Lee Ungno (1904-1989) was one of the most important Asian painters of the twentieth century, at the crossroads of Far East and Europe, of past and present.In the 1950s, he abandoned traditional art for modern, abstract forms, thus playing a pioneering role in the foundation of contemporary Korean art.
Later figuring as a member of the Parisian avant-garde alongside Hartung, Soulages and Zao Wou-Ki, he was also a teacher of ink painting who inspired an entire generation of artists.
His exploration of the relationship between calligraphy and abstraction in the seventies gave rise to the emblematic theme of his work: Crowds. They constituted the symbol of budding democracy in South Korea.
Since 1971, the Cernuschi Museum has been home to the oriental painting academy founded by Lee Ungno, and the museum collections contain over a hundred of his works made between 1954 and 1989. A selection of these works in the exhibition will allow visitors to discover a prolific opus with communicative energy.