Solos showcase abstract art

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Solos showcase abstract art


Left: “Post Conjunction 10-1” (2010) by Ha Chong-hyun is part of his retrospective at the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Provided by the NMOCA. Right: “IW-104” (2010) by Il Lee is part of his solo show at Gallery Hyundai in central Seoul. Provided by Gallery Hyundai

Two important abstract artists recently opened solo shows.

One is a large-scale retrospective of Ha Chong-hyun at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi. Ha, 77, is famous for his “Conjunction” series, which he began in the mid-1970s. The works are done by putting oil paints on the back of a rough canvas and pressing them so they transude to the front. “I wanted to make an unprecedented art,” Ha said last week. “In addition, I like its emphasis on the materiality of the paints.”

The other show features Il Lee, a 60-year-old Korean-American who has gained fame with his abstract paintings done with ballpoint pens. He draws quickly to avoid tearing the paper or canvas in a movement that Western critics frequently compare to Far East calligraphers. Even the fields of color in his paintings are made by layering pen lines. “The color fields made in this way have much deeper taste,” Lee said on Friday.

The show features 20 of his works.
By Moon So-young[]

Ha’s retrospective runs through Aug. 12. Admission is 2,000 won ($1.7) for adults. Visit or call (02) 2188-6114.

Lee’s show continues until July 15. Admission is free. Visit or call (02) 2287-3500.

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