Kim Whan-Ki - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist; Collection of Meshulam & Jahudit Riklis, New York; Estate of Jahudit Riklis, Jerusalem/New York; Collection of Abraham Havilio, Jerusalem

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot, belonging to Kim Whanki's New York period, was possibly influenced by the work of Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland. In particular, it suggests that Kim was impressed by the vibrant colour and formal clarity of these two artists' works. However, unlike his American counterparts, Kim's sometimes highly diluted oil paint did not reflect the pursuit of pure opacity. Kim's unique blend of Eastern and Western knowledge, as well as his travel experiences, transformed his early works from Cubism and Futurism to their later, essentially abstract elements – dots and lines.
    "While the paintings tempt one to see Whanki above all as a colorist, the notebook drawings reveal the underlying preoccupation to be anon sensuous dialectic of movement and stasis. In the paintings this dialectic is embodied in color relations, but it can also be traced through the interactions of a few scattered pencil strokes. Not exactly ‘gestural,'Whanki's mark carries energy and direction but little sense of individuation. Instead, as Michaud explains, it ‘concentrates on nearly imperceptible effects of modulation applied to the surface treated as a whole,' which is to say, the mark tends to affect the bounded visual field of the page, or the canvas, in ways that could not have been predetermined, but rather can only be perceived.This is all the more the case in those drawings that are densely packed with marks—parallel lines, straight or curved, breaking off suddenly or abruptly changing direction. One thinks of the way, in a child's science experiment, iron filings placed on a sheet of paper align themselves to reveal the otherwise invisible field of a magnet held underneath. Strangely, these denser drawings are hardly different in feeling from Whanki's most concise pages, as though the same modulations of the field are only being made more explicit, in a more finely detailed way."
    (Barry Schwabsky, ‘Kim Whanki', Art Forum International Magazine, Summer 1996)



Oil on canvas.
60.9 x 45.7 cm. (24 x 18 in).
Signed and dated 'Whanki 70' on the reverse.

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £55,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 Feb 2009, 7pm