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New Year’s Art Exhibitions

Posted December. 31, 2005 06:17,   


Dong-A Ilbo is putting on several art exhibitions this year. The exhibition themes include design, and two of them feature works by two artists, one Korean and the other non-Korean, in large shows.

The Posthumous Exhibition of Byeon Gwan-sik –

From February 17 to May 7, the works of Byeon Gwan-sik (1899~1976) will be on display at the National Museum of Art at Deoksugung in Seoul. The special exhibition will mark the 30th anniversary of his death. He was born in Hwanghae-do and is considered to be one of the most influential contemporary artists in traditional Korean painting. Thirty-one years ago, in 1975, Dong-A Ilbo organized Byeon’s retrospective show as well, which makes this year’s show more meaningful.

Byeon Gwan-sik studied painting with Kim Eun-ho, Roh Soo-hyun, and Lee Sang-beom at Seohwa Art Academy where Jo Seok-jin, his maternal grandfather, taught. In 1925, Byeon went to Japan and attended Tokyo Art School. After the Korean Liberation, he submitted his works to the National Art Exhibition for a few years. But he was greatly disappointed by the corruption among the judges and concentrated only on painting.

He applied a perspective that looks down at his subjects from an upper position with his unique realism and cubism visible in his works. He painted real landscapes, not imaginary ones. Yet, he managed to retain a sense of humor and traditional beauty. The exhibition is made up of works of Mt. Geumgang, his favorite subject, and a number of landscapes of both rural and urban areas. Viewers will have the opportunity of observing the formation of and changes in Byeon’s painting styles. Around 100 works and objects will be shown, including ones that have never been placed on exhibition, traditional Korean paintings, drawings, and the artist’s painting tools, such as brushes and his seal.

A Paul Klee Exhibition –

From April 7 to July 2, Paul Klee’s works will be displayed at the Seoul Olympic Art Museum in Songpa-gu, Seoul. The Paul Klee (1879~1940) show is first one in Korea and expected to be a blockbuster in the Korean fine arts world. He came from Switzerland and was deemed a pioneer in modern abstract painting. He defined his own artistic style and philosophy through his fantastic prints, drawings, oil paintings, and other works. He taught at the Bauhaus School in Weimar, Germany and at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts. His works are frequently seen in art textbooks for middle school and high school students. The exhibition will cover about 60 works of Klee and give viewers the opportunity to get to know Klee better.

Mun-Myung Huh angelhuh@donga.com