Kukje Gallery

54 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea

Committed to showcasing leading artists of modern and contemporary art, Kukje Gallery has been a pivotal cultural hub in Korea since its inception in 1982. Kukje was often the first venue to present the works of important artists, such as Alexander Calder, Louise Bourgeois, Anish Kapoor, Bill Viola, Roni Horn, Candida Höfer, Paul McCarthy, and Jean-Michel Othoniel to Korean audiences.
Kukje has also spearheaded the role of introducing contemporary Korean artists, including Kimsooja, Kim Yong-Ik, Gimhongsok, Park Chan-kyong, Haegue Yang, Yeondoo Jung, Jae-Eun Choi, and Kyungah Ham, to important private collections and museums of international stance.
In recognition of the historical contribution of Dansaekhwa artists, including Ha Chong-Hyun, Lee Ufan, Chung Chang-Sup, Kwon Young-Woo, Park Seo-Bo, and Chung Sang-Hwa, Kukje has organized a series of exhibitions at the Venice Biennial Collateral Event in 2015 and the Boghossian Foundation in Brussels in 2016.

Current Exhibition

Yoo Youngkuk: Colors from Nature


Kukje Gallery is pleased to announce Yoo Youngkuk: Colors from Nature, a solo exhibition on view from September 4 to October 7, 2018. Installed in the K2 and K3 spaces, this will be Yoo Youngkuk’s first solo exhibition at Kukje Gallery. The exhibition will showcase twentyfour works that provide a comprehensive overview of Yoo’s oeuvre and legacy, and will span his early years studying in Tokyo (1935-1943) to his involvement in the burgeoning post-war Korean art scene (1948-1964), and to his “mature” period that followed his solo exhibition at the Special Gallery of the Press Center in 1964. In addition, the exhibition will encompass some of the artist’s earliest works, photographs that document his time in Tokyo, and other important archival resources in a separate exhibition space on the second floor of the K2 building. Yoo Youngkuk is regarded as one of the founders of Korean abstraction and is best known for his vibrant vocabularies that distilled Korean naturalism into basic formal elements of point, line, plane, and color. Along with his peer Kim Whanki, Yoo is celebrated for his seminal role in promoting modern art in post-war Korea.
Yoo Youngkuk: Colors from Nature features fourteen oil paintings on canvas from 1964 and onwards, a period in which Yoo mastered his independent style, characterized by intense colors and the use of graphic, blocky compositions that suggest landscapes and fragmented bodies. One of Yoo’s most characteristic themes is the “mountain” motif, a subject he began to explore in the 1960s. This signature subject, depicted in varying perspectives and scales, hovers in a non-objective field of radiant tones and divided planes. Displayed collectively in K3, nine square paintings of varying sizes are rendered in fiery oranges and reds. As a loose series, these works together provide a rare opportunity to experience Yoo Youngkuk’s unique world of abstraction in its full maturity.

Yoo Youngkuk

1938 BFA in Oil Paintings, Bunka Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

2018 Yoo Youngkuk: Colors from Nature, Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea
2017 Yoo Youngkuk 1916-2002: 100th Anniversary of Korean Modern Master, Busan Museum of Art, Busan
2016 Yoo Youngkuk 1916-2002: 100th Anniversary of Korean Modern Master, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul