Galerie Karsten Greve St.Moritz, St.Moritz, September 10 – October 30, 2021
Opening: Friday, September 10, 2021, 1 – 7 pm Young-Jae Lee is present.

„Galerie Karsten Greve is delighted to present for the first time ceramic works by the Korean artist Young-Jae Lee in St. Moritz. On display are Vessels – vases, bowls, mugs, in a whole new variety of glazes, shapes and forms created since this spring.

In an effort to express a new vital energy after months of a state of emergency, Young-Jae Lee’s vessels are characterized by their intense coloration. In addition to the artist’s signature delicate pastel shades, in velvety green, gray, rose, and white, new hues, similar to a springtime renaissance, emerge in purple, bright green, yellow, and lilac. Beyond the glazes, the artist adds a pictorial quality to the surfaces through dabs of color and spots, as well as fluid brushstrokes. The peculiarity of her ceramics also asserts itself through her unique repertoire of forms, in whose imperfection a radiant power can be found.

Born in Seoul in 1951, Young-Jae Lee moved to Germany in 1972. Following her studies of ceramics and design at Wiesbaden University of Applied Sciences from 1973 to 1978, she ran her own workshop in Sandhausen near Heidelberg. Since 1987, Young-Jae Lee has been head of the long-established Margaretenhöhe Ceramics Workshop in Essen. With Bauhaus principles serving as a guide, the ceramic artist is striving for perfection in the formal idiom and color range as used by her workshop in Essen: „I’m not at all interested in reinventing form,“ says Young-Jae Lee, „but in having absolute command of the existing repertoire.“ Featured in extensive museum exhibitions, Young-Jae Lee’s ceramic pieces have attracted considerable attention: taking as her starting point the simple form of a bowl, a vase, or a mug, widely scattered over the floor in numerous variants, the artist placed 1,111 bowls in the rotunda of Munich’s Pinakothek der Moderne in 2006, for instance. In 2008, Young-Jae Lee reenacted such uniqueness in sequence by arranging her so-called spindle vases in the same space. The artist first presented her Spinach Bowls – a series of works that originated from her delving into the history of the tea bowl – at Essen’s Museum Folkwang in 2019. In September 2021, the Korean Cultural Center Germany will dedicate an exhibition to the artist under the title Korean Emotions meet the Spirit of Bauhaus in Berlin.

Trends in Korean ceramics influenced the development of Japanese ceramics and porcelain. Examples of classical Korean ceramic wares include the Celadon ceramics from the Goryeo dynasty (918-1392) as well as the white ceramics from the Joseon dynasty (1392-1897). During the Joseon dynasty, Korean ceramic wares were considered to represent the highest quality of achievement from royal, city, and provincial kilns. These products were export articles. The 16th century was the golden age of Korean ceramics. Inspired by the masters of the Joseon dynasty, Young-Jae Lee created her own aesthetically pleasing and simple pieces. She adopted the shape of the traditional Korean ceramic bowls and spindle-shaped vases and redefined it for her own vessels.

Presented by Galerie Karsten Greve in St. Moritz, Young-Jae Lee comes across as an artist who is a mediator between Korean and Japanese, Asian and European culture, whose works merge the ancient tradition of Korean ceramics with modern art specifically European in character.

Accompanying the exhibition, two publications will be available at Galerie Karsten Greve St. Moritz:

Young-Jae Lee. Das Grün in den Schalen, with an introduction by Peter Gorschlüter, ed. by Gisela Jahn, Nadine Engel, Museum Folkwang Essen, 2020. EUR 30,-.

Young-Jae Lee, Galerie Karsten Greve, with texts (German | English | French) by Mario von Lüttichau, Thomas Wagner, 2018. EUR 20,-.“

Text by the Gallery.