All images: Courtesy of Art Reoriented
Lee Bae: The Conceptual Formalist marks the Korean Born, Paris based artist’s first solo show in New York, bringing together a comprehensive assembly of works spanning two decades of diverse artistic production.
As one of today’s leading Korean minimalist artists, Lee Bae’s work reflects his ongoing search for a pure expression of form. With Malevichian flair and ostensible minimalism, he has developed a unique brushstroke almost always executed in black within a monochromatic background of infinite white. Nevertheless, beyond his search for pure form, Lee Bae’s spontaneity of gesture on canvas is the final step in a series of irruptive manifestations that he executes on paper over and over again until he reaches the form that best describes his mental and emotional stage at the time. Lee Bae’s paintings are more than formal excursions into unexplored territory in that they engage philosophical disquisitions on the self, language, cognition, the nature of pictorial representation and the discourse of contemporary art today.
Alongside his two dimensional works, Lee Bae’s installations, or interventions as he prefers to call them, reveal his concern for objectivity in transposing, but never transforming his medium, which for two decades has comprised of charcoal in various applications. The exhibition unites and showcases pieces from Lee Bae’s different periods of work. Charcoal Sculptures, Drawings, Stapled Canvasses, and Charcoal Paintings with Wax come together to provide an insight into the artist’s universe where form and concept intertwine spontaneously, are constantly playful and infinitely present.