Renowned Korean minimalist painter and sculptor Lee Ufan’s latest exhibition Lee Ufan: Ceramics at Pace Gallery (New York, March 10 – April 8, 2017) captures the inherent ephemera and experienciality of movement. The exhibition is the porcelain and terracotta aftermath of his kinesthetic and tactile experiment in the relationship between space and shape.
Above image: Lee Ufan: Ceramics exhibition view. Photography by Kerry Ryan McFate, courtesy Pace Gallery
This exhibition is a first for Lee — his first exhibition in North America, and was installed as part of Asia Week New York (March 9 – March 18, 2017). Pace Gallery explains Lee continues to demonstrate his philosophical concerns regarding materiality and existence as he explores the essential properties of the medium of clay in this exhibition.
The range of sculpture in the show exhibits Lee’s dynamic engagement with this practice. New works on porcelain tiles show a use of color and brush that recalls the artist’s Dialogue series. His concept of composition in these works as exposing the connection between the unmarked and the gesture in turn emphasize the relationship of the object to the environment in which it sits. In contrast, Lee’s terracotta works disrupt the three-dimensional surface in a variety of ways, creating an interplay between perception and space.
Lee was an original founder and major proponent of Mono-ha (‘School of Things’), Japan’s first internationally recognized contemporary art movement. Mono-ha rejected Western notions of representation, instead, emphasizing materials, perception and interrelationships of space and matter.
They started a long journey of experimenting with aesthetics and artistic languages. The delicate and simply shaped porcelain ware created by Park and decorated with Ufan’s signature minimalist cobalt blue brushstrokes…
In this exhibition Lee, once again, employs this technique in his hanging painted porcelain tablets.
Lee states his ”initial intention [in making these ceramic works] is the fragment, ruin and the distortion of meaning and usage.”
Pace writes, on view in the exhibition is a sculpture, standing at over five feet and made entirely of broken fragments and powder from ceramic works that were intentionally shattered. The amassing of these broken elements is topped with a ‘perfect’ vessel, which at once depicts destruction and creation through the passage of time.
Pace writes, the works were made in conjunction with the Manufacture de Sèvres, an atelier outside of Paris renowned for its production of porcelain and its longstanding history of working with artists.
Installation view of Lee Ufan: Ceramics
32 East 57th Street, New York
March 10 – April 8, 2017
Photography by Kerry Ryan McFate, courtesy Pace Gallery
Do you love or loathe these works of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.