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Chung Sang-Hwa

Ground Floor

June 1 - August 5, 2016

Chung Sang-Hwa


Ground Floor

June 1 – August 5, 2016


Greene Naftali, in collaboration with Dominique Lévy and Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, is pleased to announce

the first solo exhibition in the United States by Korean artist Chung Sang-Hwa. The joint exhibitions

present an expansive overview of the artist’s decades long career, with Greene Naftali exhibiting the

artist’s recent work in its ground floor space, and historical works on view at Dominique Lévy uptown.

Chung Sang-Hwa has been a central figure in the Korean avant-garde since the 1960’s, having significantly

contributed to the Korean movement of Tansaekhwa, or “monochrome painting.” The two presentations

will be accompanied by a monographic catalogue, the first written on the artist exclusively in English, with

an essay by curator and critic Tim Griffin.


On view at Greene Naftali are 15 paintings executed within the last decade. Engaging intimately with the

canvas and pigment, Chung evacuates the brush from painting while still demonstrating a commitment to

material and facture: a stance that is identifiably modern to a Western audience, but which developed

over decades within Chung’s native political and artistic climate. Chung’s practice, as well as Tanaeskwa in

general, emphasizes the singular process through which his works are achieved. Chung repeatedly folds a

canvas coated with a mixture of kaolin clay, water and glue, to inscribe a grid into its thick surface,

selectively adding acrylic to some squares, chipping it away from others. This sustained and meditative

process is employed to create both calculated patterns and subtle undulations, all organized by cool



The diversity of scale Chung undertakes—from the modest to the monumental—calls attention to the

radial nature of the latticed system to which Chung adheres. As Rosalind Krauss has noted, the grid

denotes continuity between pictorial and physical worlds, holding in tension “connection to matter on the

one hand, and spirit on the other.” The canvases on view at once maintain their aesthetic autonomy, and

contain inflections of the technological, the natural, and the spiritual, through their embrace of order and

their quiet potential for infinite expansion.


Chung Sang-Hwa was born in Youngduck, Korea in 1932. His work is included in numerous public

collections around the world, including M+ Museum, Hong Kong; National Museum of Contemporary

Art, Seoul; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates;

Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne Metropole, Saint Étienne; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture

Garden, Washington DC; and Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago.


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