JR to open first solo show in South Korea

JR at the Louvre, La Pyramide, 2016, 2 color photographs. 100 × 100 cm | 39 3/8 × 39 3/8 in. Photo: Claire Dorn. Courtesy the Artist and Perrotin. ©Claire Dorn, © JR-art.net
JR at the Louvre, La Pyramide, 2016, 2 color photographs. 100 × 100 cm | 39 3/8 × 39 3/8 in. Photo: Claire Dorn. Courtesy the Artist and Perrotin. ©Claire Dorn, © JR-art.net

Perrotin Seoul is to present JR’s first solo exhibition in South Korea. An autodidact, JR’s reputation has grown over the past fifteen years thanks to his monumental photographic collages which have filled urban and natural landscapes around the world. Through his work, the artist has turned the spotlight on places which we customarily ignore, paying attention to everyday people, those who live in the shadows, the ones we never hear or notice.

The exhibition presented in Seoul brings together eleven works that bear witness to the artist’s latest site-specific work. A large number of the works on display – photographic prints that permanently record these ephemeral installations or works in progress, lift a veil on the artist’s creative process – recall the installation presented by JR at the Louvre Museum in Paris in May 2016. In response to an invitation by the Louvre, whose doors have been open from the very beginning to contemporary artists, JR had the ambitious idea of making the famous glass pyramid temporarily disappear. Designed in 1988 as the museum’s main entrance by the renown architect I. M. Pei, the glass pyramid was a controversial work when it was first erected but today, 30 years later, it has become a key symbol of the museum and one of the most famous landmarks of the Parisian architectural cityscape.

The pyramid was covered on its main side with large tarps that reproduced a trompe l’oeil image in black and white of the façade of the Clock Pavilion, designed by architect Jacques Lemercier, the immediate structure visible behind the pyramid. Standing at a precise spot aligned with the entrance, visitors could witness the entire pyramid disappear, its silhouette being the only memory preserved. Through
this surprising anamorphosis that played on the apparently irreconcilable contradiction between erasure and revelation, JR made it possible to see the Palais du Louvre as it once was, all the while he invited
visitors to cast a new gaze on the pyramid.

The installation at the Louvre led the artist to develop a thought-provoking observation on the heritage and the architectural history of a site, whereas most of his work places men and women at the heart
of his concerns in order to give them back a voice that has often been taken away from them (Portrait of a Generation, 2004–06; Women Are Heroes, 2008–14; The Wrinkles of the Cities since 2008; Inside Out
Project since 2011).

JR UNVEILING January 17th – March 9th perrotin.com

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018