NEW YORK, NY.- Gana Art is pleased to announce the first U.S. solo exhibition for preeminent Korean painter Ko, Young Hoon. On view in their new Chelsea space from September 4 through October 11, the show will be comprised of some ten large-scale canvases along with a selection of rare Korean antiquities.
A pioneer among Korean artists of the 20th century, Ko, Young Hoon is known for his mastery of surface detail and his mystical approach to the representation of objects – raising questions of authenticity and illusion in his highly finished paintings. Ko works slowly and uses scale to draw an object's details into sharp focus, examining not only the authenticity of an object represented on paper, but the authenticity of the object itself. Ko's objects seem to float on the picture plane, a quality Ko has referred to as a nod to their place in the cosmos. The results are mystically beautiful canvases that at once refer to the Surrealism of Rene Magritte, and also the Eastern notion that spirits are embodied in objects and exist within the cycle of nature. Ko's Dal Hangari or moon jar (above) captures the pure simplicity of the creamy white porcelain container dating from the 17th to 18th centuries, and uses scale and technique to make it unmistakably contemporary.
The exhibition will feature Ko's recent large-scale paintings of ceramic jars and a series of four views of an important United Shilla Dynasty (676-918 CE) Buddha, a Korean national treasure that Ko borrowed and displayed in his studio for a period of six months. Buddha statues are believed to be endowed with the intentions and prayers of others and Ko's polyptych displays frontal, back, left and right views of the ancient sculpture in an oversized format, perhaps trying to document every spirit or wish that ever entered any part of it. In conjunction with the exhibition, the gallery will produce a fully-illustrated catalogue featuring an essay by Luna Shyr.
Born in 1952, Ko lives and works in Seoul. He received his B.F.A. (1976) and M.F.A. (1982) from Hong-Ik University, in Seoul. He has had solo exhibitions in Seoul at Total Art Museum and Gana Art Center; in Paris at Galerie Gana Beaubourg and Galerie Alain Blondel; and at Kunsthandel Frans Jacobs, Amsterdam. In 1986, he exhibited in the 42nd Venice Biennale. Ko's work in featured in a variety of prominent public collections, including the National Museum of Contemporary Art and the Ho-Am Art Museum, both in Korea; the Detroit Institute of Arts; Musée de Luneville, France; the Queen Beatrix Collection, in Amsterdam, and the Yokohama Business Park in Japan.