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(1926 – 2013), South Korea

Kwon Young-Woo Biography

Kwon Young-Woo (권영우) was considered a pioneering figure in the development of Dansaekhwa (or the modern monochrome movement), a Korean painting tradition where artists work predominantly with paper. Born in Korea in 1926, Kwon graduated from Seoul National University’s first art school class in 1951 alongside his contemporaries Park No-Soo, Suh Se Ok, Chang Un-Sang, and Park Sae-Won. He died in 2013.

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Throughout his career, Kwon explored the textural abilities of his chosen medium by scratching, tearing, and layering sheets of hanji (traditional Korean mulberry paper) onto canvas and manipulating the material into three-dimensional relief sculptures which were then decorated with ink painting. Later in his career, Kwon removed any trace of representation and worked solely with white paper.

Kwon’s skill in altering a traditional material to reflect themes of Abstract Expressionism has led to him being recognised as one of Korea’s most groundbreaking artists. Recently, the artist’s works have been exposed to new audiences due to a resurgence in interest of the Dansaekhwa movement.

Kwon Young-Woo has been included in recent exhibitions such as From All Sides: Tansaekhwa on Abstraction at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2014); Dansaekhwa at Kukje Gallery, Seoul (2015); When Process Becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean Abstraction at the Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (2016); and Dansaekhwa and Minimalism at Blum & Poe, New York (2016).

In 2007, six years before his death in 2013, Kwon donated 70 of his most important works to the Seoul Museum of Art.

Kwon Young-Woo Featured Artworks

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Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork
Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1986Gouache, Chinese ink on Korean paper
224 x 170 cm
Tina Kim Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork
Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1985Gouache, Chinese ink on Korean paper
224 x 170 cm
Kukje Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork
Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1985Gouache, Chinese ink on Korean paper
115.5 x 89 cm
Kukje Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork
Kwon Young-WooUntitled, c. 1980sKorean paper
91.5 x 73.5 cm
Tina Kim Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork
Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1980Korean paper
63 13/16 x 51 3/16 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork
Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1981Korean paper
65.3 x 50.5 cm
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork
Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1982Korean paper
116.8 x 91.1 cm
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Untitled by Kwon Young-Woo contemporary artwork
Kwon Young-WooUntitled, 1980Korean paper on rag board mounted on panel
162.24 x 129.54 cm
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work

Kwon Young-Woo Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Kwon Young-Woo, Various Whites at Kukje Gallery, Seoul
Closed
16 March–30 April 2017 Kwon Young-Woo Various Whites K2, Kukje Gallery
Contemporary art exhibition, Kwon Young-Woo, Kwon Young-Woo at Blum & Poe, New York
Closed
1 June–1 July 2016 Kwon Young-Woo Blum & Poe, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group exhibition, Dansaekhwa and Minimalism at Blum & Poe, New York
Closed
14 April–21 May 2016 Group exhibition Dansaekhwa and Minimalism Blum & Poe, New York

Kwon Young-Woo Represented By

Kwon Young-Woo In Ocula Magazine

Joan Kee Ocula Conversation Joan Kee By Anna Dickie, Michigan

Joan Kee has written a seminal book entitled Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method. The book considers Tansaekhwa, one of the most important artistic movements in contemporary art history – yet one that has been significantly over-looked. Tansaekhwa, or Korean monochromatic painting, references a loose grouping of...

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Kwon Young-Woo In Related Press

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'Systemic Paper' at Blum & Poe, Tokyo Related Press 'Systemic Paper' at Blum & Poe, Tokyo 1 June 2017, Mousse Magazine

The paper in each part of Dorothea Rockburne's series Locus I-VI (1972) is pretty unforgiving. The mixture of lines and edges are slow to reveal detail and require more than a causal glance to let that detail sink in and solidify. But in the company of Korean painter Kwon Young-woo and Japanese artist Rakuko Naito, working with paper takes on...

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Art Basel Hong Kong Related Press Art Basel Hong Kong 29 March 2017, art agenda

Twenty years after the handover of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China, Hong Kong stands at a crossroads. The generation to come of age in the intervening decades has become restless, frustrated by the rejection of demands for universal suffrage (the election for the next Chief Executive takes places tomorrow, March 26, but only 1194...

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Kwon Young-woo discovers 'Koreanness' in paper Related Press Kwon Young-woo discovers 'Koreanness' in paper 26 March 2017, The Korea Times

Korean artist Kwon Young-woo (1923-2013) spent his entire career pursuing the essence of Oriental painting, but not in the traditional ink-and-wash method. Instead, he devoted his life to exploring the unique properties of paper, especially hanji (Korean paper).

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Monochrome and minimalism: 6 Dansaekhwa artists in New York Related Press Monochrome and minimalism: 6 Dansaekhwa artists in New York 23 May 2016, Art Radar

Dansaekhwa, or Korean monochrome art, is characterised by painting in a single colour, textured and with simplified images. Featured as a collateral event of the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), the art form has also generated interest in the western world through recent exhibitions such as From All Sides: Tansaekhwa on Abstraction (Blum & Poe...

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Kwon Young-Woo In Video & Audio

Artist Interview | Kwon Young-Woo Related Video & Audio Artist Interview | Kwon Young-Woo 20 March 2017, Kukje Gallery

On the occassion of Kwong Young-Woo's solo exhibition at Kukje Gallery K2, Seoul, as well as his participation in the Kabinett sector of Art Basel Hong Kong 2017, take a look at historical footage of the artist discussing his groundbreaking practice and process in a new video released by Kukje Gallery:

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