May 17, 2019 - National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul - Park Seo-Bo: The Untiring Endeavorer
May 17, 2019

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul

Park Seo-Bo, Ecriture No.3-78, 1978. Pencil, oil on canvas, 130 x 162 cm. Private Collection.

Park Seo-Bo
The Untiring Endeavorer
May 18–September 1, 2019

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
30 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu
03062 Seoul
Republic of Korea
Hours: Monday–Thursday 10am–6pm,
Friday–Saturday 10am–9pm

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The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA, Director Youn Bummo) presents a retrospective of Park Seo-Bo: The Untiring Endeavorer from Saturday, May 18, to Sunday, September 1, 2019 in Gallery 1 and 2 of MMCA Seoul.

A driving force in the anti-Kukjon, the National Art Exhibition, statement of 1956, Park Seo-Bo entered Korean contemporary art history in 1957 as the country’s first informel artist. Adopting a retrospective format examining a lifetime of painting by a figure who not only established a unique body of work as an active standard-bearer for Korean monochrome (Dansaekhwa) from the 1970s forward but also left an imprint on Korean contemporary art currents as an educator and administrator, this exhibition will feature some 160 works ranging from his earliest pieces to recent work produced in 2019.

The exhibition encompasses representative artworks of Park Seo-Bo’s early career in 1955, when he was still searching for the direction of his work; his "Primordialis" period with pieces ranging from his rendering of the scars of injustice and destruction left by the war in the first Korean informel work Painting No.1 to his expression of energy toward life in the 1960s "Primordialis" series; his "Hereditarius" period in the 1960s and 1970s, which saw him adopting aspects of geometric abstraction and Pop art while employing his own unique color sense; his Early-"écriture" period in the 1970s, which saw his artwork becoming a tool for self-cultivation through the repeated application of white paint and pencil strokes to the canvas; his Mid-"écriture" period, which saw him rediscovering traditional Korean hanji paper and color; and his Late-"écriture" period, in which evidence of the human hand was eschewed in favor of an emphasis on deep and rich coloration.

Focusing broadly on Park Seo-Bo’s artistic world as a whole, the exhibition is to feature his Void of Space—not shown since the 1970s—in addition to new work from 2019 and many long-unexhibited pieces from past years. Through a rich and varied collection of historical materials, visitors can witness the prolific trajectory of an art administrator and educator who has worked diligently for the globalization of Korean contemporary art while practicing his own sui generis artistic work.

To aid in understanding Park Seo-Bo’s artistic vision, exhibition-related programs, and ongoing workshops will be offered for visitors to participate in during the exhibition period. Other associated events are to include a conversation with the artist Park Seo-Bo and an international academic event in which Korean and overseas experts examine his artistic world.

Youn Bummo. director of the MMCA, notes, “This exhibition will be an opportunity not only to explore the creativity of Park Seo-Bo’s work as an artist employing his own unique methods to interpret the spirit and artistic language inherent to Korean art, but also to gain a three-dimensional perspective on his stature within the currents of Korean contemporary art and examine its significance within art history.”

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
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The Untiring Endeavorer
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