The Korea Herald


What to see in galleries in Seoul: international galleries bring together prominent artists

By Park Yuna

Published : May 15, 2023 - 09:30

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An installation view of “Looking the Goat in the Eye” at Thaddaeus Ropac in Seoul (Courtesy of the gallery) An installation view of “Looking the Goat in the Eye” at Thaddaeus Ropac in Seoul (Courtesy of the gallery)

Several leading galleries internationally that have locations here are showing a variety of exhibitions in May not only for collectors but also for the general audience. While Korea's art market has slowed down this year, exhibitions where the public can appreciate first-rate contemporary art continue to multiply. Three top galleries operating internationally – Thaddaeus Ropac, Perrotin and Lehmann Maupin -- have kicked off new exhibitions in Seoul.

Austrian gallery Thaddaeus Ropac in Hannam-dong, Seoul has opened the exhibition, “Looking the Goat in the Eye,” which shows oil and watercolor paintings by Austrian artist Martha Jungwirth -- the first solo exhibition by the artist here.

Born in 1940, Jungwirth's work straddles the boundary between abstract and representational painting. She has been a central figure in the Austrian art scene for over six decades, but within the past 15 years, her vivid and expressive paintings have garnered wide international acclaim. The exhibition runs through June 10.

"Studies into the Past" by Laurent Grasso is on display at the artist's exhibition in Perrotin Dosan Park. (Courtesy of the gallery)

French gallery Perrotin’s second gallery in Seoul – Perrotin Dosan Park – is now showing the second solo exhibition of French artist Laurent Grasso following the conceptual art master’s inaugural show in Seoul in 2016 at the gallery’s first location here in Samcheong-dong.

Located in southern Seoul, Perrotin Dosan Park brings together the French artist’s paintings, sculptures and neon works at solo exhibition “Anima.” Grasso explores the visible and invisible, and makes connections bridging the human and non-human.

According to the gallery, Grasso's work is "inspired by scientific discoveries and human sciences, as well as by beliefs and mythologies attached to specific phenomena or places." This show introduces a new series of paintings to complement his "Studies into the Past" that he began in 2009. The exhibition continues through June 17 after opening on May 4.

An installation view of “Dream” at Lehmann Maupin in Seoul (Courtesy of the gallery) An installation view of “Dream” at Lehmann Maupin in Seoul (Courtesy of the gallery)

New works by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm have been unveiled at American gallery Lehmann Maupin in Hannam-dong, Seoul. He is "best known for his sculptures that include human-sized pickles and a house compressed to just one-meter wide," and according to the gallery, "He has examined the fundamental tenets of the medium for over 25 years."

The “Dream” exhibition in Seoul includes the artist’s new “Skins” sculptures, which the gallery says "further evince his growing commitment to abstraction." These works, cast from aluminum and painted white, "visualize slivers from an imagined figure, often spotlighting a specific gesture or pose," as described by the gallery.

The "Bag Sculptures" of the artist’s handbag series convey Wurm's "belief that objects are often extensions of their owners and used to project personal identity." Throughout, Wurm plays with the principles of sculpture. The exhibition runs through June 24.