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Rethinking the Debates of Korean Avant-garde Art in the 1950s and 1960s

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2022, 65(), pp.124-148
  • DOI : 10.17527/JASA.65.0.06
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : December 15, 2021
  • Accepted : January 26, 2022
  • Published : February 28, 2022

Yisoon Kim 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines Korean avant-garde art of the 1950s and 1960s. The avant-garde art of the 1950s can be summarized as referring to the “new art” of the time that contains resistance towards the authority of the Korean establishment. A tendency that was demonstrated through events such as the Anti-National Art Exhibition and the Art Informel movements. In this regard, it is suggested to reconsider the starting point of Korean contemporary art. It is often referred to as 1957, when the Art Informel movement was created by the postwar generation. However, the Anti-National Art Exhibition movement was not exclusive to the postwar generation, and Art Informel first appeared in 1958, not 1957. Meanwhile, avant-garde art in the 1960s presented different genres such as Pop art, Nouveau Réalisme, and Happening, and attempted to participate in industrialization and the new urban society in addition to rejecting abstract art. Art critics such as Lee Yil and Oh Kwangsoo played an important role in the emergence of these new genres. Nevertheless, the reason why the 1960s art genres could not present themselves as avant-garde art after the establishment of the Art Informel movement was not because of the intervention of government politics. It was rather because of the advent of an era in the early 1970s when Korean society advocated for nationalism and demanded the expression of “Koreanness” within art. In other words, “Western-following art” had no place to stand.

Citation status

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