This morning, over my breakfast coffee, I came across a review of an exhibition of minimalist abstraction. Okay, I didn’t know that’s what it was, it was the heading that made me click through: The Defiance of the Great Korean Painter, Yun Hyong-keun.
The first image shows large rectangles of dark, then there’s another and another. My mind conncts to Rothko, though he used more colour.
I read that the artist used “two colors, burnt umber and ultramarine blue“. That explains the rich, deep dark that pulls you in, even though it’s just a photo.
Then I read: “The premise of my painting is the door of heaven and earth. Blue is the color of the sky. Brown is the color of the earth. So I call the ‘heaven and earth’; the portal gives structure to the composition.”
And the painted shapes stop being rectangles.
These are paintings “for those who would reflect upon that engagement, rather than looking at a work only to register what is seen and then move on.”