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Goryeo Green Glaze #1

Byron Kim American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 233

In the West, Goryeo (918–1392) celadon is synonymous with exceptional Korean art. Its most alluring feature is arguably its inconsistent, indescribable color. Is it gray-green? Green-blue? Green-bluish-gray? Recognizing that it is a fool’s errand to seek any one description, the Korean American artist Byron Kim created these paintings, part of a larger series, to explore celadon’s most sublime and transcendent characteristic. Kim equates a potter’s ornamentation and glazing process to that of a painter, stating “the belief in the beauty of Koryŏ [sic] green glaze reminded me of the value placed on abstract painting in Western culture.” His emphasis on color challenges convention without completely abandoning taxonomic structures. Employing seriality, the series opposes the oversimplification of objects and cultures, while also addressing artistic hierarchies and the sociocultural contexts that determine value.

Goryeo Green Glaze #1, Byron Kim (American, born 1961), Oil on linen, Korea

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