From Point No. 7901256

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  • Provenance

    Gallery Takagi, Nagoya
    Private Collection, Tokyo (acquired from the above in the late 1980s)
    Private Collection, Nagoya (acquired from the above in 1997)
    Gallery FuTaBa, Tokyo (acquired from the above in 2006)
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Lee Ufan is a Korean painter, philosopher, and poet best known for his devotion to minimalism and leading roles in the avant-garde movements Mono-ha (literally ‘the school of objects’) in the mid-1960s, Japan’s first contemporary art movement to gain international recognition, and later Dansaekhwa (‘monochome painting’), the late-1970s movement that marked the liberation of South Korean art from its strict artistic traditions. For Lee, Mono-ha was a rejection of traditional ideas of representation in favour of depicting the world ‘as is’. Relying predominantly on the use of natural and industrial materials, it was an artistic practice largely derived from modern European phenomenology and Eastern philosophical beliefs concerning the nature of being and nothingness.

    After years of developing his Relatum series of sculptural installations, Lee Ufan returned to painting in 1972, profoundly influenced by the Barnett Newman retrospective which he visited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Newman’s vertical, white abstractions had a materiality and a strong sense of space which transcended the paintings two-dimensionality and motivated Lee to draw the medium into his overall project of marking time and space. Spending approximately one month on each of his paintings, Lee’s slow and introspective painting process reflects his experience and consciousness of time: ‘My paintings are not a direct representation of an image, nor are they concerned with a particular meaning, rather they are the phenomenological result of a temporal gesture created by neutral actions.’ (Lee Ufan: From Point, From Line, From Wind, Pace Gallery, London, 2015, p. 27)

    Lee started his first signature series of painting, From Point series and From Line series in 1972-1973. Recalling the literati principles that he had absorbed as a child, he returned to the notion of the point and line in search of a new abstraction. Summoning the principles of classical Eastern writing and painting, Lee saw point and line as the basic units of the universe, the primordial basis for the origin of the cosmos. Lee once articulated his idea on point and line, ‘A line always has a beginning and an end. Space appears with the passage of time, and time disappears as the formation of space comes to an end. Because each mark and brushstroke, which creates its own space-time, has a strong presence, I cannot be permitted to paint over or touch it up. Each moment of time occurs only once, but because everything is a continuation of single moments, it is necessary for them to repeat and resonate with each other’. (Lee Ufan, The Art of Encounter, Lisson Gallery, London, 2004).

    From Point No. 7901256 belongs to the artist’s From Point (1972-1984) series of works executed over a period of 12 years. In this series, he restricted his palette to a single pigment applied onto the white canvas: cobalt blue or burnt orange, evoking sky and earth respectively. Lee also began using the East Asian method of painting with the work surface flat on the floor, involving his entire body as he hovered over the canvas. This particular work is covered with the artist’s characteristic squared dots applied methodically and repeatedly until the paint on the brush has run near-dry. Unlike the more common linear compositions from the same series (see for example the artist’s work of the same name from the same year and series), it belongs to the group of works created from 1977 onwards in which the red spiralling composition creates a delicate, pulsating tension, enveloping and drawing the viewer into the heart of the painting. These paintings involving points spiralling out in circular forms were first presented in July 1978 at his first European solo museum exhibition at the Stadtische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf. In these works, Lee draws a fine balance between the painted and unpainted, with progressively larger amounts of empty space left between points, allowing the interaction of negative and positive space to transcend the canvas surface.

    This dynamic balance inherent to Lee’s work lends his vision a transformative, timeless quality, whilst the denial of a subject encourages a contemplative relationship to flourish between the work, the site and the observer. Lee explained that, for him, 'What you see is what you don't see.' (Lee Ufan quoted in Lee Ufan, Inhabiting time, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Paris, 2019). Lee Ufan's work is an invitation to slow down, step outside the world - with its endless influx of imagery and communication - and focus our attention on perception itself.

    Throughout his career Lee Ufan has been honoured with numerous solo exhibitions and major retrospectives at distinguished public institutions around the world, including the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul (1994), the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) and the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2011). He was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for painting in 2001 and the UNESCO Prize in 2000. The author of 17 books, he has written seminal essays on contemporary art, Asian culture and democracy. In 2010 the Lee Ufan Museum designed by Tadao Ando opened in Naoshima, Japan. He will soon open a foundation in Arles, housed in the Hôtel Vernon, a seventeenth-century building located near the city's Roman arena, remodelled by his friend the architect Tadao Ando. The artist currently divides his time between Kamakura, Japan and Paris, France.

  • Catalogue Essay


    經過多年對他的《關係》系列雕塑裝置的開發後,李禹煥在紐約現代藝術博物館參觀巴尼特·紐曼(Barnett Newman)的回顧展時受到了深刻的啟發,於1972年重新回歸繪畫。紐曼的垂直、白色抽象作品所具有物質性和超越繪畫的二維性的強烈空間感,激發了李禹煥將這一媒介融入到他對時間和空間進行標記的整體實踐中。用大約一個月的時間去畫每一幅畫,李禹煥緩慢和內省的繪畫過程反映了他的經歷和對時間的意識:「我的畫作不是圖像的直接再現,也不是對某個特定意義的關注,而是由中立行為所創造的時間性姿態的現象學結果。」(《李禹煥:從點、從線、從風》,佩斯畫廊,倫敦,2015年,第27頁)


    《從點》(1979)來自藝術家的在12年裡完成的《從點》(1972-1984)系列。在該系列中,他將色彩的使用限制在將單一顏料繪製在白色畫布上:鈷藍色或焦橙色,分別象徵天空和大地。李禹煥也開始使用東亞繪畫的方法,將作品平放在地面上進行繪畫,在畫布上前後來回時牽動他的整個身體的運動。這件作品上佈滿了藝術家所特有的方形的點,有條不紊地重複揮舞,直至畫筆上的顏料接近乾竭。與同一系列中較常見的線性構圖不同(參見藝術家同年和同一系列的同名作品),它屬於從1977年開始創作的一組作品,其中紅色螺旋上升的構圖創造了一種精細、脈動的張力,吸引和包圍著觀者進入到繪畫的核心。這些有著以圓形螺旋向外轉出的點的繪之於1978年7月在杜塞爾多夫市立藝術館(Stadtische Kunsthalle)舉辦他的首次歐洲美術館個展中第一次被展出。在這些作品中,李禹煥在畫於未畫之間取得了良好的平衡,在點與點之間留下了越來越多的空白空間,讓負空間和正空間相互作用,並超越畫布表面。

    李禹煥作品中所固有的動態平衡為他的藝術視野賦予了變革性、永恆的品質,而對主題的否定則引發了作品、空間和觀者之間的思考性關係的蓬勃發展。李禹煥解釋說,對他而言,「所見即所不見」(李禹煥引自《李禹煥,居於時間》,龐畢度中心梅斯分館,巴黎,2019年)。李禹煥的作品邀請觀者放慢腳步, 走出世界-帶著不斷湧入的圖像和溝通—將我們的注意力集中在感知本身。

    在他的整個職業生涯中, 李禹煥曾在世界各地無數著名的公共機構舉辦個人展覽和重要的回顧展, 其中包括首爾的國家現當代藝術博物館 (1994年)、第52屆威尼斯雙年展 (2007年) 和紐約的古根漢博物館 (2011年)。他在2001年因繪畫而被授予高松宮殿下紀念世界文化獎,而在2000年獲得聯合國教科文組織獎。作為17本著作的作者, 他曾撰寫過關於當代藝術、亞洲文化和民主的開創性文章。2010年, 由安藤忠雄設計的李禹煥美術館於日本直島開幕。他不久將在阿爾勒開設一個基金會, 該基金會將位於該市羅馬競技場附近一座由他的摯友、建築師安藤忠雄改造的17世紀建築的弗農酒店。藝術家目前於日本鐮倉和法國巴黎兩地生活與工作。

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Lee Ufan

From Point No. 7901256

signed and dated 'L. UFAN 79' lower right; further signed and tited '"From point NO. 7901256" lee ufan' on the reverse
mineral pigment on canvas
90.3 x 90.3 cm. (35 1/2 x 35 1/2 in.)
Executed in 1979, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by gallery FuTaBa.

HK$3,500,000 - 4,500,000 

Contact Specialist

Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 May 2019