(Born in 1956)
20J07 & 17F08
signed, titled & dated 'Lee Bae; 02J07; 2006' in English (on reverse); signed and dated 'Lee Bae; 2008' in English (on reverse)
one set of three acrylic, charcoal on canvas; one set of eight acrylic, charcoal on canvas
146.5 x 80.5 cm. (57 1/2 x 31 1/2 in.) x 3 pieces; 46 x 55.5 cm. (18 x 21 3/4 in.) x 8 pieces
Painted in 2007 & 2008 (2)
Hakgojae Gallery, Lee Bae Solo Exhibition, Seoul, Korea, 2007, not paginated. (illustrated)
Hakgojae Gallery, Lee Bae, Seoul, Korea, 2008, pp. 62-63. (illustrated)
Seoul, Korea, Hakgojae Gallery, Lee Bae Solo Exhibition, March 21 - April 10, 2007.
Seoul, Korea, Hakgojae Gallery, Lee Bae Solo Exhibition, September 3 - 25, 2008.

Lot Essay

The simplicity of the monochromatic brushstrokes of Lee Bae's paintings appears structurally dynamic and uninhibited, thriving to capture the intrinsic quality of art by removing the distractions of formality; composition and theme. Visually emulating the aesthetics of oriental calligraphy, Lee retains the essence of its practice but rearticulates it to a new mode of abstraction with its expressive style, experimentalism and organic unity.

Incredibly poised in pictorial configuration, the refreshingly clear definition and coolness his black and white palette offers is one that instigates attention to spatial relationship of the painting by the degree of illumination and shadow it sheens on the spectator with its crisp contrast. Over coated with translucent creamy acrylic medium over the carbon black, Lee softens the edges of the black against the white, securing his binary colors in unity, fixating it on to his canvas; akin to the symbolic action of calligraphy in capturing the spirit of the time.

Demonstrating the order and harmony, Lee endeavors to meditate and nurture morality, dignity, discipline and serenity within him, reminiscing on his past emotional hardship in Paris where he started what was yet to become his signature medium; charcoal. Owing to his financial confinement that encouraged Lee to take on experimental initiatives in replacement of paint mediums, he built a profound relationship with this material, a deeply subjective quality that reads the virtues of autonomy and a sense of nostalgia for Korea. He rediscovered his subconscious familiarity with charcoal that rooted from his childhood, where he grew up watching the traditions of hanging piece of charcoal on the door to indicate a birth of a child and the efficient use of inserting charcoal when digging foundations to protect against humidity and insects. Immediately comprehending its cultural symbolic weight, Lee began to ponder on the essence of existence, emphasizing his own intervention by asserting that he is 'creating a link, a dialogue, between a natural material and a cultural venue.'

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