Kukje Gallery is pleased to announce Sky, a solo exhibition of work by Byron Kim on view from February 1 to February 28, 2018. Consisting of two distinct but conceptually linked bodies of work, this exhibition marks his first major exhibition in Korea in seven years.
Byron Kim is a critically acclaimed artist whose work balances formal ingenuity with conceptual sophistication; beginning with his breakthrough work Synecdoche (1991-ongoing), Kim's work has become synonymous with complex series of paintings that deconstruct the ways we organize and define contemporary identity. By focusing on and recording basic signifiers found in culture and nature, for example in skin color, Kim’s work elegantly diagrams the fraught constructions that underlie social values. By creating ongoing serial works that build an index of his subjects, the artist is able to create layered meditations on a theme, thereby building a dynamic inquiry that expands beyond the work itself—asking, “how are we all connected to the greater whole?”
This logic of pursuing a subject serially is the basis of the artist’s longest ongoing project, Sunday Paintings on display in K2. Beginning in 2001, Byron Kim began his Sunday Paintings, committing himself to a single painting of the sky every Sunday. Training his eye upward and recording what he sees on a uniform 35.5 x 35.5 cm canvas, Kim has created a highly personal inventory of hundreds of paintings. To these idiosyncratic works, depicting hues of blue and gray punctuated by clouds, the artist has added short journalistic entries in pen or pencil directly on the surface of the work, as well as recording the specific time and place observed. In his often droll notations, Kim captures the mundane and profound details of the everyday, juxtaposing the personal with the archetypal symbolism of the sky. The installation at Kukje Gallery will feature 48 paintings completed from 2007 to 2016.
Complementing the subject matter and methodology of his Sunday Paintings, in K3 Kim will exhibit Untitled (for …), a series of large-scale paintings inspired by the nocturnal sky in the city. As opposed to the limitless starry black of the rural sky, night in the city is circumscribed, intimate, and so each of Kim’s Untitled (for ...) paintings is named for a friend or family member, someone who he thinks about while walking in the city alone at night. Using two different sizes of canvases to frame his observation, the installation consists of five large works and a medium-scaled work. In both of these lyrical series, Byron Kim displays the rare balance of aesthetic complexity and intellectual rigor that has made him such an important artist of our time.
About the Artist
Byron Kim (b. 1961) was born in La Jolla, California, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Kim received his BA in English Literature from Yale University in 1983 and later attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 1986. He is currently a Senior Critic at Yale University School of Art.
Byron Kim has held solo exhibitions at numerous institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2015), Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH (2012-3), Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA (2006), Rodin Gallery, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul (2005), and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (1999). Group exhibitions include Anyang Public Art Project 5, Anyang, Korea (2016), Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, the possible, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ (both 2015), Unfolding Tales: Selections from the Collection, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY (2011), Yi’s Emergence, Arko Art Center, Seoul, Korea (2010), Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2008), and KOREAMERICAKOREA, Artsonje Center, Seoul, and Artsonje Museum, Gyeongju, Korea (2000).
Among Kim’s numerous awards are the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for Fine Arts (2017), Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation (1997), and National Endowment for the Arts Award (1995). Kim’s works are in numerous public and private collections, including Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.