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Books on post 1900 visual arts

Work in progress

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Korean Art from 1953: Collision, Innovation, Interaction
Ed Chung Yeon Shim, Sunjung Kim, Keith B. Wagner, Kimberly Chung
Phaidon, 2020

Publisher description: Starting with the armistice that divided the Korean Peninsula in 1953, this one-of-a-kind book spotlights the artistic movements and collectives that have flourished and evolved throughout Korean culture over the past seven decades – from the 1950s avant-garde through to the feminist scene in the 1970s, the birth of the Gwangju Biennale in […] (Link to online store)

Dynamics of Expansion and Reduction – Selected Writings on Korean Contemporary Art
Lee Yil tr Bada Song, Chung Yeon-shim, Park Eun-ah, Park Sung-ji, Paul O'Kane
Presses du Réel, 2018

Publisher description: This book, the first major publication in English devoted to the Korean critic and art historian Lee Yil, is a collection of texts on aesthetics, theory and history of art by the main observer of “Dansaekhwa”, or Korean monochrome. It also brings together essays and monographic prefaces that gave wide coverage to artists […] (Link to online store) LKL Review

Korean Art from the 19th Century to the Present
Charlotte Horlyck
Reaktion Books, 2017

Publisher description: Korean artists are a permanent fixture on today’s international art scene, as interest in modern and contemporary art from South as well as North Korea has grown in strength. Museums and individual collectors eager to tap into this rising market are acquiring many more Korean artworks. But how are we to understand Korean […] (Link to online store)

Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method
Joan Kee
University of Minnesota Press, 2013

From the publisher’s website: Starting in the mid-1960s, a group of Korean artists began to push paint, soak canvas, drag pencils, rip paper, and otherwise manipulate the materials of painting in ways that prompted critics to describe their actions as “methods” rather than artworks. A crucial artistic movement of twentieth-century Korea, Tansaekhwa (monochromatic painting) also […] (Link to online store)

Exploring North Korean Arts
Ed Rüdiger Frank
Verlag für moderne Kunst, 2011

Publisher description: This book is a cooperation between the MAK and the University of Vienna and contains a number of in-depth essays by international writers on a wide spectrum of issues, and with much detailed background information. The relationship between art and ideology is examined, how modern and traditional values are dealt with, as well as […] (Link to online store)

Modern Korean Ink Painting
Chung Hyung-min
Hollym, 2006

Publisher description: Modern Korean Ink Painting promotes a general understanding of how Korean art and the times it represented were related. The book starts with the dawn of the modern age in Korean art (1876-1910), which looks at the legacy of court painting and the last of the literati painters. Next the book moves on […] (Link to online store) LKL Review

20th Century Korean Art
Kim Youngna tr Diana Elizabeth Hinds, Doryun Chong, Susanna O
Laurence King, 2006

Publisher description: In recent years the increase in interest in Asian art has led to a number of books being published about Japanese and Chinese artists. However, the exciting Korean scene is still largely undocumented. Now Kim Youngna reveals Korean modern and contemporary artists to the West. Twentieth-Century Korean Art provides a comprehensive, engaging survey […] (Link to online store) LKL Review

Art Under Control in North Korea
Jane Portal
Reaktion Books, 2005

Publisher description: Nuclear bombs and geopolitical controversy are often the first things associated with the isolated Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea and its volatile leader Kim Jong-il. Yet behind the secretive curtain also lies a little known and slowly expanding world of art. This is the first book to be published in the West which […] (Link to online store)

Remembering the Forgotten War: The Korean War Through Literature and Art
Ed Philip West and Suh Ji-moon
M.E. Sharpe, 2000

From the publisher’s website: In contrast to the many books that use military, diplomatic, and historic language in analyzing the Korean War, this book takes a cultural approach that emphasizes the human dimension of the war, an approach that especially features Korean voices. There are chapters on Korean art on the war, translations into English […] (Link to online store) LKL Review

Korea: Art and Archaeology
Jane Portal
British Museum, 2000

This illustrated book, the first authoritative general introduction to the distinctive culture of this country to be published in English, traces its development chronologically from the Neolithic period (c. 6000 BC) right up to the present day. Korea, published in association with the opening of a major new permanent Korean Gallery in the British Museum, […] (Link to online store)