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Must-see art exhibitions of 2013

This year brings good news for art fans in Korea, as exhibitions of world-class artists are on the way. From well-known Korean painters Kim Whanki and Youn Myeung-ro to Alexander Calder and Takashi Murakami, Korea.net recommends some of the must-see exhibitions.

** Kim Whanki and the Beauty of Korea, Whanki Museum

Kim Whanki (1913-1974) is one of Korea’s leading modern abstract artists. His works are more famous overseas than in his home country, as he spent many years in Japan, France, and the United States. His paintings are known to have an artistic balance between Korean beauty and universal aesthetical values. Thanks to his international fame, his works are sold at high prices in major auctions both overseas and in Korea, unlike other popular Korean artists like Park Soo-geun (1914-1965) or Lee Jung Seob (1916-1956). To mark the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Whanki Museum located in Buam-dong, Seoul, is holding a year-long exhibition from January this year to February 2014.

The exhibition will be held on five themes based on reflections of the journey of his life, including "Echo of Dot, Line and Plane" which shows Kim's works harmonized with the beauty of traditional wooden furniture and "bojagi" (wrapping cloth). The five-themed series will show his artworks, literary works of writers that inspired his art, and young modern abstract Korean painters coming after him. For more information, click here to visit the homepage of Whanki Museum (Korean, English, Chinese, French available).

Kim Whanki

Kim Whanki "Jars" (1955-1956), oil on canvas, 65 x 80cm ⓒWhanki Foundation, Whanki Museum (left); Kim Whanki in 1972 (right) ⓒWhanki Foundation, Whanki Museum


** Art across America, the National Museum of Korea 
 

If interested in the painters and modern artists of the United States, the National Museum of Korea is a must-go place in February, when it will hold the special exhibition “Art across America.” The upcoming large-scale exhibition will show nearly 170 artworks of world-famous U.S. artists, including Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), Andy Warhol (1928-1987), and Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986). Museum-goers can appreciate various kinds of artwork, ranging from portraits painted by early European settlers of North America to paintings that were influenced by the arts of distant lands like Asia or Europe. The exhibition will be held from February 5 to May 19 at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul and at the Daejeon Museum of Art in Daejeon from June 18 to September 1. For more information, click here to visit the homepage of the National Museum of Korea serviced in ten languages.
Charles Demuth, Charles Demuth, "Welcome to Our City," 1921, oil on canvas, 63.8 x 51.1 cm, Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1993.3, Photography©Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago (left) (image courtesy of the National Museum of Korea); Alexander Calder, "Grand Crinkly," painted steel, 1971 (right) (photo courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Arts)

** Youn Myeung-ro Retrospective, the National Museum of Contemporary Art

The Youn Myeung-ro Retrospective is another must-see exhibition of a well-known Korean artist in the first half of this year. The exhibition, titled “Youn Myeung-ro, The Traces of Spirit,” is scheduled to be held at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do (Gyeonggi Province) which will show many works of the renowned Korean painter who has been leading the modern Korean art movement with a vast body of work. The exhibition will be held from March 26 to June 23. For more information, click here to visit the homepage of the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Korean, English).

 Youn Myeung-ro, Youn Myeung-ro, "Original Sin B", 1961, copper plate and oil on panel, 81x122cm (left); Youn Myeung-ro (right) (images courtesy of the National Museum of Contemporary Art)

** Alexander Calder Retrospective, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

In July, art lovers will be able to meet the works of Alexander Calder, an American sculptor best known as the creator of mobiles, at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, which will be holding a large-scale retrospective exhibition. The exhibition will draw close attention from art fans in Korea as it will show some of his early works, including wire works, mobiles, stabiles, drawings, and paintings. The exhibition will be held from July 18 to October 10 at Leeum. For more information, click here to visit the homepage of the museum (Korean, English, Japanese).

 Japanese artist Takashi Murakami stands next to his sculpture of the character Kiki during his retrospective exhibition held at the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao, Spain, in February 2009 (photo: Yonhap News). Japanese artist Takashi Murakami stands next to his sculpture of the character Kiki during his retrospective exhibition held at the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao, Spain, in February 2009 (photo: Yonhap News).
** Takashi Murakami Retrospective, Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art

If you love pop art, the Takashi Murakami Retrospective is a great catch. Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art, will offer a precious chance to enjoy the unique pop art of Murakami by holding a retrospective exhibition from July 4 to October 27. The three-month-long exhibition will show about 40 works of Murakami, including paintings, sculptures, photos, video footage, and curtains, to show the uniqueness of his art world and the characteristics of Japanese culture. For more information, click here to visit the homepage of the museum (Korean, English).

Yoon Sojung
arete@korea.kr

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