Lehmann Maupin is pleased to present Drawings, an exhibition of new works by renowned Korean artist Do Ho Suh. On display at both 540 West 26th Street and 201 Chrystie Street, the exhibition will highlight the significant role and varied forms drawing plays in Suh’s oeuvre. This two-part show will feature the range of his works on paper, including drawings using pencil, pen, ink, and watercolor, his unique “thread” drawings, as well as his large-scale rubbings. The artist will be present for an opening reception on Thursday, September 11 from 6-8PM, and at a book launch on Saturday, September 13 at 540 West 26th Street from 4-6PM.
Primarily known for his room-scale installations made of transparent fabric that recreate spaces in which he has lived, the artist has consistently utilized drawing throughout his career to explore and develop relationships between common themes of his practice including notions of home, physical space, displacement, identity, and memory. A focus of this exhibition, and Suh’s most elaborate use of drawing to date, is his Rubbing/Loving Project. Here Suh painstakingly covered the flat walls and three-dimensional fixtures of the interior and exterior of architectural spaces that hold great personal, cultural, or historic significance to him with vellum and rubbed each surface with colored pencil or graphite. These rubbings create imprints of the spaces, uncovering a particular location’s history, memories, and traces of its use.
Rubbing/Loving Project, 348 West 22nd Street, Apt. A, New York, NY 10011 is presented at Lehmann Maupin’s 540 West 26th Street location. A recreation of the brick and mortar exterior of Suh’s former New York apartment building stands at the entrance of the gallery, featuring a blue colored pencil rubbing of the façade’s interior on the reverse. On the gallery walls and floor, Suh will splay open the 1:1 scale rubbings of the walls and floor of his apartment. In this way the rubbings convey a former life, suggesting the shedding skin of a place that has been the artist’s home and has great personal and emotional importance.
Originally commissioned by the 2012 Gwangju Biennial, Rubbing/Loving Project: Company Housing of Gwangju Theater and Rubbing/Loving Project: Gwangju Catholic University Lifelong Institute are both on view at 201 Chrystie Street. Displayed as two freestanding room structures, each approximately 12 feet in height, the interiors feature Suh’s rubbings of these living spaces in Gwangju, Korea. Suh accompanies these works with a video documentary of him and his studio team making the rubbings of the Company Housing of Gwangju Theater while blindfolded. Created in response to the city of Gwangju and his memory of the 1980 "Gwangju Uprising", these works convey Suh's sense of "blindness" due to the lack of information about the political conditions available at the time. To suggest this feeling, Suh used his tactile approach of rubbing the spaces to bring forward untold stories from a group of abandoned spaces once inhabited by ordinary people who lived through the uprising.
The first English language monograph of Suh’s work, focused on his drawings, has been published by DelMonico Books • Prestel and will be launched in conjunction with the exhibition. This unique and richly illustrated volume traces the genesis and progression of the artist’s expansive and consistent drawing practice. Among the more than 180 reproductions in the book are numerous previously unpublished drawings and sketches from the artist’s private notebooks. The book includes texts by curators Rochelle Steiner, Clara Kim, and Elizabeth A.T. Smith. A book signing by the artist will take place on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at Lehmann Maupin at 540 West 26th Street from 4-6PM.
Suh’s work will be presented in a major solo exhibition at The Contemporary Austin opening on September 20, 2014. Support for this exhibition, as well as Drawings at Lehmann Maupin, is provided by Korean Air.