Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea, 1960s–1970s

Exhibition Website

Feb 11 2024 - May 12 2024

Hammer Museum

Los Angeles, CA

Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea, 1960s–1970s will examine the groundbreaking and genre-defying body of artistic production from an era of remarkable transformation in South Korea. Created by young artists who came of age in the decades immediately following the Korean War, the artworks reflect and respond to the changing socioeconomic and material conditions that were shaped by a tumultuous political landscape at home and a globalizing world beyond. This will be the first North American museum exhibition dedicated to Korean Experimental art (silheom misul) and its artists, whose radical approach to materials and process resulted in some of the most significant avant-garde practices of the twentieth century.

Spanning three tower galleries and featuring approximately eighty works, this exhibition will offer an unprecedented opportunity to experience the creativity and breadth of this generation of Korean artists. Bound not by a single aesthetic, but rather their search for the new, these young artists launched what would later be given the name “Experimental art” by art historian Gim Mi-gyeong in the early 2000s. Both as individuals and in collectives, Experimental artists broke definitively with their predecessors, redefining the boundaries of traditional painting and sculpture while embracing innovative—and often provocative—approaches to art making. Representing a variety of mediums, including performance, installation, photography and video, the works on view will illustrate how Experimental artists engaged with pressing issues such as subjectivity in age of rapid modernization and globalization, and individual will at the fringes of an increasingly authoritarian state. What will emerge is the story of how these young Korean artists harnessed the power of art to confront and reimagine an ever-shifting present.

The exhibition will travel to the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, from February 11 to May 12, 2024, following the Guggenheim presentation.​​​

Credit: Overview from museum website

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