May 3, 2019 - Palazzo Fortuny - Yun Hyong-keun
May 3, 2019

Palazzo Fortuny

Yun Hyong-keun at his studio, Seoul. Courtesy: The Estate of Yun Hyong-keun. Image Copyright: Yun Seong-ryeol.

Yun Hyong-keun
A retrospective
May 11–November 24, 2019

Press/Preview days: May 8–10

Palazzo Fortuny
San Marco, 3958
30124 Venice
Italy

fortuny.visitmuve.it
Twitter / Instagram

Yun Hyong-keun
A retrospective
May 11–November 24, 2019

Press/Preview days: May 8–10

Palazzo Fortuny
San Marco, 3958
30124 Venice
Italy

fortuny.visitmuve.it
Twitter / Instagram

“The massive tree, fallen, lay in the ravine. The tree had rotted through, turning to dirt from the roots up. The color of the tree has transformed into the color of the dirt. And by now, most likely, that tree has been worn down by the wind and rain, leaving no trace of its former self. That sight, which impressed me with the magnitude of nature’s wonder and providence, still has not left my mind’s eye.

“When I think of how I, and my paintings too, will also in due time be reduced to dust, it strikes me that nothing in this world is that tremendous. But at the same time, during the limited time that I have life here, I can keep a record—all I can do is keep a record, day by day, that serves as evidence, as a trace of the flame that is my life.

“Nature, however you look at it, is always unadorned, fresh, and beautiful. I wonder if my paintings could capture the beauty of nature. No, it would be impossible. Even so, I want to make paintings that, like nature, one never tires of looking at. That is all that I want in my art.

“Canvas is still made just from those old and familiar materials: cotton or hemp. Looking at it, I always feel its warmth and familiarity. This affinity comes from the absolute simplicity and freshness of the natural fiber. This in itself is a work of art, and perhaps marking the surface with a brush is an act of ruining perfection. Maybe humans just inevitably manage to destroy nature. Wherever the human hand has passed, nature has been deformed. It might be that despite my awareness, I keep on breaking and spoiling things.

“What is painting? I still don’t really know the answer. Is it a mere trace from combustion of life? I think one's ego is more freely and definitely expressed in the world of unconscious. The more one tries to express oneself, the ego becomes self-conscious, hence, the expression becomes contrived. Therefore, I don’t think there can be an answer to painting. I have no idea as to what I should paint, and at which point I should stop painting. There, in the midst of such uncertainty, I just paint. I don't have a goal in mind. I want to paint that something which is nothing, that will inspire me endlessly to go on.”

–Yun Hyong-keun, 1976

On the occasion of the 58th Venice Biennale, a major retrospective of Korean artist Yun Hyong-keun (1928–2007), one of the most significant Korean artists of the 20th century, will be presented at Palazzo Fortuny.

The show explores Yun’s work presenting over 60 works that span his entire career. While recognising his role in the development of Dansaekhwa, this retrospective examines Yun's work in its own right and from a new perspective within the wider context of international art history.

The exhibition also focuses on Yun’s extraordinary life as a witness of Korean history: Yun Hyong-keun lived through one of the most traumatic periods of Korean history, suffering great misfortune related to Japanese colonial rule, the Korean War, and post-war dictatorship. 

Curator: Kim Inhye, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea

The exhibition is a collaboration between the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) and the Civic Museums of Venice (MUVE) with the support of the Korea Foundation.

Representing Galleries:
PKM Gallery, (Seoul) - Representative of the Estate of Yun Hyong-keun
Blum & Poe (LA, New York, Tokyo)
Axel Vervoordt Gallery (Antwerp, Hong Kong)
Simon Lee Gallery (London, New York, Hong Kong)
David Zwirner Gallery (New York, London, Hong Kong)

Press/Preview days: 
Wednesday, May 8: 12–6pm (Press preview 8:30–10am)
Thursday-Friday, May 9–10: 10am–8pm

For information, images or interview requests contact: yhkfortuny [​at​] brunswickgroup.com

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