Lee Ufan - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, November 26, 2016 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Private Collection
    Interalia Gallery, Seoul
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Lee Ufan’s From Winds is a stunning work from the late eighties, and is a striking example from a rare series that lasted for a mere four years. Dominated by dense and coarse strokes, interspersed with loose, light lines, each mark is reminiscent of its title, as if strong gusts of wind have struck the canvas to create a serendipitous work. Although chance is a key element of Lee’s oeuvre, the artist’s praxis is not one that is void of philosophy and dexterity; rather, it is a premeditated relinquishment of control in order to connect with the canvas itself. As Lee maintains, 'The situation of one brushstroke…must become a living organism brimming with energy in its relationship with otherness' (In Lee Ufan, The Art of Encounter, London 2004, p. 15).

    When compared to his earlier works from the seventies—dominated by the artist’s From Point and From Line series—From Winds is much less mechanical, owing to a shift in Lee’s artistic mode. Forgoing the systematic and repetitive procedures involved in his previous works, which emphasized repetition in pursuit of “marking infinity”, the From Winds series was in many ways a release, and featured carefree, dynamic, and unbridled strokes that engaged with the notion of empty space itself. Notably however, this particular From Winds is very rare in its execution when compared to counterparts in the same series—rather than loose flicks in a powdered cobalt colour, the present lot features linear, bold, horizontal lines in a pronounced off-black. Reminiscent of black coal pigments or even inks, From Winds is in many ways a transitional piece, one which evokes Lee’s methodical From Point and From Line works, as well as preempts his later, much more expressionist and gestural pieces.

    Lee Ufan is a figure who has constantly been at the forefront of contemporary art. Having spearheaded Mono-Ha in the 1960s, and having deeply influenced the Korean Dansaekhwa style in its focus on the monochrome, Lee remains a pivotal figure and his works have been extensively exhibited worldwide, such as at the Guggenheim in New York, and his pieces are part of key collections in prestigious institutions including the Tate, London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Toyota Museum in Japan.

Property of an Important Asian Collector


From Winds

signed and dated 'L. Ufan 86' lower right; further signed, titled and dated 'Lee Ufan From Winds 1986' on the reverse
oil on canvas
162 x 130.5 cm. (63 3/4 x 51 3/8 in.)
Painted in 1986.

HK$4,800,000 - 5,800,000 

Sold for HK$5,480,000

Contact Specialist
Jonathan Crockett
Deputy Chairman, Asia and Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Asia
+852 2318 2023

Sandy Ma
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+852 2318 2025

General Enquiries
+852 2318 2000

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 27 November 2016