Gimhongsok (b. 1964)
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION 
Gimhongsok (b. 1964)

Love

Details
Gimhongsok (b. 1964)
Love
enamel on steel
61 x 63 x 31½ in. (155 x 160 x 80 cm.)
Executed in 2010. This work is from an edition of three.
Provenance
Kukje Gallery, Seoul
Sale room notice
Please note the correct estimate for this lot is $40,000-60,000.

Lot Essay

An extraordinary admixture of calligraphic disorder and art-historical parody, Love, an enormous steel structure, travestying Robert Indiana's iconic LOVE of almost half a century earlier, is a visual tour de force of erotic sensuality turned in on itself. Openly flaunting its forebear, Gimhongsok reduces Indiana's monosyllabic units to slurs in steel, the liquid transparency of bright white against shiny black, melting into a single biomorphic form. Love constitutes a principal example of Gimhongsok's virtuosic reach. Known for works across a range of mediums from complex installations, which dynamically combine sculpture, photography, video, wall texts and performance, to unique examples of sculpture and performance art, Gimhongsok's interests range from fictional narratives to an examination of today's complex modes of communication. As satirical as they are didactic, his projects question the role of public sculpture, its efficacy and its function. Gimongsok's treatment here of an icon of 1960s culture is both a hilarious taunt as well as a poignant reminder of the optimism and hope, now lost, of former times.

Love is also a work central to Gimhongsok's interest in language. 'With most works I begin by choosing a word or set of words. This is when I start associating various words, selecting haphazardly from those that come to mind. I ignore the word's dictionary definition, give it new meaning and combine it with chosen objects (Interview in ArtAsiaPacific, no. 54, pp. 90-95). In this context, Love, is quintessentially emblematic of the artist's concerns, with his ongoing dialogue with the West and with its art historical canon and cultural context. Challenging the social function of public art, the role of public sculpture, the monumental influence of the accepted art historical canon-its authorship and its use-Love delivers a compelling commentary on current concerns, and in doing so subverts a major icon of our common past. Its gloriously crumpled form, deflated, yet even so, inferring the monumental, offers a salient if affecting statement for our times.

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