Lee Ungno, l’homme des foules (Lee Ungno: A Man of the Crowd)

Edited by Maël Bellec

Thursday 01 June 2017

ISBN : 9782759603565
176 pages
100 illustrations

Lee Ungno (1904-1989) was one of the foremost Asian painters of the 20th century, at the crossroads of the Far East and Europe, of the past and the present. He abandoned traditional art in the 1950s in favour of modern and abstract forms, thereby playing a pioneering role in the foundation of Korean contemporary art. He later joined the Paris avant-garde, alongside Hartung, Soulages and Zao Wou-ki, teaching ink wash painting techniques that inspired a whole generation of artists. His exploration in the 1970s of connections between calligraphy and abstraction led to an emblematic theme in his work: the crowd, symbol of the nascent democracy in South Korea.

The Cernuschi Museum has since 1971 been home to the Académie de Peinture Orientale founded by Lee Ungno, and holds 130 of his works, dating from between 1953 and 1989, in its collections. A selection of 82 of them, including five loaned works, offer the ideal introduction to Ungno’s prolific, energy-infused oeuvre.