Écriture No.96-75

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Sigong Gallery, Daegu
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Conflating the ethos of traditional Korean culture with the formal language of Minimalism, Écriture No. 96-75 represents a primary example from the mid-1970s underlining a crucial turning point in the esteemed career of pioneering Korean avant-garde artist, Park Seo-Bo. Thickly-drawn horizontal bands of dense oscillating lines rendered in pencil on an ivory background reduce the element of subjectivity within the present lot to the most miniscule point. Park repeats this process of painting and inscribing with pencil only until he is satisfied. Epitomized by the purely physical act of drawing, Écriture No. 96-75 references the disciplined practice of calligraphy yet showcases the ceaseless movement not as a means to represent a certain object or image, but rather as a strict record of the work’s conception. As a principal example of Park’s lifelong commitment to the impossible aim of deconstructing the “ego” and proclaiming non-purposefulness to attain complete liberation of the self, Écriture No. 96-75 offers a space for spiritual consolation and exultation. (Kim Bok-Young, “Korean monotone flat painting in 1970s-80s,” Age of Philosophy and Aesthetics, National Museum of Contemporary Art, 2002, pp. 42-44, reprinted in Pak So-bo and Taegu Misulgwan, Park Seo Bo, Daegu Art Museum, 2012.) Emitting a serene collected power with its subtle indefinable depth, the present lot showcases Park Seo-Bo’s distinctive practice within the greater context of the high-profile Dansaekhwa movement.

    Park Seo-Bo along with his fellow contemporaries including Lee Ufan (b. 1936) and Ha Chong Hyun (b. 1935) spearheaded the articulation of a uniquely Korean contemporary aesthetic defined as Dansaekhwa that emerged in the mid 1970s and has continued into the present day. Powerfully informed by the trauma and cultural erasure attendant on the brutal war years, Dansaekhwa developed out of a need to reconcile traditional Korean art of the past with the spiritual demands of the present. Écriture No. 96-75 embodies the essence of Dansaekhwa through the work’s exemplification of the movement’s tendency towards large-scale monochrome-style painting portraying the artist’s untiring search for neutrality and spiritual transcendence. Despite comparisons to the work of Minimalist heavyweights including Richard Serra, Robert Mangold, and Agnes Martin, Dansaekhwa “is devoted to the process of repetition and specificity of material based on meditative nature, which is the opposite of Western Minimalism and monochrome’s rationality and logic.” (Yoon Jin-sup quoted by Kwon Mee-Yoo, “Dansaekhwa on the Rise, The Korea Times, August 10, 2015.) Écriture No. 96-75 does not merely portray Park’s innovative forays into monochromatic forms on canvas, but this key work also showcases the artist’s refined meditations coinciding with the tenets of Daoism.

    In the late 1960s, Park engaged deeply with the writings of Laozi and Zhuang Zhou, a spiritual awakening that not only completely altered Park’s outlook on life but also became the philosophical backbone for his seminal Écriture series. “When I am aimlessly and endlessly repeat drawing these lines, I realize that I am emptying myself in a similar way as a monk who chants and beats on his moktak (a wooden percussion instrument). I believe this is the right way for me to approach art, as a Korean who believes the Eastern philosophy that human and nature is one.” (Park Seo-Bo in conversation with Suh Sang-Sook, “Destruction is Always the Premise for New Order,” Chungcheong Daily News, May 31, 1986, reprinted in Soon Chun Cho, Oh Kwang-Soo, Joseph, ed., Park Seo-Bo, Paris, 2016.) While individuality was the underlying premise of his earliest work created in the wake of the war, Park began to doubt this so-called “individuality” and its meaning within creative work, and thus fully re-directed his efforts towards shedding the baggage of self-expression through non-image and non-expressive art-making as illustrated in the present lot. Soukyoun Lee writes, “for Park, ‘painting’ is ‘erasing’; on the contrary, ‘erasing’ is again ‘painting’. The acts of painting the painting, or erasing the painting, filling and emptying came to be Park’s life.” (Soukyoun Lee, “Opening the Park Seo Bo Exhibition,” Pak So-bo and Taegu Misulgwan, Park Seo Bo, Daegu Art Museum, 2012.)

    Park is one of the key Korean artists who has achieved critical acclaim and has been a focal point of the conversation about Korean art since the 1950s. Now more than ever, there has been significant interest in the work of Park Seo-Bo and that of the Dansaekhwa movement as a whole propelled by several recent international exhibitions centred on both the artist and group.

  • Catalogue Essay

    《描法No. 96-75》融會貫通傳統韓國文化特質與極簡主義的形式語彙,是韓國先鋒藝術家朴栖甫1970年代中期作品的絕佳範例,此時期正值他備受景仰的藝術生涯之關鍵轉折點。鉛筆塗抹的水平帶狀波伏線條密密麻麻地佈滿象牙色背景,將主觀性元素在本件拍品中降至微乎其微。朴使用鉛筆重複此繪畫與描印過程直至滿意為止。《描法No. 96-75》是繪畫作為純粹律動行為的典範,既引人聯想起書法的規範訓練,又將這種不間斷的動態呈現為作品構思的嚴格記錄而非表現物品或圖像的方式。朴一生致力於一個近乎不可實現的目標——解構「自我」並宣揚無目的性,以此獲得自身的全然自由,《描法No. 96-75》作為朴終身信仰的重要範本,為心靈的慰藉與狂喜留存一席之地。(Kim Bok-Young,「韓國1970-80年代單色平面繪畫」,《哲學與美學時代》,國家當代藝術博物館,2002年,第42-44頁,再版於朴栖甫與Taegu Misulgwan編,《朴栖甫》,大邱美術館,2012年) 本件作品於其微妙而不可言說的深度中釋放出一絲寧靜且泰然自若的力量,於備受關注的單色畫運動範疇之下,彰顯了朴栖甫獨具一格的創作風格。

    朴栖甫與其同輩藝術家李禹煥(1936年生)、鄭相和(1935年生)等,領導了1970年代中期出現並延續至今的獨特韓國當代美學表述——單色畫運動。清晰知曉伴隨殘酷戰爭年代所出現的創傷與文化破壞,單色畫的誕生調和了過去傳統韓國藝術與現今精神需求的不同。《描法No. 96-75》完美體現了單色畫運動的精髓,通過大尺幅單色畫作展現藝術家對於中立性和精神超越的不懈追求。儘管單色畫時常會與極簡主義重量級人物理查德·塞拉、羅伯特·曼戈爾德、艾格尼絲·馬丁等作比較,但單色畫「致力於冥想基礎上過程的重複性與材質的特殊性,與西方極簡主義和單色的理智與邏輯截然相反。」(Yoon Jin-sup,引自Kwon Mee-Yoo,「上升中的單色畫」,韓國時報,2015年8月10日) 《描法No. 96-75》不僅體現了朴氐於畫布上涉獵創新的單色形體,這件重要作品同時展現了藝術家與道教信條一致的精深冥想。

    於1960年代末期,朴氐深入接觸老子與莊周的文章,所獲之精神覺醒不僅完全改變了他的人生觀,而且成為了他頗具開創性的「描法」系列的哲學支柱。「當我漫無目的且無休無盡地重複繪製這些線條的時候,我意識到我在淨化自己,正如僧侶誦經念佛敲擊木魚(一種木質打擊器)。作為一個信仰天人合一東方哲學觀的韓國人,我認為這於我來說是正確通往藝術的途徑。」(朴栖甫與Suh Sang-Sook對談,「毀滅是新秩序的一貫前提」,忠清每日新聞,1986年5月31日,再版於Soon Chun Cho, Oh Kwang-Soo, Joseph編,《朴栖甫》,巴黎,2016年) 儘管個性化是其戰後早期作品的基本前提,朴氐開始質疑所謂「個性化」及其在藝術作品中的涵義,因此轉而透過非圖像化、非表現式的藝術創作來推動卸下自我表達的包袱,正如本件拍品所示。Soukyoun Lee寫道「對於朴氐來說,『繪畫』即是『消除』;反之,『消除』也是『繪畫』。繪製和擦除繪畫、填充和清空成就了朴氐的人生。」(Soukyoun Lee,「舉辦朴栖甫展覽」,朴栖甫與Taegu Misulgwan編,《朴栖甫》,大邱美術館,2012年)

    朴栖甫是獲得一致好評的韓國重要藝術家之一,自1950年代起已是談及韓國藝術的焦點人物。現今,在近期圍繞藝術家與此群體的諸多國際展覽驅使下,對朴栖甫及單色畫運動作品的興趣更加空前絕後。

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Property of an Asian Collector

Écriture No.96-75

1975
signed, titled and dated 'PARK SEO-BO "ÉCRITURE No. 96-75" 1975 [in Hanja and French]' on the reverse
pencil and oil on canvas
129.3 x 161.2 cm. (50 7/8 x 63 1/2 in.)
Executed in 1975.

Estimate
HK$6,500,000 - 8,500,000 
€729,000-954,000
$833,000-1,090,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2018