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Current Exhibitions

○Title: KIM Whanki
○Exhibition Period: May. 22rd (Tue) 2018 ~ Aug. 19th (Sunday) 2018
○Venue: 2,3 exhibition hall


Daegu Art Museum presents a special exhibition on artist KIM Whanki (1913-1974), a pioneer in the contemporary abstract art of Korea who successfully internationalized the contemporary art of Korea. This exhibition looks into the universe of KIM’s artworks as an artist who explored awakening of his identity and the essence of art throughout his life and immersed in figurative art endlessly, and seeks to discover the artistic values he pursued as we observe the content, forms and art historical significances found in his works.
The exhibition consists of two parts: Part 1 to presents the universe of his works by times in Exhibition Hall 2; and Part 2 as an archive exhibition in Exhibition Hall 3. Exhibition Hall 2 is categorized into three periods to delve into changes found in his works: 1) Years in Tokyo Period (1933-37) & Seoul Period (1937-56), 2) Paris Period (1956-59) & Seoul (1959-63) and 3) Years in New York (1963-74). Starting with oil painting works produced during his study at Tokyo in the 30s, works of various media are presented, ranging from drawings, gouache works, oil paintings on paper, and abstract pointillism on large canvases as representative works in his New York period. The archive exhibition showcase graphic materials and photos, cover page illustrations, woodblock prints, brochures, catalogues and books which visualize milestones in his artist career. Included also are relics such as pigments and tools he used himself. This exhibition has been curated with passionate assistance of various institutions including Whanki Museum and private collectors, carrying a significance in covering his oeuvre in such a big volume and content for the first time at Daegu Art Museum. It is hoped that the exhibition could draw the audience into the genuine facets of his universe of art connoting the Oriental aesthetic consciousness, and guide them through a journey into abstract paintings of his borne out of his pioneering spirit and insights in the nature.
 
Tokyo Period (1933-37) & Seoul Period (1937-56)
He boldly attempted for the Western avant-garde tendencies including cubism and futurism during his study in Japan in early 30s, and carried on his avant-garde style through wide-ranging experimentation. His works during the Seoul period from 1937 until 1956 embody the Korean aesthetic consciousness realized through his passionate exchanges with many literati. Some of the key motifs on canvas in the period were derived from the nature and traditions including sea, mountains, the moon, plum blossoms, cloud, trees and jars, yet representing the lyrical world being unique to Korea by using dense and rich hues.
 
Paris Period (1956-59) & Seoul Period (1959-63)
Upon his arrival in Paris, the art circles in Paris were mostly dominated by informel or abstract works. He wanted to continue on with natural objects and colors imbuing Korea’s unique sentiments, sustaining his experimentation with curves or lines. He sketched scenes or learned a new culture in Paris, but he mulled over his identity in a deeper level and came to realization on the genuine spirit and songs as an artist. During his Paris period, he produced abstract still-life works where mostly jars, ten symbols of longevity implying the notion of permanency and plum blossoms, etc. are re-arranged on subdivided canvas planes. In his Seoul period, despite of usage of natural objects in Korea as motifs – mountains, the moon and clouds – he simplified the forms to present succinct abstraction. His works submitted to the 1963 Sao Paolo Biennale as a Korean representative were in thick textures where blue tones were dominating with a motif from the moon. His artistic intent can be glimpsed at here to show the beauty of Korea on the global stage through his lyrical works where natural landscape has been visualized.

New York Period (1963-74)
While staying at New York, he developed abstract pointillistic paintings to represent the pinnacle of his art world. From 1963 to 1965 – his early days in New York -, he no longer resorted to motifs from the nature on canvas by opting for simple and abstract composition in pure color planes, colored points and lines. The thick texture which he had pursued previously was replaced with his technique of thin coverage and smudge of paints. In this exhibition, his works in various media – sketch, gouache, oil painting in a cross composition, oil painting on paper or newspaper – are introduced for the audience to look into pictorial methodologies on ceaseless figurative experimentation and property research until his first pointillistic painting came into being in 1970. He used western materials including oil paints for his abstract pointillistic paintings in the 70s which manifest a unique figurative style by creating a lyrical ambience through natural smudge and absorption, adjustment of thickness and overlapping techniques. He dotted colored points on a large canvas, filled up the basic unis surrounding them in squares repeatedly, and created a well-balanced order and harmony as numerous point unis are grouped or circulated. In this exhibition, a special space is up for grabs to watch blue abstract pointillism of his, presenting the world of mystic and supernatural resonance he wanted to convey throughout his life.
 
<About the Artist>
He is Korea’s representative artist who established his exclusive art world by escalating Korean-style lyricism into a refined and sophisticated figurative language. Having departed to Japan for studying in Japan in 1931, he entered the College of Arts at Nihon University. His artistic potentials were recognized as an emerging artists as he won prizes with <Skylark's Song> and <Memorial of Room 25> at 《Nikakai Society》. He was actively involved in many art organizations including 《Avant-garde Western Painting Research Institute》,《Baekmanhoe》and 《Free Artists Association》. He held his first solo exhibition at Amagi Gallery in Tokyo in 1937. His <Rondo> earned him a prize at 《Free Artists Association》in 1938, which has been registered as Cultural Property No.535 in Korea. He formed 《Sinsasilpa(New Realism Group)》with YOO Youngguk and LEE Kyusang in 1947, contributing to the settlement of abstract paintings. He concentrated on production of works for three years in Paris from 1956, and won an honorary prize as the Korean representative in the 1963 Sao Paolo Biennale. He settled in New York later to hold many solo exhibitions in both Seoul and New York as a globally active artist. He won the Grand Prize with <Where, in What Form, Shall We Meet Again> at the 1st ‘Korea Arts Exhibition’ sponsored by the Hankook Ilbo in 1970. He has established himself as a renowned artist at home and abroad with his unique style of abstract pointillism.

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