Peinture à l'huile, Toile (matériau)
Kim Tschang-Yeul is a Korean artist who has become famous worldwide for the manner in which he plays on the ambiguities between trompe l’oeil and materiality in a work of art.
Born in 1929, Kim Tschang-Yeul studied Fine Arts at the University of Seoul between 1948 and 1950, before co-founding the Association des Artistes Coréens Contemporains. This group, looking for a powerful form of individual expression, sought to develop and promote styles adapted to the international art scene. Kim Tschang-Yeul was deeply impressed by the abstract movements he had seen in art journals. He set about reproducing the material effects of the École de Paris and, especially, the compositions and colour combinations of colour-field painting.
In the mid 1960s, he left Korea for the United States, but felt ill at ease with the Pop art that was dominating the art scene there. After settling in Paris in 1969, however, he experimented with a adaptation of this style, in works that heralded the major theme of his oeuvre: a canvas divided into different planes coloured in bright flat tints, with viscous liquids oozing from the joins between them and from tears in the surface.
In 1972, he radically changed his visual vocabulary, opting for Hyperrealism. The drops of water became transparent and were painted in trompe l’oeil. This motif has formed the basis of his work to this day. It has been enriched over the years by the rendering of water drops absorbed by the canvas and the presence of Chinese calligraphy in the background. Kim Tschang-Yeul thus plays on the ambiguities in his works, alternating impressions of a painted surface and an unprimed canvas, whose materiality is heightened by the trompe l’oeil effects covering it. It is this dialectic relationship with illusion and the objective presence of the canvas’s surface, or with surface and depth, that earned Kim Tschang-Yeul recognition as a major artist on the international contemporary scene.