Lehmann Maupin opens new space with Lari Pittman exhibition
Lehmann Maupin opened its new and expanded gallery space in Hannam-dong, central Seoul, on Tuesday. The inaugural exhibition at the space is the first-ever solo show of Los Angeles-based Lari Pittman in Korea.
The exhibition, titled “Opaque, Translucent and Luminous,” features 15 new paintings by Pittman, many of which depict cities crowded with buildings. The buildings have various architectural styles ranging from the medieval to the Victorian, industrial to postmodern, and are depicted from multiple perspectives, giving the feeling of dynamism, vitality and instability at the same time. In addition, the buildings are mixed with the images of plants, animals and, the most strangely, with images of gigantic eggs.
“Eggs are a recurring symbol throughout Pittman’s oeuvre,” the gallery explained in a press release. “In some paintings they seem to represent pure possibility, filled with potential that could emerge at any moment. In others, they masquerade as light sources, their shape and placement recalling street lamps, or they appear elevated, standing in for public monuments.”
The eggs also have the feminist meaning.
“In his envisioning of alternative presents or futures, Pittman’s eggs gender our renewed cities as female, contrasting the traditional conception of metropolises as innately masculine or the predominance of statues exalting male figures in our civic spaces,” the gallery said.
Lehmann Maupin's new space is a two-story building that includes an outdoor terrace to exhibit large sculptures. The building was designed by the Society of Architecture, a local architecture company that won the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's Young Architect Award in 2015.
Lehmann Maupin was one of the first major foreign galleries that set up a permanent space for exhibitions in Korea. With branches also in Hong Kong and London, the gallery represents internationally famous artists from various countries including Korea, such as Do Ho Suh and Lee Bul.
BY MOON SO-YOUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]