A Kim Tschang-Yeul "Waterdrops" at LACMA

Kim Tschang-Yeul is the most obsessive of Korean modernists. For the past 40 years he has created paintings of water drops on flat surfaces. LACMA is now showing a 1993 Waterdrops in its Korean galleries, as a promised gift of Tim and Gayle DeVries.

Kim encountered Pop during a stay in New York. After moving to Paris he was struck by the momentary optics of water drops on canvas. This set the direction for his career. Kim has said the waterdrops represent "absolute nothingness."

From an American perspective, Kim's art recalls the trompe l'oeil of Harnett and Pope, plus Ruscha's word pictures in viscous liquids. But there is also a conceptual quality to staking a career on repetitions of the evanescent.


Anonymous said…
Photo-realism similar to what artists like Chuck Close are known for is fascinating. Lots of technical skill, if not creative one too. But shouldn't contemporary artworks at LACMA be in the Broad building?

There is something subtly patronizing about exhibiting works of the recent past based on an artist's ancestry or nationality instead of his/her style and quality.

Does LACMA ever routinely display David Hockneys next to Gainsboroughs and Turners?