Ha Chonghyun, Conjunction 77–17, 1977, oil on canvas, 63 × 47 1/4".

Ha Chonghyun

Blum & Poe | New York

Ha Chonghyun, Conjunction 77–17, 1977, oil on canvas, 63 × 47 1/4".

This selection of nine paintings made between 1977 and 2009 was the first North American exhibition of the work of Ha Chonghyun, a Korean painter born in 1935. As such, it could hardly claim to offer an overview of the artist’s career, but it made a convincing case that he is an artist of the first rank, whose Western peers would include the likes of Giorgio Griffa and Robert Ryman: artists who have put the ways and means of painting to the test but never coolly, always with ardor. Like many Korean abstractionists, Ha expresses the steadfastness of his intention—his ongoing project rising above its individual manifestations—by using the same title for each painting (with the addition of a numbering system). In his case, it is Conjunction; thus the exhibition ranged from Conjunction 77–17, 1977, to Conjunction 09–52, 2009.

What the title is meant to convey is the meeting

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