Perrotin Gallery in Paris is currently showing “Black Mapping” by Korean contemporary artist Lee Bae and looks back to the creative period of Lee Bae marked by the work of charcoal, in the form of paintings, sculptures and installations.
Since the early 2000’s Lee Bae is best known for his acrylic paintings associating a thousand variations of black and creamy white. Perrotin Gallery has chosen to highlight a lesser known creative aspect from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, which focused on the use of charcoal.
Lee Bae’s charcoal achievements are a crucial moment in the Korean artist’s career when he arrived in Paris in 1990, and the discovery of this new material is a turning point in his practice.
The choice of charcoal is due to several reasons: references to the China ink and calligraphy, but is also deeply rooted in the Korean tradition and reminded him of its origins.
Charcoal would allow Lee Bae to combine and align the two subjects that had always motivated him: a reflection on the material and a quest for blackness. In other words, on one hand the material in itself, for its sculptural qualities, and on the other hand, the material as a means of achieving tonality.
The installations of the Fire series are juxtaposed elements of raw material, burned and glued on canvas. Working the surface and revealing shadows, gradients and highlights, charcoal is a powerful creative element both literally and figuratively.
Check a video by Simone Hoffman for Arte Metropolis that looks behind the scenes.
Lee Bae – Black Mapping
Until 26 May 2018
76 rue de Turenne