Lisson Gallery

Lee Ufan

Painter, sculptor, writer and philosopher Lee Ufan came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of the major theoretical and practical proponents of the avant-garde Mono-ha (Object School) group. The Mono-ha school of thought was Japan’s first contemporary art movement to gain international recognition. It rejected Western notions of representation, focusing on the relationships of materials and perceptions rather than on expression or intervention.The artists of Mono-ha present works made of raw physical materials that have barely been manipulated. In 1991 Lee Ufan began his series of Correspondance paintings, which consist of just one or two grey-blue brushstrokes, made of a mixture of oil and crushed stone pigment, applied onto a large white surface. His sculptural series Relatum is equally minimal: each work is comprised of one or more light-colored round stones and dark, rectangular iron plates. The dialectical relationship between brushstroke and canvas is mimicked in the relationship between stone and iron plate. In Ufan’s installations space is at the same time untouched and engaged, at the confines between doing and non-doing. The relationship between painted / unpainted and occupied / empty space lies at the heart of Lee Ufan’s practice.

Lee Ufan was born on June 24th, 1936, in Kyongnam, South Korea. He studied calligraphy, poetry and painting at the College of Kyongnam and the University of Seoul. His work has been shown at the Pompidou Metz, Metz, France (2019); Serpentine Galleries, London, UK (2018); Couvent de la Tourette, Eveux, France (2017); Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré, Tours, France (2017); Château La Coste, Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France (2016); Palace of Versailles, Versailles, France (2014); Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA (2011), Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium (2009); the Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan (2005); the Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne Métropole, Rhône-Alpes, France (2005); the Samsung Museum of Modern Art, Seoul, South Korea (2003); Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (2001); the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France (1997); and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea (1994). He was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for painting in 2001 and the UNESCO Prize in 2000. In 2010 the Lee Ufan Museum, designed by Tadao Ando, opened at Benesse Art Site, Naoshima, Japan.

Current and Recent Projects:

'The Challenging Souls', Power Station of Art, Shanghai, 28 April - 28 July 2019


'Inhabiting Time', Pompidou Metz, Metz, France, 27 February - 30 September 2019

Lee Ufan
Relatum-Stage, 2018
Two steel panels, two stones, concrete base Stones: 60 x 60 cm / 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 in & 130 x 120 cm / 51 1/4 x 47 1/4 in Steel panels each: 200 x 150 x 3 cm / 78 3/4 x 59 1/8 x 1 1/4 in Concrete base: 50 x 450 x 400 cm / 19 3/4 x 177 1/8 x 157 1/2 in

Lee Ufan
Dialogue, 2017
Watercolour on paper 75 x 106 cm / 29 1/2 x 41 3/4 in

Lee Ufan
Dialogue, 2016
Oil on canvas 218 x 241 cm / 85 7/8 x 94 7/8 in.

Lee Ufan
Relatum, 2016
Four curved steel bars and stone 367cm x 308cm / 144 1/2 x 121 1/4 in.

Lee Ufan
Dialogue , 2014
Oil on canvas 218 x 291 x 6cm / 86 x 114 1/2 x 2 1/2 in.

Lee Ufan
Dialogue, 2014
Oil on canvas 93 x 73 x 4 cm / 36 1/2 x 29 x 1 1/2 in.

Lee Ufan
Dialogue, 2014
Oil on canvas 93 x 73 x 4 cm / 36 1/2 x 29 x 1 1/2 in.

Lee Ufan
Dialogue, 2014
Installation view Lisson Gallery, London

Lee Ufan
Relatum - Rest , 2013
Gravel, glass, steel, stone Glass 250 x 250 x 2 cm / 98 1/2 x 98 1/2 x 1 in. Steel 250 x 250 x 2 cm / 98 1/2 x 98 1/2 x 1 in. Stone 70 x 70 x 70 cm / 27 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 27 1/2 in.

Lee Ufan
Relatum - Position, 2008
Iron plate and stone 50 x 220 x 200 cm / 20 x 86 1/2 x 79 in.

Lee Ufan
Relatum - Position, 2008
Iron plate and stone 50 x 220 x 200 cm / 20 x 86 1/2 x 79 in.

Lee Ufan
Dialogue, 2007
Oil on canvas 227 x 182 cm / 89 x 71 1/2 in.

Lee Ufan
Correspondance, 2004
Installation View Lisson Gallery, London

Lee Ufan
Relatum - Discussion, 2003
Four iron plates and four stones Stones: 50 x 60 cm each / 19 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. each Iron: 140 x 130 cm each / 55 x 51 in. each When installed: 305 x 305 x 61cm / 120 x 120 x 24 in.

Lee Ufan
Correspondence, 1996
Oil on canvas 146 x 195 cm / 57 1/2 x 77 in.

Lee Ufan
Relatum, 1979-96
Iron and Stone 270 x 240 x 170 cm / 106 1/3 x 94 1/2 x 66 2/3 in.

Lee Ufan
Relatum, 1979-96
Iron and Stone 270 x 240 x 170 cm / 106 1/3 x 94 1/2 x 66 2/3 in.

Lee Ufan
Untitled, 1996
Charcoal on paper 63 x 71 cm 24 3/4 x 28 in

Lee Ufan
Untitled, 1995
Charcoal on paper 50 x 66 cm unframed 19.7 x 26 in unframed

Lee Ufan
From Winds, 1989
Stone paint on canvas 182 x 228 cm / 71 1/2 x 90 in.

Lee Ufan
With Winds No 4, 1988
Oil on canvas 227 x 182 cm / 90 x 71 1/2 in.

Lee Ufan
Relatum - Residence, 1988
Iron plate and stone plates 220 x 200 x 1 cm / 86 1/2 x 79 x 1/2 in.

Lee Ufan
Relatum - Residence, 1988
Iron plate and stone plates 220 x 200 x 1 cm / 86 1/2 x 79 x 1/2 in.

Lee Ufan
Relatum - Lover, 1986
Two iron plates and two natural stones Iron plates: 140 x 115 x 3cm / 55 x 45 x 1 in. Stones: 40 x 40 x 40cm / 16 x 16 x 16 in.

Lee Ufan
Relatum - Lover, 1986
Two iron plates and two natural stones Iron plates: 140 x 115 x 3cm / 55 x 45 x 1 in. Stones: 40 x 40 x 40cm / 16 x 16 x 16 in.

Lee Ufan
From Point, 1973
Glue on canvas 163 x 130 cm / 64 1/4 x 51 1/4 in.

Exhibitions

  1. Lee Ufan

    25 March – 9 May 2015

  2. Lee Ufan: New Work

    2 April – 10 May 2008

  3. Lee Ufan: Correspondence

    21 January – 28 February 2004

  4. Lee Ufan

    18 October – 16 November 1996

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