Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art - Seoul
19 / 03 / 2015 – 07 / 06 / 2015

Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art presents Tracing Shadows, a group exhibition of 12 artists whose painting practice actively explores new possibilities for the medium in an art world dominated by installation and new media. As the title implies, this exhibition ironically reverts back to the “origin” of painting after its supposed “death.”

While the realm of painting today infinitely expands towards the digital and beyond, the artists in the exhibition collectively focus on renewing the significance of the “painterly” expression in the contemporary context through a diverse range of subjects and styles.

Pliny the Elder’s Natural History recounts the origin of painting in a story of an ancient Greek woman tracing the shadow of her lover on the wall before his imminent departure. Although this tale is merely a groundless myth, it nevertheless provides a critical point of departure in reassessing the significance of the medium in the digital age. From the ancient times to the present, the legend of the “Corinthian maid” has inspired generations of artists in redefining painting beyond simple mimesis, as an act of negotiating a stance between desire and reality, that still resonates its relevance today.


While the artists in the exhibition work in vastly different subjects and styles from diverse cultural backgrounds, they altogether aim to explore this possibility of the painting practice as a means of engaging with the contemporary reality. The exhibition includes works by Hernan Bas, bekgin, Brian Calvin, Gillian Carnegie, Josephine Halvorson, Li Songsong, Katy Moran, Jina Park, Serban Savu, Wilhelm Sasnal, Dana Schutz e Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Reconciling the historical legacy of the medium with the present, the exhibition hopes to envision new attitudes and perspectives for painting within the rapidly transforming terrain of contemporary culture.

Curated by Nayoung Cho, Assistant Curator,  Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art

Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art was first inaugurated in 1999 as Rodin Gallery, presenting its permanent installation of Auguste Rodin’s monumental masterpieces The Gates of Hell and The Burghers of Calais, and has established itself as one of the central institutions in the Korean contemporary art scene. In May 2011, Rodin Gallery reopened its doors under the new name, Plateau, aspiring a broader scope of program, as well as higher artistic grounds for artists and patrons alike. With the new name, Plateau expresses our renewed commitment to embracing the dynamic developments in Korean and international contemporary art, in continuation with our permanent display of the Rodin masterpieces.