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"Synecdoche", Watershed Work by Byron Kim, Installed at the National Gallery of Art
Byron Kim, "Synecdoche", 1991–present. Oil and wax on panel, 429 panels to date, each 10" x 8". National Gallery of Art, Washington, Richard S. Zeisler Fund.
WASHINGTON, DC.- Synecdoche (1991–present), a recent acquisition by Korean-American artist Byron Kim (b. 1961), has been newly installed in the East Building's modern and contemporary art galleries. Synecdoche is a continuing project of portraiture now comprising more than 400 panels, each a single hue ranging from light tan or pink to dark brown. Finding sitters among strangers, friends, family, neighbors, and fellow artists, Kim records each person's skin color in oil paint mixed with wax that he applies with a palette knife on a single 10 x 8-inch panel, a common size for portrait photography. When installed, the accompanying subtitle consists of the names of the sitters, arranged alphabetically by first name.

Synecdoche was a watershed for the artist, having received much acclaim since its first showing in the 1993 Whitney Biennial. Subsequent iterations have been seen in installations and exhibitions around the world.

Kim's work explores the history of abstract painting, the problems of color and vision, and issues of human identity and existence. The title—referring to a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole or vice versa—makes clear that issues of representation, both visual and democratic, are in play. The work can be installed in many ways, using some or all of the panels, in a grid of almost any size or shape.

National Gallery of Art | Synecdoche | Byron Kim |




Last Week News

December 1, 2009

Max Ernst Museum Presents 150 Works of Art by US Filmmaker David Lynch

Sotheby's London Sale Of Rediscovered Fabergé Totals $11.6 Million

Royal Society Launches New Interactive Timeline "Trailblazing"

Baltic Center for Contemporary Art Announces Partnership with Sky Arts

Miami Art Museum Names John Wetenhall Interim Director

Sotheby's Sale to Feature Rare Group Of Medieval Gargoyles

Display Celebrates Anniversary of Jane Bown's Relationship with 'The Observer'

Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver Introduces New Brand

Anish Kapoor to Make Rare Appearance to Sign Copies of New Monograph

Andrew Wyeth Painting on View for Limited Time at the Dayton Art Institute

Ellen Harvey's Solo Project "The Room of Sublime Wallpaper" to be Shown at NADA

Life According to Wilhelm Sasnal at the CAC Málaga in Spain

Paris Evolution Sale: from Dinosaurs to Space Diapers

Clothes Show Live Announces Shortlisted Entries

Attendance Boom at the New Ars Electronica Center

Classical Paintings Shine at Christie's in Hong Kong

From Russia with Love: Bonhams Attracts 1.9 Million for Russian Art Sale

Freeman's Announces Books, Manuscript, Maps, Prints & Posters Auction

Duke of Northumberland Buys Back Ancestral Plate in 1 Million Meissen Sale

Bonhams to Make Its Impression on the Recovering Art Market

November 30, 2009

Russian Art Week Sales Expected to Reach $81 Million for Auction Houses in London

Rhode Island Museums Consider Relocating Sarcophagus

Tomoo Gokita, the Clayton Brothers and Erik Parker Join STAGES for Miami Show

Van Ham to Auction Numerous Works by Established Photographers

First Major Survey of the Work of American Artist Zoe Leonard at MUMOK

Walk-In Sculpture, Tekrar Level Four, by David M. Abir, at PULSE Miami

Bozar Presents an Extensive Multidisciplinary Mexico Festival

"A" is for Aivazovsky as Bonhams Russian Sale Boasts a Cyrillic Who's Who

Solo Exhibition for Navid Nuur at Kunsthalle Fridericianum

Elms Lesters Painting Rooms to Show New Prints by Jose Parla

Group Exhibition at Siemens Sanat Shows Melancholy of Compassion

Free Bob Dylan Photograph to be Offered with "A Complete Unknown" Book

Durban Segnini Gallery Presents Works by Venezuelan Artist Milton Becerra

Biennial of Young European Creation Completes First Stage at Montrouge

Chazen Museum of Art Announces Contemporary Mechanical Sculpture Exhibition

National Museum of Cultures in Mexico Receives Donation from Cyprus

Red Dot Art Fair to Run Concurrent to Art Basel Miami Beach

Next Art4Barter to Open December 4 at Ven and Vaida Gallery

New Date for CIRCA Puerto Rico '10 & Cooperation with Art Beijing'

Some One Hundred French and International Galleries Invited to ArtParis + Guests

November 29, 2009

Kunsthalle Dusseldorf Eats the Universe with Exhibition of Art Made with and Involving Food

One of the Greatest of All Illuminated Manuscripts to be Exhibited at the Morgan

Museum Rethinks its Collection and Presents the Museum of the 21st-Century

Major Picasso Exhibition Featuring Unique Paintings at Heather James Fine Art

Iconic Ansel Adams Print Going Up for Auction at Swann Auction Galleries

Canadian Photographer Edward Burtynsky Presents "Oil" at Huis Marseille

Ei Arakawa Invites Artists for Exhibition at Kunsthalle Zurich

Bonhams New York Presents First Coins and Banknotes Sale

Michael Lee-Chin Crystal Cited as Architectural Marvel

Catch Only West Coast Presentation of Luc Tuymans at SFMOMA

Dual Exhibitions by Acclaimed Polish Artists to Open at Modern Art Oxford

Koudelka's Legendary Photographs of the Prague Invasion to be Shown in Miami

Raffles College of Design Fashion Grads Compete for Akira Internship

Hannah Maybank Opens Third Solo Exhibition at Gimpel Fils

London-Based Pakistani Artist Brings Unique Artworks to Dubai

Yuriko Lochan Creates a New "Self" Portrait in Her Solo Exhibition at Alliance Francaise

Kessling Vs. Kessling 2009 at the Modern Artists Gallery

December UBS 12 x 12 at Chicago's MCA Presents Carrie Schneider

Exhibition at Cantor Arts Center will Celebrates Donors' Vision and Generosity

Chichen Itza Gets Greener

November 28, 2009

Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery Shows Exhibition by Influential Designer Verner Panton

Sotheby's to Sell, "Elephant" (Purple), a Unique Work by Jeff Koons

Pinacotheque de Paris to Show Edvard Munch or the "Anti-Scream"

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Bologna's International Art Fair, Arte Fiera Art First, Announced

Sale of Masterworks from Band Estate Carries Heffel Auction to $20.8-Million Sale

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Serpentine to Celebrate 40th Anniversary with Richard Hamilton Exhibition

Frans Hals Museum to Show Exhibition of the First Woman to Become Masterpainter

800 Unpublished Drawings from the Venetian 19th-Century to Go on View

Stadel Museum Examines Works by Frankfurt Artist Who Died at Age 23

Sotheby's Swiss Art Sale Highlights Works by Giacometti, Hodler and Vallotton

ArtSway Announces Exhibition of New Work by Dave Lewis

First Full-Scope Solo Exhibition of William E. Jones in Europe Announced

Green Art Gallery in Dubai to Open Nazif Topcuoglu Exhibition

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Group Show of Color Photographs Opens at Michael Hoppen Gallery

Exhibition to Inaugurate New de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space

Michael Landy: The New National Gallery Associate Artist

Prague Museum Depicts Country's Communist Past

November 27, 2009

Frantisek Kupka Exhibition at Fundación Miró Explores His Influence on Abstract Art

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Re-Hangs its Collection

New Permanent Galleries and Display Spaces at the National Gallery of Australia

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Sotheby's to Sell the Pierre Leroy Collection of Modern & Contemporary Art

Kirsty Young to Chair Judging Panel for 100,000 Art Fund Prize

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John Zinsser Presents Second Solo Show at James Graham & Sons

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Government of Greece to Restore Birthplace of Classical Theater

Mohsen Makhmalbaf Wins 2009 Freedom to Create Prize

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Landmark Photographic Exhibition, A Positive View, Announced

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman is Thankful that Art Works in his Hometown of St. Louis, Missouri

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V&A and Iran Heritage Foundation Announce the Creation of a New Post

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November 26, 2009

David Hockney's Bigger Trees Near Warter Presented at Tate Britain

mima Acquires Works by Legendary American Artist Ellsworth Kelly

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The BBC and British Museum Announce "A History of the World"

Christie's December Photographs Sale Offers Exceptional Array of Works

Exhibition of Early Photographs by Weegee at Michael Hoppen Gallery

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