(New York — November 15, 2016) Lévy Gorvy is pleased to announce the gallery’s representation of Seung-taek Lee (b.1932) in the United States. Seung-taek Lee’s experimental practice holds an influential place in the history of Korean art; throughout his career, he has challenged traditionally held notions of identity and history, forging a new path for artistic exploration of environment, culture, and philosophy.
Lévy Gorvy will celebrate representation of Seung-taek Lee with a 2017 solo exhibition at its New York location, accompanied by a scholarly catalogue. Gallery Hyundai will continue to represent Seung-taek Lee in Asia.
A pioneer of the Korean avant-garde and part of the first generation of experimental artists to embrace innovation and modernist influences after the end of the Korean War in 1953, Seung-taek Lee has continuously engaged political and cultural themes over the course of his six-decade career. His diverse and prolific oeuvre encompasses sculpture, installation, performance, and Land art. Notions of negation—which the artist calls dematerialization, non-sculpture, and anti-concept—are central to Seung-taek Lee’s approach, and indicate the process by which ordinary or mundane objects are transformed to be imbued with metaphysical meaning. Using broken tree branches, wire, Korean hanji paper, stones, human hair, fabric, and rope, his works elevate the objects and interactions that comprise daily life to the level of the mythical. Seung-taek Lee’s sculptures often involve environmental themes and his practice corresponds with contemporaneous developments in Land Art, Japanese Mono-ha, and Post-Minimalism.
In the late 1950s, Seung-taek Lee began work on his Godret Stone series, in which the artist affixes rocks to wooden bars with rope; by making the stones appear weightless and soft, he obscures their true physical nature. In the next decade, Seung-taek Lee turned his focus to representing imperceptible or ephemeral natural phenomena such as wind, fire, water, and smoke, further exploring the concept of dematerialization. Seung-taek Lee’s fascination with history led him to believe that the artist’s role is in “connecting different worlds in search of another realm.” His vernacular is eminently materialist and deeply rooted in a sense of place, celebrating the incidental beauty of Korean folk traditions.
Seung-taek Lee’s work resides in the permanent collections of museums and institutions worldwide, including the Tate Modern, London; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney; and the Seoul Museum of Art; among others. Solo exhibitions of Seung-taek Lee’s work have been held at the Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul and the Nam June Paik Art Center, Yongin. He received the Eunkwan Award from the Korean Ministry of Culture in 2014 and the Nam June Paik Art Center International Art Award in 2009.
Lévy Gorvy will celebrate its representation of Seung-taek Lee with a solo presentation of the artist’s work at its New York location in 2017. The gallery will publish a scholarly catalogue to accompany the exhibition. Gallery Hyundai will continue their representation of Seung-taek Lee in Asia.
Above: Seung-taek Lee, Wind-Folk Amusement (1971). Courtesy of The Artist, Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, Lévy Gorvy, New York.