Chung Sang-Hwa: Seven Paintings

Chung Sang-Hwa Levy Gorvy

Solo exhibition of new paintings by renowned Korean artist Chung Sang-Hwa (b. 1932). Featuring seven recent white monochrome paintings by the artist, this represents the first solo exhibition of Chung’s work in London. The gallery previously held the inaugural exhibition of Chung’s paintings in New York in the summer of 2016.

The works included in Seven Paintings demonstrate Chung’s career-long engagement with repetition, ritual, and process, highlighting the infinite complexity and nuance available in the white monochrome format. Eliminating decisions of scale (each canvas is 130 x 97 cm) and coloration, Chung instead foregrounds his meditative painting method. The result is a suite of subtly evocative works with intricate variations in surface and texture.

A leading figure of the Korean Tansaekhwa, or ‘monochrome painting’ group, Chung is recognized for the innovative painting method he developed in the early 1970s, which the critic Kwang Suh Oh describes as ‘taking off/removing’ and ‘re-painting.’ In this highly meticulous process, the artist first coats the canvas with a mixture of glue, water, and kaolin clay, and then scores gridlines on its reverse. After the mixture has dried, he ritualistically and intuitively folds the canvas, and then strips the hardened material from the surface in narrow bands. Afterwards, he fills the segments of bare canvas with acrylic paint. Chung repeats this process in succession to create multilayered, complex surfaces.

Chung’s works have grown more intricate over the course of his career, as the artist continues to explore variations of the grid pattern. The paintings featured at Lévy Gorvy embody a temporal stratification, a multiplicity of processes that convey the experience of time through artistic gesture. Art historian Lóránd Hegyi writes that Chung’s work initiates a ‘metaphorical archeology’ within the viewer—an internal excavation of the artist’s process that leads to self-realization. In a manner unparalleled in modern East Asian art, his work calls into question the idea of painting as pure surface and introduces a poetic, phenomenological aspect at the center of the viewing experience.

Duration 24 May 2017 - 21 July 2017
Cost Free
Venue Levy Gorvy Dayan
Address Empress Club, 35 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NQ
Contact 4402036965910 / /