German gallery opens Seoul branch

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German gallery opens Seoul branch

A German gallery has an exhibition of 24 paintings by artists including Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Joerg Immendorff and A. R. Penck in a branch gallery in southern Seoul, which opened last week.

The Michael Schultz Gallery Seoul is the third gallery opened by Michael Schultz and the first such outside Germany. The first Michael Schultz Gallery opened in Berlin, Germany, in 1986, and Schultz Contemporary was opened in Berlin in 2005. The gallery has exclusive contracts with well-known German Expressionist painters including Georg Beselitz, Penck, Immendorff and Markus Luepertz. It took part in the Gerhard Richter and A. R. Penck exhibition at Korea’s National Museum of Contemporary Art in March 2006.
“A few years ago, I came across the Korean art market through the Korea International Art Fair. Being involved in various exhibitions in Korea for the last three years, I realized that Korean collectors are very interested in works by foreign artists. And I wanted to show the gallery’s paintings for a longer duration,” said Michael Schultz, the director of the gallery.
Mr. Schultz has also been deeply involved in Art Cologne, an international art fair.
“Though small, the Korean art market is very attractive and solid,” he added.
Asked why he did not choose to open a gallery in China instead, Mr. Schultz said, “China’s art market is very volatile, and poses a huge risk.”
Mr. Schultz said that Korea has talented young artists but Korean galleries were so far too passive to promote them internationally and Korean collectors were reluctant to invest in their work. The gallery has been nurturing a Korean artist, Seo Soo-kyoung, 29, who is known as Seo internationally.
Born in Gwangju, Seo graduated from Chosun University and later began studying under Baselitz at the Art Academy in Berlin. She received a Walther Hellenthal Award for painting in 2004, the Blickachsen Award 2005 and the Falkenrot-Award 2005.
Seo’s work “Heimat Verboren,” which is an image of a girl paddling on a raft on a stream, is on display at the gallery. Her unusual style of applying acrylic colors to a Korean traditional paper-covered canvas, then tearing the paper piece by piece and attaching them to the canvas to create mosaic-like images, seems to have fascinated collectors in Europe. According to the gallery, “Heimat Verboren” is valued at 30 million won ($31,000).
Mr. Schultz also said he has three Korean young students at Chosun University in mind to sign as exclusive artists for the gallery.
Among the works on display are Richter’s “Kerzel,” meaning candle in German, which is one of the 250 prints that exist. There are several large dot paintings by Polke. Immendorff’s work titled “Ich liebe mein land” depicts the turbulent German history and the two World Wars and has images of an Arian cross and the Brandenburg Gate.
All works on display are available for sale. The gallery opens from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. every day, except Monday. The exhibition continues until Jan. 28. Entrance is free. For information, visit

by Limb Jae-un
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