White Cube Seoul is pleased to announce the opening exhibition The Embodied Spirit from September 5 to December 21. White Cube opened in London in 1993 and has since expanded to New York, Paris, Hong Kong, and other locations around the world, and Seoul is the gallery’s second opening in Asia after Hong Kong. The exhibition brings together paintings and sculptures that explore philosophy, metaphysics, and the motivations behind human behavior. It features works by seven artists, Christine Ay Tjoe, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Tracey Emin, Katharina Fritsch, Louise Giovanelli, Marguerite Humeau, and Lee Jinju.
Looking at some of the works and artists, Tracey Emin’s paintings and drawings, also known as Young British Artists(yBAs), feature ghostly-looking figures, some lying on a sarcophagus-shaped crib, seemingly floating between life and death. < Hand > (2020), a black hand resting on a plinth, is a work by Katharina Fritsch. Katharina Fritsch transformed familiar objects and figures into strangeness, raising questions about human existence. In Berlinde De Bruyckere’s < Arcangelo Glass Dome II > (2021-23), the artist seeks to materialize human fragility by wrapping fur around a hybrid body. Lee Jinju, the only Korean artist in the exhibition, presents a series of ‘My Black Paintings’ featuring delicate hands depicted using Korean painting techniques.
Perrotin Seoul presents Do and Be, the first solo exhibition in Asia by Tavares Strachan (b. 1979). Tavares Strachan’s work is based on his interest in marginalized histories, such as the first Black astronaut, Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. (1935–1967), Black polar explorer Matthew Henson (1866–1955), and the Jamaican activist and entrepreneur Marcus Garvey (1887–1940). He is particularly interested in the idea of “textual manipulability,” creating works that reconfigure the connections between image, text, and context.
This aspect of his practice is reflected in the ‘Self Portrait’ series in this exhibition. In < Self Portrait as Galaxies Together > (2023), a circular canvas depicting the universe is perforated with circle-shaped holes that resemble the planets of the cosmos. These holes are interspersed with other texts and images of naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882), jazz musician Miles Davis (1926–1991), and Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430), which appear to be cut into the shape of a circle. This reflects the artist’s methodology of reforming and representing a specific person, entity, or phenomenon. The ceramic works are an extension of the self-portraits, with a sculpture of Strachan’s face in a space helmet replacing the lid of a jar, or Strachan’s head in the mouth of a roaring animal.
The exhibition presents a comprehensive look at Strachan’s work centered on self-portraits.
KÖNIG SEOUL will be holding SOUL SCAPE SEOUL, the first solo exhibition of Leiko Ikemura (b. 1951) in Korea.
Since the early 1980s, Leiko Ikemura has built a body of work based on Japanese and European aesthetic traditions. This exhibition showcases Ikemura’s paintings and sculptures from the past decade on the 5th and 6th floors of KÖNIG SEOUL. The 5th floor is organized around paintings. Ikemura’s paintings are somewhere between figurative and abstract, and the figures in the paintings smoothly fill the canvas with indistinct borders. The exhibition features red and brightly colored paintings and Ikemura’s interpretation of the scenery of mountains and water. Sculptures are on display in the outdoor space on the 6th floor. Viewers can see bronze sculptures such as <HARE COLUMN Ⅱ>, as well as several glass sculptures utilizing the artist’s unique glass casting technique.
The name of the exhibition, ‘SOUL SCAPE’, was coined by the artist in the process of likening inner life to a landscape. Ikemura’s works are landscapes of life as seen through the artist’s eyes, landscapes that provoke the viewer to turn their gaze inward.