Min Byung- Hun

1955 · Republic of Korea

Artist biography

Min Byung- Hun is an established artist, who originates from the Republic of Korea, like other prominent artists such as Yoo Hye-Sook, Jiyon Hong, Lee Bae, Kim Dae Soo, and Kwangho Lee. Min Byung- Hun was born in 1955.

About Min Byung- Hun's work

Min Byung- Hun is a prominent figure of Minimalism. Minimalism is among the most significant contemporary art movements, which came to be at the end of the 1950s, and remained extremely significant throughout the 1960s. First appearing in New York City, Minimalism initially grew from a desire to escape from Abstract Expressionism, especially amidst younger, emerging artists. They adopted a polished formal aesthetic, rather geometrical and bare of any expression. The Second World War era saw a sizeable number of European artistic exiles gathering in New York City, and works by members of the German Bauhaus, the Dutch De Stijl artists and Russian Constructivists became particularly popular, strongly influencing the new generation of American minimalist artists. New progressive forms of expressions were established by each of these groups, and profoundly inspired artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin and Robert Morris, amongst others. They were generally able to transform their practices by producing art that would grant the viewer with a solely visual response. The goal was to unveil the formal components that compose a painting or sculpture, stripping away the gestural elements of it.

Further Biographical Context for Min Byung- Hun

Born in 1955, Min Byung- Hun's creative work was primarily influenced by the 1970s. The art sphere of the 1970s was epitomized by a desire to evolve and strengthen itself, as a reaction to the many tensions of the previous decade. One of the most important movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which appeared as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative journey of Process art emerged by combining essential elements of Conceptualism with further reflections on art itself. The initial ideas of environmentalism bounced from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, carving the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly re-emerged and regained its status, especially in Germany through the works of world renowned figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz.

The city of New York remained as the most prominent artistic hub of the decade, with international artists wandering through the downtown scene, frequenting bars and art galleries, consolidating the idea of New York City as a cosmopolitan and refined cultural capital.

Most of the leading artistic figures of the 1960s remained highly influential and popular throughout the 1970s. Andy Warhol, for instance, secured his reputation as a legendary artist, by bifurcating into film and magazine publishing, thus introducing a ground-breaking concept of cross-cultural activity for a visual artist of such popularity

A few noteworthy international movements that sharpened the era include photorealism, which was initially introduced in the 1960s and reached commercial and critical success in the 1970s, as well as feminism which had a strong impact on the visual culture.

Artists such as Jannis Kounnelis, Mario Merz, and Michelangelo Pistoletto attained international success, as they were widely acknowledged as renowned members of the Italian movement Arte Povera, critically acclaimed in the 1970s.

Towards the end of the 1970s, street art, emerging from graffiti, was starting to truly captivate the fine art community. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat helped legitimize spray painting and tagging, proving that their artworks could subsist at the same time in art galleries and on city walls. Following, the international reach of street art would become extremely significant, representing an extraordinary form of artistic expression.

In the eastern part of the globe, Japanese and Korean artists who held a strong interest in the European ideologies of phenomenology, associated with the Mono-Ha movement, exploring and shifting the boundaries between natural and industrial materials. Using stone, glass, cotton, sponge, wood, oil and water, they aimed to give life to artworks that would accentuate the ephemeral state of these various elements and their surroundings, playing with their interdependency.

Min Byung- Hun

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