Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity

When 24 Jun 2011 - 28 Sep 2011
Where Solomon R. Guggenheim
1071 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10128
United States
Enquiry (212) 423-3500

Relatum-Discussion, 2003.  Courtesy of the artist and Lisson Gallery London

June 24 – September 28, 2011
Preview: Thursday June 23, 10am-12pm

Press Release:

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is pleased to present Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity, the first North American museum retrospective devoted to the artist-philosopher Lee Ufan, a preeminent sculptor, painter, and writer active in Korea, Japan, and Europe over the last forty years. The exhibition positions Lee as a historical figure and contemporary master, charting the artist’s creation of a visual, conceptual, and theoretical language that has radically expanded the possibilities for Post-Minimalist art. His deliberately limited and distilled gestures, guided by an ethics of restraint, produce emptiness that is generative and vivid; it is this sense of infinitude that forms the material and substance of his art.

Featuring some ninety works from the 1960s to the present—including a new site-specific installation— the exhibition will be installed throughout the museum, beginning with the rotunda floor and extending up the six ramps of the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building and into two Annex Level galleries. The selection of sculpture, paintings, works on paper, and installations includes Lee’s most iconic works, many presented in the United States for the first time. Objects are on loan from major public and private collections in Japan, Korea, Europe, and the United States. Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity is on view from June 24 through September 28, 2011.

Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity is organized by Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Sandhini Poddar, Assistant Curator, Asian Art, and Nancy Lim, Asian Art Curatorial Fellow, provided curatorial support.

Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, noted, “Lee Ufan is an artist of extraordinary creative vision. Admired, even revered, abroad, Lee is surprisingly littleknown in North America, and this late-career survey, which we offer to the public as part of the Guggenheim’s Asian Art Initiative, is overdue.”

About the Artist:

Lee Ufan was born in southern Korea in 1936 and witnessed the political convulsions that beset the Korean peninsula from the Japanese occupation to the Korean War, which left the country divided in 1953. He studied painting at the College of Fine Arts at Seoul National University and soon moved to Japan, where he earned a degree in philosophy from Nihon University, Tokyo, focusing on phenomenology and structuralism.

Lee established a studio in Paris in the 1970s and has since split his time between Japan and France. He was a visiting professor at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris during the 1990s and professor of art at Tama Art University in Tokyo from 1973 to 2007. From the 1971 Paris Biennale, which introduced Mono-ha to Europe, to his solo exhibition Lee Ufan: Resonance at the 2007 Venice Biennale, Lee has won great recognition for his work. He has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels (2009); the Yokohama Museum of Art (2005); the Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne Métropole (2005); the Samsung Museum of Modern Art, Seoul (2003); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2001); the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (1997); and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (1994). He was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for painting in 2001 and the UNESCO Prize in 2000. Lee is the author of seventeen books, including the English-language anthology The Art of Encounter (2007). In 2010, the Lee Ufan Museum, designed by Tadao Ando, opened at Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan; and in 2011, Lee’s work will be featured in two venues at the Venice Biennale, Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Grassi.

For more information about this exhibition and about Lee Ufan, please click here.