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Lee Ufan (1936-)

Lee Ufan is an artist and philosopher. He has written the seminal text defining the art movement Mono-ha in addition to writing many other critical texts. Having moved to Japan in 1956, he traveled extensively between the two countries becoming a vital conduit between what was happening in both places and playing a pivotal role in introducing Dansaekhwa to a more international audience. His series From Line and From Point, begun in the early 1970s, connected him to many of the ideas in Dansaekhwa. In these well-known works Lee explored themes of gesture and the connection between mark making and the medium of paint itself. This interest was grounded in the tradition of calligraphy, which involved a discipline of repeatedly drawing single lines, and frames the artist’s profound investigation of the act of painting.

Lee Ufan was a professor at Tama Art University, Tokyo from 1973 through 2007. Lee’s work has been exhibited in many solo and group shows in major museums internationally including The Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan, Palazzo Grassi, Italy, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2011 his retrospective Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity was organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and in 2014 he was the focus of a major sculpture exhibition held at the Château de Versailles in Paris.