Thaddeus Ropac Seoul Spotlights Joseph Beuys and Donald Judd

Thaddeus Ropac has announced the expansion of its Seoul gallery, doubling the exhibition space in its current home in Fort Hill with the addition of a ground-floor gallery, enabling the gallery to present two concurrent shows.

On 4th September 2023, Thaddeus Ropac will open a survey of Donald Judd’s three-dimensional works (above) in its existing gallery space, alongside a selection of his paintings. Curated by Flavin Judd, the artistic director of Judd Foundation, this will be the first solo show of the artist’s work in Seoul for almost a decade. To inaugurate the new gallery space on the ground floor, opening simultaneously will be an exhibition of works on paper by Joseph Beuys from the collection of the family. Both exhibitions coincide with Frieze Seoul.


With this expansion of the Seoul gallery, Thaddeus Ropac now has multiple exhibition spaces in all its galleries around the world, permitting it to mount shows of different artists’ work at the same time. With the new space in Seoul, the gallery will show two icons of 20th-century art from the same generation side by side, demonstrating their own individual artistic languages – Donald Judd’s American Minimalism and Joseph Beuys’s European conceptualism. Each artist had personal ties to South Korea – Beuys largely through his friendship with Korean artist Nam June Paik, and Judd through the formative year he was stationed in Korea with the US army in 1947, when he was deliberating between becoming an architect or an artist.

This is the first solo exhibition of Donald Judd’s work to take place in Korea for nearly ten years. Curated by Flavin Judd, the artistic director of Judd Foundation, the exhibition features a survey of Judd’s three-dimensional works alongside a selection of his paintings, encompassing the extensive breadth of his use of materials, from oil and acrylic to plywood, plexiglass and aluminium. Highlights from the exhibition include the first Korean presentation of twenty woodcut prints conceptualised by Judd while in Korea in 1991. These woodcuts, printed on hanji paper, are composed of ten pairs of boldly-hued rectangles and grids, reflecting Judd’s dynamic use of colour in printmaking.


Kyu Jin Hwang, Executive Director, Thaddeus Ropac Seoul, says: “We are so excited to be able to offer a broader programme of exhibitions and events with the expanded gallery. The new 2,200-square-foot ground-floor exhibition space has been renovated by acclaimed interior designer Teo Yang Studio to harmonise with the existing space on the first floor, which he designed for us in 2021. With the larger space, we can further contribute to Seoul’s burgeoning arts landscape and community.”

The Seoul gallery opened in 2021 with an inaugural exhibition of paintings by Georg Baselitz, which was followed by exhibitions of Alex Katz, Oliver Beer, Anselm Kiefer, Robert Rauschenberg, a group show of young Korean artists, including Zadie Xa, the newest artist to join the gallery’s roster, and a current exhibition of works by Martha Jungwirth, her first presentation in South Korea.

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