Representation/Abstraction in Korean Art

When 23 Nov 2010 - 27 Mar 2011
Where Metropolitan Museum, Arts of Korea Gallery, 2nd floor
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028
United States

IL LEE, IW-105, acrylic and oil on canvas, 84 x 120 inches (213.4 x 304.8 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Art Projects International, New York.


November 23, 2010–March 27, 2011

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Korea Gallery, 2/F

Gallery Talks: December 14, 2010 & February 4th, 2011


Press Release:

This special installation brings together objects and paintings from different periods of Korean art history, whose pairings and juxtapositions highlight the beauty, power, and emotional resonance of both representation and abstraction. Some works offer recognizable portrayals of a given subject filtered through artistic interpretation. Others, because of their distilled form, color, or design, might be characterized as abstractions. Still others are eloquently expressionist renderings that are open to layered translations. Many of the works on view might straddle the two opposing yet overlapping categories. Featuring two works by the New York-based contemporary artist Il Lee—including a new, large-scale, acrylic and oil on canvas—which are on loan to the Museum, this installation presents an opportunity to view and appreciate the Museum’s permanent collection with a fresh perspective. It highlights the many intriguing ways Korean artists through history have explored—and articulated—representation and abstraction.