Gladstone Gallery Seoul presents Marine Wildfire & Underwater Forests, a solo exhibition by Swiss artist Claudia Comte (b. 1983), from May 22 to July 22. It is the first solo exhibition in Asia for the artist, who has worked primarily in Europe.
The artist has been working with dense materials such as marble and wood since the beginning of her career, carving and melting them into sublime forms with instinctive sharpness and delicacy. The exhibition features six works, all of which are new works by the artist from 2023. Made of smooth Carrara marble, the reliefs are atypical, organic shapes reminiscent of cacti, leaves, and coral, an ancient style of relief work. From ancient times to the contemporary, marble has been used as an artistic material to impart permanence and immortality to temporary forms, such as the human body and elements of nature. The artist chose marble as the material for his work to emphasize this point.
The exhibition also features a new mural work prepared by the artist for this exhibition. The mural runs from the lower level of the exhibition hall to the upper level, organizing the entire exhibition hall into one vast and immersive space. Bold, bold curves change density and gradient up and down and slide across the walls, demonstrating the artist’s constantly evolving artistic approach. From sculpture to installation mural to painting, the artist crosses genres and uses carefully selected materials to present a playful and socially engaged narrative within the space.
Johyun Gallery HAEUNDAE, Busan, is hosting a solo exhibition by Lee Bae (b.1956), who shows his work through the medium of charcoal, until July 30. The exhibition will feature work that uses red in the artist’s black and white-centered work for the first time.
Lee Bae studied abroad in Paris, France, in 1989, and throughout his 30-year career, he encountered charcoal as a material through chance. Charcoal evoked memories of his childhood in his homeland, and charcoal is his identity and Korean sentiment for the artist. The colorfulness found in black charcoal leaps from the roots of the oriental spirit embodied in ink and transcends modernity and contemporaneity.
The charcoal he uses in his works is burned in a kiln between 1000 and 1100 degrees for two weeks and cooled for two weeks. Where the fire has passed, only a simplified abstract form remains, not the original wood form and scent. The simplified appearance contains the traces of the fire and the permanence of the subsequent extended time. The red works on display for the first time tell the story of the charcoal that is born in this process, the smooth light on its surface, and the fire that has passed.
In addition to the exhibition, the work will be installed in front of the Paradise Hotel opposite, where the artist’s ink brush strokes have been made into a heavy bronze sculpture.
Meanwhile, from June 8 to July 26, Johyun Gallery will present Origin, Emergence, Return at Rockefeller Center in New York City, a group exhibition that reexamines three generations of Korean contemporary art from the 20th century to the present. This exhibition features more than 70 works by artists Lee Bae (b. 1956), Park Seo Bo (b. 1931), and Jin Meyerson (b. 1972). Outside the exhibition, in Rockefeller Center’s Channel Garden, a large-scale charcoal sculpture by Lee Bae, measuring 6.5 meters high, 4.5 meters wide, and weighing 3.6 tons, will be installed. Channel Garden is an iconic space that showcases the work of leading contemporary artists, and this is the first time a Korean artist will be installed there.