Lee Bae: UNION

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Installation view, Lee Bae, Issu du feu, 2018 © Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Perrotin. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli

Lee Bae: UNION

February 24—June 20, 2021

The PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art is pleased to present the exhibition Lee Bae: UNION.

Born in South Korea, Lee Bae relocated to Paris in 1989. This displacement from the familiar surroundings of his home country activated an engagement with memory, which would become his main matière. This deeper union with the Self would ultimately reacquaint the artist with charcoal as a physical, mental, and spiritual extension of memory.

Dissatisfied with the conventional slender sticks typically used in drawing, one day Lee Bae bought a simple bag of charcoal briquettes. Drawing with these compressed lumps of fuel brought him back to the very first time he started painting. He reconnected with the significance of the colour black in Asian civilization—the colour that expresses all colour. He was reminded of the soot-based India ink used in Korean calligraphy and recalled charcoal’s use as a purifying agent in Korean homes. Furthermore, he recognized charcoal as a powerful metaphor for the cycle of life and death.

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Lee Bae, Untitled (detail), 1999. Charcoal, variable dimensions © Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

For nearly thirty years, Lee Bae has engaged with the formal and conceptual properties of charcoal to create paintings, drawing, sculpture, and installation. This major solo exhibition, his first in Canada, features more than 40 recent works that employ a range of approaches. The exhibition also features a large-scale installation that calls attention to the corporeality of his work and its ability to connect us through sensation. Lee Bae’s dedication to presence requires our own, offering a moment of respite and contemplation.

Curated by Cheryl Sim

Lee Bae (b. 1956, Cheongdo, South Korea) has had more than 40 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in museums and biennials in Europe, Asia, and the United States, including the 2016 Gwangju Biennale. In 2013, he received the National Association Prize of Art Critics (Korea), and in 2019, he was named a Chevalier of France’s Order of Arts and Letters. He works and lives between Paris and Seoul.

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Lee Bae, Landscape ch-37, 2002. Charcoal on canvas, 218 x 291 cm © Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Perrotin.

PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art

Established in 2007 by Phoebe Greenberg, the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art, formerly known as DHC/ART, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art. Housed in two heritage buildings located in the heart of Old Montréal, the Foundation offers programming that has met with critical acclaim both at home and around the world. Each year, the PHI Foundation presents two to three major exhibitions, a series of public events, special collaborative projects and a forward-thinking education and public engagement program. International in scope yet responsive to the Montréal context, the Foundation’s programming is offered free of charge to reinforce its commitment to accessibility, while fostering discussion on how contemporary art is invested with the topics and ideas that reflect and touch our everyday lives.

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PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art
451 & 465 Saint-Jean Street (at Notre-Dame Street, Old Montreal)
Montréal, Quebec, H2Y 2R5
Canada

Opening hours:
Wednesday to Sunday: 11 AM to 6 PM
Free Admission

Accessibility: Partially Accessible

Information
514-849-3742
info@phi-foundation.org
www.phi-foundation.org

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Myriam Achard
machard@phi-foundation.org
(514) 844-7474 #5104

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