Lee Ufan Exhibition Storms Versailles
South Korean minimalist painter and sculptor Lee Ufan is this summer’s guest artist in Versailles. Ten new works, described as “intense and silent,” have been placed throughout the palace and gardens. His sculptures often juxtapose man-made and natural materials, like custom-made steel plates and found stones or boulders, suggesting a missing link between the two. The generic name for these sculptures, “Relatum,” refers to Ufan’s belief that a work of art is “not an autonomous and independent entity, but that it only exists in its relation to the outside world.”
Originally trained as a philosopher, Ufan makes work that is often highly conceptual and contains deeper meaning than initially meets the eye. Art critic Robert C. Morgan wrote, “What makes Lee Ufan’s work exhilarating is the structure—not in the pragmatic sense, but in the virtual/tactile sense; that is, the manner in which the ‘weight’ comes down to the gravity of seeing: we see and touch the work, less in actuality than conceptually.”
Ufan, who splits his time between Japan and France, has previously been honored by the Japanese government for having contributed significantly to the discourse of contemporary art. His primary dealers are Pace Gallery in New York; Gallery Hyundai, Kukje in Seoul; Scai the Bathhouse in Tokyo; and Lisson Gallery in London. Last summer’s guest artist in Versailles was Giuseppe Penone, the Italian sculptor associated with the Arte Povera movement.
Lee Ufan’s sculptures will be on display at the Palais de Versailles until November, 2014.
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