Lehmann Maupin, a New York-based gallery that also operates in Hong Kong, Seoul, and London, will be joining the ranks of galleries that are flocking to Seoul’s Hannam-dong area. The gallery announced on November 18 that it will move its 711-square-foot Anguk-dong location to a larger facility in the central district of Seoul in the spring of 2022. The new venue will be a two-floor, 2,600-square-foot space with an outdoor terrace.
Lehmann Maupin was founded in 1996 in New York by Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin, and it has been known for representing artists of diverse backgrounds since its early stages, working with artists of various nationalities, whether from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, or the Middle East, as well as with those who take different approaches to subject matter and techniques in their artworks.
After opening a Hong Kong branch in 2013, the gallery chose Seoul as the next Asian art market in 2017, becoming one of the first international galleries to enter Korea. Yet its relationship with Korean art goes back before the opening of the Seoul outpost. The gallery has been working with Korean artists who are currently playing an important role in contemporary art history.
Lehmann Maupin and leading artist Do Ho Suh have been working together since as early as the late 1990s when the artist was discovered at Yale University. Lee Bul, an established performance and installation artist, has been represented by the gallery since 2007.
And the gallery has been representing the late artist Suh Se Ok, Do Ho Suh’s father and one of the key figures who guided Korean traditional painting toward contemporary art; it put on a solo exhibition of the late artist’s works last August.
In addition to working with Korean artists, the gallery has been introducing internationally recognized artists who are nonetheless underrepresented in the Korean art scene to the local audience.
At KIAF Seoul, Korea’s largest art fair, artists such as Malaysian-born Mandy El-Sayegh, London-based painter Chantal Joffe, and Pictures Generation member David Salle were featured at the booth. The Seoul gallery also held solo exhibitions of artists who had never been introduced in Seoul or in Asia, such as Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña and New York-based artist Liza Lou.
The first show in the new space next spring will be Lari Pittman’s (b.1952) first solo exhibition in Korea. The exhibition, Opaque, Translucent, Luminous, will feature 15 new paintings on two floors.
Lari Pittman is an artist who works with collage-like paintings combining several pictorial elements such as advertising images, surrealism, decorative traditions, and folk art on one canvas to talk about dichotomies.