54 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea 03053
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Rago/Wright to Present Untitled Paintings by South Korean Expressionist South Korean artist Choi Wook-kyung often joked about her tenuous relationship with traditional gender roles. She sometimes gave her abstract paintings defiant or provocative titles, like La Femme Fâché (The Angry Woman). Choi was deeply conscious of the political and artistic trends of her time. The male-dominated Dansaekhwa movement of monochrome paintings overshadowed Choi’s more expressionist works. When she moved to the United States, she found another group of artists unprepared to welcome her perspective. American Abstract Expressionists inspired Choi but did not embrace her narrative style. As a result, Choi carved her own place in the history of modern art. Galleries and auction houses rediscovered Choi Wook-kyung in recent years. On May 19th, 2021, a joint auction from Rago and Wright will highlight two of Choi’s abstract paintings. Learn more about the artist and her history before placing a bid. Choi Wook-kyung in her studio in 1971. Image courtesy of the artist’s estate/ Kukje Gallery. At ten years old, Choi Wook-kyung started her artistic journey. Traditional ink painter Kim Ki-chang and early Modernist Park Re-hyun trained the young Choi in Seoul. Choi continued her education at Seoul National University’s College of Fine Arts in the 1960s. At the time, abstraction was on the rise throughout Korea. Artists such as Kim Whan-ki laid the groundwork for the Dansaekhwa movement. Choi’s contemporaries manipulated both paint and canvas to create abstract, monochrome works. Choi did not prefer that flavor of Modernism. She moved to the United States to study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and the Brooklyn Museum School of Art. Inspired by American artists such as Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell, Choi experimented with Abstract Expressionist techniques. Her work occasionally brought in collage and social commentary. Choi felt the press of both Korean and American social movements during this time, including anti-war demonstrations and the rise of second-wave feminism. Despite these strong influences, Choi felt that her paintings were all her own. “My experiences, as a woman and a painter, serve as a daily source for the creative inspiration necessary…