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[What to see] Explore galleries in Yongsan

June 22, 2024 - 16:01 By Park Yuna

Yongsan-gu in central Seoul is a place for gallery hopping. Thaddaeus Ropac, Gallery Baton and Esther Schipper's current summer exhibitions are all worth a visit. Between touring the galleries, you can pop into the cafes and restaurants of the neighborhood to cool off.

"Joseph Beuys (Beige background)" by Andy Warhol (Courtesy of Thaddaeus Ropac, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / DACS, London, 2024)

Andy Warhol at Thaddaeus Ropac

Thaddaeus Ropac in Hannam-dong presents a selection of American artist Andy Warhol’s portraits of German avant-garde artist Joseph Beuys, revisiting the earliest meeting of the two artists. The exhibition marks the first presentation of the works shown with a solo focus since the 1980s. The Beuys portraits by Warhol are held internationally in the collections of major institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Tate.

After their first encounter at an exhibition in Germany in 1979, the two artists met on several occasions. Warhol articulated Beuys’s head and shoulders against flat, monochromatic backgrounds as well as gestural sweeps of variegated color using silkscreen stencils.

Warhol captured other artists' self-stylization through his distinctive lens, creating a charismatic record of the most prominent artistic, cultural and political icons of the 20th century.

The exhibition runs through July 27.

An installation view of "New Home" at Gallery Baton in Seoul (Courtesy of the gallery)

Yuichi Hirako’s new works at Gallery Baton

Japanese artist Yuichi Hirako’s solo exhibition is running at Gallery Baton, located next to Thaddaeus Ropac. The Korean-grown gallery is showing Hirako’s second show “New Home” featuring a diverse selection of sculptures, installations and paintings.

Spending childhood in Okayama Prefecture in Japan surrounded by a dense forest, his critical awareness of how people treat nature evolved into the fundamental theme of his practice, using his unique metaphors and symbols.

“New Home” is Hirako’s alternative answer about an ideal future universe, and criticizes the current world where nature is being “extremely exploited.” Hirako’s works are witty and childlike, but they are stern in their message.

The exhibition runs until July 13.

An installation view of "House on Fire" at Esther Schipper in Seoul (Courtesy of the gallery, Lee Hyun-jun)

'House on Fire' at Esther Schipper

Esther Schipper is a 15-minute drive from the two galleries above, closer to Itaewon. The gallery is showing “House on Fire,” a group exhibition of seven artists -- Black Jaguar, Haneyl Choi, Leehaiminsun, Yeehun Lee, Chanseok Seo, Hyunseon Son and Jung Hwa Yang.

Curated by Lee Jung-sik, the exhibition is visually reimagined for the short story “Broken-Nosed Pinocchio's 30th Christmas” by Lee Eun-joo through paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptural works.

Although the original text and the exhibition “House on Fire” focus on the anger and hatred experienced by those who are vulnerable and unprotected, the artists infused their styles rather than adhering strictly to the original imagery.

The exhibition ends on Saturday.