David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by Yun Hyong-keun, on view at the gallery’s 537 West 20th Street location in New York. Focusing on the artist’s work from the late 1980s and 1990s, the exhibition will feature a selection of Yun’s distinctive abstract paintings from this late period in his career.
One of the most significant Korean artists of the twentieth century, Yun is widely recognized for his signature abstract compositions, which engage with yet transcend Eastern and Western art movements and visual traditions. Using a restricted palette of ultramarine and umber, Yun created his compositions by adding layer upon layer of paint onto raw canvas or linen, often applying the next coat before the last one had dried. He diluted the pigments with turpentine solvent, allowing them to seep into the fibers of the support, staining it in a similar way to traditional ink on Korean mulberry paper. Working directly on his studio floor, he produced simple arrangements of intensely dark, vertical bands surrounded by untouched areas. The division was softened by the blurred edges caused by the uneven rates of absorption of oil and solvent, and the compositions often developed over several days, even months, with the artist adding additional layers or letting the pigments bleed out gradually.
An online Viewing Room accompanies this exhibition, featuring works on paper along with a selection of small paintings that have been made available exclusively online.
Image: Yun Hyong-keun, Burnt Umber & Ultramarine, 1991 (detail)