Lee Ufan


graphite on paper
22 1/4 x 30 1/8 inches

In the late 1960s, Korean-born Lee Ufan emerged as one of the key figures in the Japanese Mono-ha group (translated as “School of Things”). In an over four-decade long career, Ufan has created sculptures, paintings, and drawings that explore material relationships, the presence of time, and the dynamics of an experience with an object. On top of his role as an artist, Ufan also wrote a number of texts on the theoretical and philosophical ideas central to Mono-ha. Ufan’s two early painting series – From Point and From Line (1972–84) – used the pared down gesture of a point or line moving across the surface of the canvas as evidence of the artist’s direct interaction with the material in time. As Ufan’s brush moved across the surface, a mark was deposited, creating not a reference to time, but a true material presence created in time. This elegant drawing of the From Line series shows a similar action carried out in graphite, as lyrical rows of calligraphic lines move across the page horizontally, deposited by the artist’s ordered movements. Ufan’s work has been collected by museums around the world, and a major retrospective of his work, Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity, was organized by the Guggenheim Museum in 2011.