June 1 – August 5, 2016
Greene Naftali, in collaboration with Dominique Lévy and Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, is pleased to announce
the first solo exhibition in the United States by Korean artist Chung Sang-Hwa. The joint exhibitions
present an expansive overview of the artist’s decades long career, with Greene Naftali exhibiting the
artist’s recent work in its ground floor space, and historical works on view at Dominique Lévy uptown.
Chung Sang-Hwa has been a central figure in the Korean avant-garde since the 1960’s, having significantly
contributed to the Korean movement of Tansaekhwa, or “monochrome painting.” The two presentations
will be accompanied by a monographic catalogue, the first written on the artist exclusively in English, with
an essay by curator and critic Tim Griffin.
On view at Greene Naftali are 15 paintings executed within the last decade. Engaging intimately with the
canvas and pigment, Chung evacuates the brush from painting while still demonstrating a commitment to
material and facture: a stance that is identifiably modern to a Western audience, but which developed
over decades within Chung’s native political and artistic climate. Chung’s practice, as well as Tanaeskwa in
general, emphasizes the singular process through which his works are achieved. Chung repeatedly folds a
canvas coated with a mixture of kaolin clay, water and glue, to inscribe a grid into its thick surface,
selectively adding acrylic to some squares, chipping it away from others. This sustained and meditative
process is employed to create both calculated patterns and subtle undulations, all organized by cool
The diversity of scale Chung undertakes—from the modest to the monumental—calls attention to the
radial nature of the latticed system to which Chung adheres. As Rosalind Krauss has noted, the grid
denotes continuity between pictorial and physical worlds, holding in tension “connection to matter on the
one hand, and spirit on the other.” The canvases on view at once maintain their aesthetic autonomy, and
contain inflections of the technological, the natural, and the spiritual, through their embrace of order and
their quiet potential for infinite expansion.
Chung Sang-Hwa was born in Youngduck, Korea in 1932. His work is included in numerous public
collections around the world, including M+ Museum, Hong Kong; National Museum of Contemporary
Art, Seoul; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates;
Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne Metropole, Saint Étienne; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture
Garden, Washington DC; and Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago.