The estate of Korea born artist Nam June Paik is the latest addition to the Gagosian empire.
Paik (1932–2006) was widely acknowledged as the founder of video art, bringing television into the realm of art for the first time and presenting it as a tactile and multisensory medium. Trained as a classical pianist, his early interests in composition and performance combined with his radical aesthetic tendencies brought him into contact with protagonists of the counter-culture and avant-garde movements of the 1960s, including Fluxus. Such engagement strongly shaped his ideas for art at a time when the electronic image and media-based technologies were also becoming increasingly present in everyday life. Paik embraced new technologies as a material part of his repertoire, which later included satellite transmissions, robots and lasers. His installations, performances and writings contributed to the creation of a media-based culture that expanded the very definition and aesthetic possibilities of making art.
Throughout his lifetime, Paik’s work was the subject of numerous institutional exhibitions including Museum of Modern Art, New York (1977); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1982); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1982); Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (1984); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1989); Kunsthalle Basel (1991); and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2000). The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. presented the career-spanning exhibition “Nam Jun Paik: Global Visionary” in 2013. In 2014, Asia Society New York presented “Nam June Paik: Becoming Robot,” the first major survey of the artist’s work in the city in over a decade.
“Nam June Paik: The Late Style” will open at Gagosian Hong Kong on September 17, 2015. Video sculptures, paintings, and drawings produced during the last decade of Paik’s life, many of which have never been exhibited, will be presented together with key works from the 1960s through the 1980s.
image: NAM JUNE PAIK with Buddha TV (1974) at Projects: Nam June Paik, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1977. © Eric Kroll.