Art exhibitions bank on big names for 2013

By Lee Woo-young
  • Published : Dec 30, 2012 - 20:13
  • Updated : Dec 30, 2012 - 20:13
“Bigger Trees” by David Hockney (NMOCA)
Major art museums and galleries in Korea are planning exhibitions of famous foreign artists and established Korean artists this year.

Some of the most anticipated exhibitions are retrospectives, including those of American sculptor Alexander Calder, Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto, American graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and American painter Alice Neel.

Two Samsung art museums, Leeum and Plateau, feature some big names. Plateau hosts the retrospective in July of Murakami Takashi, a Japanese pop artist well-known for his collaboration with the luxury brand Louis Vuitton. The exhibition will feature about 40 works that range from his cartoony paintings to quasi-minimalist sculptures.

Contemporary Japanese photographer Sugimoto’s retrospective will be held at Leeum in November, featuring the famous “Seascape” and “Theater” series and more recent sculptural works.

A retrospective of Alexander Calder, the originator of mobile art, will be held in July. Visitors will get to see how his work evolved from the earlier wire sculptures into kinetic sculptures as well as his paintings and drawings.

Gallery Hyundai introduces portraits by painter Alice Neel in May. Neel received acclaim late in her career with her compelling portraits of her family, as well as paintings featuring prominent figures in American political and artistic circles. 
“Grand Crinkly” by Alexander Calder (Leeum)

Tate Modern’s collection of work by David Hockney, one of the most popular and multi-talented British artists, are also expected to be shown at the Gwacheon branch of the National Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the NMOCA’s exchange project with prestigious foreign art museums.

Kukje Gallery is presenting a retrospective of the celebrated American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who rose to artistic fame with his graffiti-inspired paintings in the 1980s. The exhibition dates are yet to be fixed.

The NMOCA will hold a retrospective of the Korean painter Yoon Myeung-ro in March. Yoon’s works are considered to have set the direction of abstract painting and contemporary art in Korea. The museum will also focus on discovering young and emerging artists as well at “Finding the Young 2013” at the Gwacheon museum in February and the Artist of the Year exhibition in July.

Major art galleries in Seoul are planning exhibitions featuring established artists as they struggle to make ends meet in the depressed market, further affected by the a new law that imposes a 20 percent tax on artworks valued at more than 60 million won that have been owned less than 10 years by the seller. The law takes effect on Jan. 1.

Gallery Hyundai holds solo exhibitions by two respected painters: Kim Jong-hak, known for his beautiful landscape paintings of Korea and Kim Chang-yeol, famous for his water drop paintings.

Kukje Gallery presents exhibitions by two young artists whose works were recognized both in Korea and overseas.

Roh Choong-hyun’s show will open in May. Roh, who has interpreted social issues in literary sentiment, presents 20 large paintings. Ham Kyung-ah, whose works were shown at international biennales, will present some thought-provoking installations, reflecting social and political issues.

Gana Art Center, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is planning an anniversary exhibition in March and April, which will be put together by 100 artists, who resided in the art center’s ateliers. Sculptor Kwon Jin-gyu’s exhibition will be held in July. A photography exhibition of Bae Bien-u will follow in September.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)