Back to list

Lee Ungno



‘Abstraction stems from expressive freedom’. This quotation from Lee Ungno (이응노) reflects the key to his artistic approach.

Born in 1904 in Korea, he began learning the art of calligraphy at a very young age. He perfected the technique in Japan where he lived between 1937 and the end of the Second World War.

When he returned to his native country in 1945, he taught calligraphy until he moved to France. Fascinated by abstract art, he began experimenting with new pictorial vocabularies in 1960 in Paris. His abstract collages were exhibited in Seoul in 1962; local critics saw his work as a revival of traditional Korean painting. His approach, which straddled Eastern and Western art, breathed new life into Korean art in the 1960s, which was very traditional.

Lee Ungno exhibited his work in Germany, the United States, Switzerland, France, Belgium, England, Korea, Japan, Brazil, and so on. His works are in many public collections, such as those of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the National Museum of Modern Art in Rome, and the Museum of Fine Art in Tokyo.


Site Web : Lee Ungno Museum






Personal exhibitions

2023 – « 120th anniversary of Lee Ung-no », Lee Ungno Museum, Daejeon and National Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Seoul, South Korea

2022 – « Lee Ung-no : Between Two Worlds », Galerie Vazieux, Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong

2021 – « Four Seasons », Lee Ungno Museum, Daejeon, South Korea

2018 – The Korea Society, New York, USA
– « People », Gana Art Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

2017  – Lee Ungno: A Man of the Crowd, Cernuschi Museum, Paris, France

1989  – Hoam gallery, Seoul, South Korea
– Cernuschi Museum, Paris, France

1988  – Bruno Facchetti Gallery, New York, USA
– Indeco gallery, Seoul, South Korea

1987    – Chosun Art Museum, Pyongyang, North Korea
1986    – Bruno Facchetti Gallery, New York, USA

1983    – Del Naviglio gallery, Milan, Italy

1981     – Sanyo Gallery, Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan

1979     – Monnaie de Paris Museum, Paris, France

1978     – Fine Art Museum, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
– Cernuschi Museum, Paris, France

1977     – Koryo gallery, Paris, France.

1976    – Arras gallery, New York, USA
– Shinsegae gallery, Seoul, South Korea

1975    – Bristol City Art Gallery, Bristol, UK
– Hyundai gallery, Seoul, South Korea

1974    – Wenger Gallery, San Francisco, USA

1973    – New Smith gallery, Brussels, Belgium

1972    – Querini Stampalia Foundation, Venice, Italy
– Cultural Center, Toulouse, France

1969.  – Paul Facchetti gallery, Paris, France

1967   – Numaga gallery, Neuchâtel, Switzerland

1966   – National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

1964   – Numaga gallery, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
– Max Kaganovich gallery, Paris, France

1963  – Cantonal Museum, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland

1962  – Paul Facchetti gallery, Paris, France

1960  – International Gallery of Modern Art, Washington DC, USA

1959  – Prestel gallery, Frankfurt, Germany
– Germany Clubhouse Musenhof, Köln, Germany

1958  – Central Office of Public Relations, Seoul, South Korea

1955  – Cultural Center, Daejon, South Korea

1946  – Dongah gallery, Seoul, South Korea

1939  – Hwashin department store, Seoul, South Korea

Selected works