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Blum & Poe : November 1966 | Ha Chong-hyun | Alexander Tovborg - 12 Nov 2016 to 17 Dec 2016

Current Exhibition

12 Nov 2016 to 17 Dec 2016
Hours -Tuesday - Saturday from 10:30 am to 6 pm
Blum & Poe
2727 S. La Cienega Blvd
CA 90034
Los Angeles, CA
North America
T: +1 (310) 836-2062
F: +1 (310) 836-2104

Artist Unknown, Untitled, 1966
B&W photograph, 5 x 3 1/2 inches

Artists in this exhibition: unknown photographer, Ha Chong-hyun, Alexander Tovborg

November 1966

Blum & Poe, Los AngelesNovember 12 - December 17, 2016
Opening reception: Saturday, November 12, 6 - 8pm

Blum & Poe is pleased to present November 1966, an exhibition of self-portrait photographs created fifty years ago to the month by an unknown photographer. The twenty-eight images at hand show a shirtless man, alone on a rooftop, donning a variety of women's bikini briefs and underwear. He is seen from multiple vantage points -- some poses unassuming and others uninhibited -- all the while an undercurrent of 1960s experimental, sexual whimsy pervades. What lends a strange atmosphere to these pictures is the ambiguity of the scene -- nothing is known of the photographer's intentions, the viewer is left to construe a narrative long divorced from creator and date of origin.  

The compositions go beyond their surface eroticism by documenting a carefully conceived relationship between the body of the unknown photographer/subject and the surrounding sightlines and architecture. From nearly every corner of the roof stage, we are presented with a panoramic view of the photographer's performance. The fact that these pictures were conceived privately at the edge of building and sky, along with the subject's commonly found closed-fist stance, frame this unknown photographer as a countercultural Superman of sorts.  

These photographs where discovered by California-based artist Jason Brinkerhoff, whose photographic practice has produced important positions in the field of outsider photography in recent years, including his project Type 42 (Anonymous) and his presentation of the work of John Kayser. Type 42 (Anonymous), in collaboration with Delmes & Zander, Cologne, was the subject of a book published by Walther König with an essay by Cindy Sherman, and exhibited in the group show System and Vision at David Zwirner, New York (2015). The photography of John Kayser was discovered in Los Angeles, CA in 2015, and in partnership with Ampersand, Portland has been the subject of exhibitions at FARAGO, Los Angeles and The Journal, Brooklyn in 2016.


Ha Chong-hyun

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
November 12 - December 17, 2016
Opening reception: Saturday, November 12, 6 - 8pm

Blum & Poe is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new paintings by Ha Chong-hyun, one of the leading artists of the Dansaekhwa movement. This is Ha's second solo show with the gallery and his first solo presentation in Los Angeles.  

Ha Chong-hyun revolutionized the discourse of painting in 1970s Korea. For forty years his ongoing Conjunction series has explored the materiality of paint and canvas as more than a mere support. In these works the artist uses tools to push oil paint through the back of coarsely woven burlap so that it seeps through to the surface. Thereafter he brushes or smears the protruding paint into abstract, all-over compositions.  

The Dansaekhwa movement emerged in the late 1960s, in the midst of extreme postwar material deprivations and an authoritarian political system. Although the term literally means "monochrome painting," it is defined by the methods employed as much as its reductionist aesthetics. Ha continues to experiment with technique and push the boundaries of expression in the Conjunction series. In recent years he has developed a new process in which he holds a flame to the surface of his paintings, creating a range of subtle effects as the chemical makeup of the paint is altered. In some works, the surface of white paint turns to a smoky gray, which Ha scrapes away in horizontal or vertical strips to reveal the untouched white pigment beneath.  

Previously, Ha was featured in the survey From All Sides: Tansaekhwa on Abstraction, held at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles in 2014, and curated by Joan Kee, Associate Professor of History of Art at the University of Michigan. Earlier this year he was included in Dansaekhwa and Minimalism, which traveled from Blum & Poe in Los Angeles to New York -- the first exhibition to compare and contrast Korean monochromatic painting with American Minimalism.  

Ha Chong-hyun was born in Sancheong, Korea, in 1935, and currently lives and works in Seoul. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in Korea, including at the Gyeongnam Art Museum, Changwon (2004), and a retrospective at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon (2012). His work has also been featured in numerous landmark surveys, most recently: When Process Becomes Form: Dansaekhwa and Korean Abstraction, Villa Empain - Boghossian Foundation, Brussels (2016) and Dansaekhwa, Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice (2015). His paintings are in the collections of leading institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; M+, Hong Kong; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.


Alexander Tovborg
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
November 12 - December 17, 2016
Opening reception: Saturday, November 12, 6 - 8pm

Blum & Poe is pleased to present The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, an exhibition of new paintings by Copenhagen-based artist Alexander Tovborg. This marks Tovborg's first solo presentation with Blum & Poe.  

The exhibition takes its name from William Blake's book of prose, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790). Each work makes reference to a specific proverb from the poet's Proverbs of Hell, with titles such as "The Cut Worm Forgives the Plow" or "The Road of Excess Leads to the Palace of Wisdom." With these very words etched into the gold leaf edging of the paintings, this literary source serves as a point of departure for the series. In this new body of work, Tovborg meticulously applies layer upon layer of thinned acrylic to cut felt squares, which are then collaged atop wooden panel.  

The artist has described the exhibition as a "wedding procession" in which each painting participates and plays a role, an assembly that unifies notions of heaven and hell, God and the devil. At the center of the procession, we find a commanding triptych PROVERBS OF HELL (the marriage of heaven and hell) jesus, church, hitler, 2016 -- in which Jesus and Hitler, mounted on creatures of prehistory, are married by the Church, as represented by a bell toller. This series also summons Greek minotaurs and Celtic dragons alike, engendering an allegorical aesthetic whose imagery is laden with icons derived from the artist's interest in religious ritualism, metaphysics, history painting, and mythological symbolism. When taken as a whole, the exhibition functions as an overarching parable of good vs. evil.  

Painting, drawing, sculpture, and performance share equal space in Tovborg's multidisciplinary practice. As Tom Morton aptly noted in Frieze, "Tovborg explores the central role that religion might play in how our species imagines itself, and the seen and unseen worlds it inhabits."

Alexander Tovborg (b. 1983, Copenhagen) lives and works in Copenhagen. He received his BA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen and his MFA from Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Karlsruhe, Germany. His work has been featured in exhibitions worldwide, including at the State of Concept, Athens (2016); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2013); Hospitalhof, Stuttgart, Germany (2012); Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Mexico City (2012); and the Museum of Religious Art, Lemvig, Denmark (2011). At Blum & Poe, Los Angeles in 2015, Tovborg's work was included in The Avant-Garde Won't Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy, a rereading of the Cobra postwar movement curated by Alison M. Gingeras.


Blum & Poe

2727 S. La Cienega Blvd.  |  Los Angeles, California 90034
T: 310. 836. 2062  |  F: 310. 836. 2104  |
19 East 66th Street  |  New York, New York 10065
T: 212. 249. 2249  |  F: 212. 249. 2995  |

1-14-34 Jingumae  |  Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001

Blum & Poe

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