 x 130) cm.
    Sold for: US$566,433
    Saturday, February 25, 2012
    SBI Art Auction Co., Ltd.
    Lot 00078
  • Lee Ufan

    Correspondance
    pigment suspended in glue on canvas
    (H 44.1, W 57.3) in.
    (112 x 145.5) cm.
    Sold for: US$138,260
    Thursday, December 15, 2011
    Seoul Auction
    Lot 00118
  • Lee Ufan

    Correspondence
    pigment suspended in glue on canvas
    (H 51.3, W 38.2) in.
    (130.3 x 97) cm.
    Sold for: US$103,583
    Wednesday, December 14, 2011
    K Auction
    Lot 00037
  • Lee Ufan

    Correspondence
    pigment suspended in glue on canvas
    (H 38.2, W 51.3) in.
    (97 x 130.3) cm.
    Sold for: US$100,873
    Monday, September 19, 2011
    K Auction
    Lot 00033
  • Lee Ufan

    Dialogue
    pigment suspended in glue on canvas
    (H 63.4, W 51.3) in.
    (161 x 130.2) cm.
    Sold for: US$181,139
    Wednesday, June 29, 2011
    Seoul Auction
    Lot 00017
  • Lee Ufan

    Correspondence
    pigment suspended in glue, on canvas
    (H 44.1, W 57.3) in.
    (112.1 x 145.5) cm.
    Sold for: US$138,876
    Wednesday, June 08, 2011
    K Auction
    Lot 00058
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