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Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik, Magnet TV, 1965 Television (black and white, silent) with magnet, 28 ⅜ × 19 ¼ × 24 ½ inches (72 × 48.9 × 62.2 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Magnet TV, 1965

Television (black and white, silent) with magnet, 28 ⅜ × 19 ¼ × 24 ½ inches (72 × 48.9 × 62.2 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, TV Chair, 1968 Closed-circuit video (black and white) with television and chair with Plexiglas seat, 33 × 17 × 15 inches (83.2 × 43.2 × 38.1 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, TV Chair, 1968

Closed-circuit video (black and white) with television and chair with Plexiglas seat, 33 × 17 × 15 inches (83.2 × 43.2 × 38.1 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Opus Paintings, 1975 Oil on canvas, in 32 parts, each: 10 × 8 inches (25.4 × 20.3 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Opus Paintings, 1975

Oil on canvas, in 32 parts, each: 10 × 8 inches (25.4 × 20.3 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, The More the Better, 1988 Three-channel video (color, sound) with 1,003 monitors and steel structure, approximately 60 feet (18.3 m) tall, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, The More the Better, 1988

Three-channel video (color, sound) with 1,003 monitors and steel structure, approximately 60 feet (18.3 m) tall, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Untitled [Newspaper Drawing], c. 1990 Oil stick on printed newsprint, 22 ⅝ × 15 ⅛ inches (57.5 × 38.4 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Untitled [Newspaper Drawing], c. 1990

Oil stick on printed newsprint, 22 ⅝ × 15 ⅛ inches (57.5 × 38.4 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, 359 Canal Street, 1991 Desk with wood blocks from George Maciunas demolition, acrylic, television chassis, newspaper clippings, piano key, and letters (authors include Yoko Ono, Ray Johnson, and Wolf Vostell), dimensions variable© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, 359 Canal Street, 1991

Desk with wood blocks from George Maciunas demolition, acrylic, television chassis, newspaper clippings, piano key, and letters (authors include Yoko Ono, Ray Johnson, and Wolf Vostell), dimensions variable
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Untitled (RCA Victor), 1996 Single-channel video with 22-inch monitor, 43 ½ × 37 ½ × 35 inches (110.5 × 95.3 × 88.9 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate. Photo: Rob McKeever

Nam June Paik, Untitled (RCA Victor), 1996

Single-channel video with 22-inch monitor, 43 ½ × 37 ½ × 35 inches (110.5 × 95.3 × 88.9 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate. Photo: Rob McKeever

Nam June Paik, Untitled [Console RCA Victor Deluxe], 1996 Single-channel video (color, silent) in a vintage television cabinet with acrylic and toy robot, dimensions variable© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Untitled [Console RCA Victor Deluxe], 1996

Single-channel video (color, silent) in a vintage television cabinet with acrylic and toy robot, dimensions variable
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Untitled, 1998 Acrylic on canvas, 46 × 67 inches (116.8 × 170.2 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate. Photo: Ben Blackwell

Nam June Paik, Untitled, 1998

Acrylic on canvas, 46 × 67 inches (116.8 × 170.2 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate. Photo: Ben Blackwell

Nam June Paik, Untitled, 1999 Pastel on paper, 22 ⅜ × 30 inches (56.8 × 76.2 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Untitled, 1999

Pastel on paper, 22 ⅜ × 30 inches (56.8 × 76.2 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Bakelite Robot, 2002 Single-channel video (color, silent) with LCD monitors and vintage Bakelite radios, 48 × 50 × 7 ¾ inches (121.9 × 127 × 19.7 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Bakelite Robot, 2002

Single-channel video (color, silent) with LCD monitors and vintage Bakelite radios, 48 × 50 × 7 ¾ inches (121.9 × 127 × 19.7 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, TV Cello, 2003 Single-channel video with 20-inch LCD monitor, 15-inch LCD monitor, and 13-inch CRT monitor, 64 ½ × 21 ½ × 23 inches (163.8 × 54.6 × 58.4 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate. Photo: Rob McKeever

Nam June Paik, TV Cello, 2003

Single-channel video with 20-inch LCD monitor, 15-inch LCD monitor, and 13-inch CRT monitor, 64 ½ × 21 ½ × 23 inches (163.8 × 54.6 × 58.4 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate. Photo: Rob McKeever

Nam June Paik, Golden Buddha, 2005 Closed-circuit video (color) with television and bronze Buddha with permanent oil marker additions, overall: 46 ½ × 31 ¾ × 106 inches (118.1 × 80.6 × 296.2 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Golden Buddha, 2005

Closed-circuit video (color) with television and bronze Buddha with permanent oil marker additions, overall: 46 ½ × 31 ¾ × 106 inches (118.1 × 80.6 × 296.2 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Third Eye Television, 2005 Single-channel video (color, sound) in a vintage television with permanent oil marker and acrylic, 17 ½ × 20 ¾ × 18 ¾ inches (44.5 × 52.7 × 47.6 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Third Eye Television, 2005

Single-channel video (color, sound) in a vintage television with permanent oil marker and acrylic, 17 ½ × 20 ¾ × 18 ¾ inches (44.5 × 52.7 × 47.6 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Lion, 2005 Three-channel video (color, silent) with 2 plasma monitors and 26 CRT monitors and wood lion with acrylic and permanent oil marker additions, 133 × 109 × 65 inches (337.8 × 276.9 × 165.1 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Lion, 2005

Three-channel video (color, silent) with 2 plasma monitors and 26 CRT monitors and wood lion with acrylic and permanent oil marker additions, 133 × 109 × 65 inches (337.8 × 276.9 × 165.1 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Untitled [Cage Composite], 2005 Two-channel video (color, silent) in vintage televisions with electric lights and permanent oil marker, 45 ½ × 21 × 23 ½ inches (115.6 × 53.3 × 59.7 cm)© Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Untitled [Cage Composite], 2005

Two-channel video (color, silent) in vintage televisions with electric lights and permanent oil marker, 45 ½ × 21 × 23 ½ inches (115.6 × 53.3 × 59.7 cm)
© Nam June Paik Estate

About

Skin has become inadequate in interfacing with reality. Technology has become the body’s new membrane of existence.
—Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik (1932–2006) brought the television to fine art, treating it as a tactile and multisensory medium and object. Trained as a classical pianist, he came into contact with protagonists of the counterculture and avant-garde movements of the 1960s through his early interests in composition and performance, and this engagement profoundly shaped his outlook at a time when electronic images were becoming increasingly present in everyday life. His groundbreaking work is considered seminal to the development of video art.

Born in Seoul, Paik fled with his family in 1950 to escape the Korean War, traveling first to Hong Kong and then to Japan. After graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1956, he moved to West Germany to continue his studies. There he met the composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage, as well as the conceptual artists George Maciunas and Joseph Beuys, all of whom deeply affected his thoughts on performance. He joined the Fluxus group in 1962 and moved from the manual manipulation of audiotapes to experimenting with television sets and their screens. Two years later, by this time living in New York, Paik met the cellist Charlotte Moorman, a central figure of the city’s avant-garde, and the two began a collaboration that would last until her death in 1991. Paik created many of his most well-known works for Moorman, including TV Bra for Living Sculpture (1969) and TV-Cello (1971).

Prior to moving to the United States, Paik had met the engineer Shuya Abe, who would also become a longtime collaborator as well as his assistant. Abe helped Paik make his first robot, Robot K-456, in 1964. Composed of metal fragments, fabric, a data recorder, and a loudspeaker that plays recordings of speeches by John F. Kennedy, Robot K-456 captures Paik’s interest in merging popular media and technology with human traits; possessing abstracted breasts and penis, it moves on wheels and is programmed to periodically defecate beans. Paik showed this remote-controlled robot in several exhibitions and performances in New York throughout the 1960s. In 1982, during his first major museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, he took Robot K-456 out into the street to orchestrate an “accident”: the robot walked down Madison Avenue and was hit by a car as it attempted to cross 75th Street. For Paik, this spectacle represented a “catastrophe of technology in the twentieth century.”

Alongside his robotic works, Paik maintained a dynamic drawing practice, both in works on paper and in multimedia sculptures and installations. His modified television sets, in particular, combine the moving image with the free, expressive gesture of abstraction; using brightly colored markers, paints, and other materials, Paik would add expressive layers to the screens. Lion (2005), a monumental assemblage comprising twenty-eight television screens and a hand-painted guardian lion sculpture framed within a wooden arch, displays fast-paced montages of flowers, animals, and fish, as well as footage of lions and Merce Cunningham dancing. Lion is emblematic of Paik’s late style, in which he often reflected upon the many artists and performers who influenced his oeuvre.

Nam June Paik

Photo: Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo/Alamy Stock Photo

Website

paikstudios.com

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Nam June Paik, Nixon, 1965–2002 © Nam June Paik Estate

Panel Discussion

Cécile B. Evans, Haroon Mirza, and Stephen Vitiello on Nam June Paik

Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 6:30–8pm
Tate Modern, London
www.tate.org.uk

In conjunction with the exhibition Nam June Paik at Tate Modern, London, there will be a panel discussion to reflect on Paik’s continuing influence on art and culture today. Artists Cécile B. Evans, Haroon Mirza, and Stephen Vitiello will lead the discussion, and Sook-Kyung Lee, senior curator of international art at Tate, will moderate.

Nam June Paik, Nixon, 1965–2002 © Nam June Paik Estate

Helen Frankenthaler, Eight in a Square, 1961 © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Art Fair

ART021 Shanghai 2019

November 9–10, 2019, booth C02
Shanghai Exhibition Center
www.art021.org

Gagosian is pleased to participate in ART021 Shanghai 2019, presenting works by Urs Fischer, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Katharina Grosse, Simon Hantaï, Damien Hirst, Thomas Houseago, Robert Indiana, Jia Aili, Jeff Koons, Grant Levy-Lucero, Takashi Murakami, Nam June Paik, Ed Ruscha, Taryn Simon, Pierre Soulages, Rudolf Stingel, Sarah Sze, Mary Weatherford, and Tom Wesselmann, among others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com.

Download the full press release in English (pdf), Simplified Chinese (pdf), or Traditional Chinese (pdf)

Helen Frankenthaler, Eight in a Square, 1961 © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Joe Bradley, Daylight, 2019 © Joe Bradley

Art Fair

West Bund Art & Design 2019

November 8–10, 2019, booth A121
West Bund Art Center, Shanghai
westbundshanghai.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in West Bund Art & Design 2019, presenting works by Georg BaselitzJoe BradleyUrs FischerHelen FrankenthalerMark GrotjahnDamien HirstThomas Houseago, Robert Indiana, Jeff KoonsJoan MitchellNam June PaikRichard PrinceSterling RubyEd RuschaMark TanseyMary WeatherfordTom Wesselmann, and Jonas Wood, among others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com.

Download the full press release in English (pdf)Simplified Chinese (pdf), or Traditional Chinese (pdf)

Joe Bradley, Daylight, 2019 © Joe Bradley

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Museum Exhibitions

Nam June Paik, TV Garden, 1974–77 © Estate of Nam June Paik

On View

Nam June Paik

Through February 9, 2020
Tate Modern, London
www.tate.org.uk

This major exhibition brings together more than two hundred works from throughout Nam June Paik’s five-decade career—from robots made from old TV screens, to his innovative video works, and all-encompassing room-size installations. The exhibition looks at his close collaborations with Joseph Beuys, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Charlotte Moorman, and others.

Nam June Paik, TV Garden, 1974–77 © Estate of Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik, TV Cello, 1971 © Nam June Paik Estate

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The Body Electric

March 30–July 21, 2019
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
walkerart.org

In an age dominated by digital technology, The Body Electric explores themes of the real and the virtual, the organic and the artificial, moving from world to screen and back again. This exhibition presents work by an international and intergenerational group of artists who examine ways that photographic, televisual, and digital media change our perceptions of the human body and everyday life. Work by Bruce Nauman and Nam June Paik is included.

Nam June Paik, TV Cello, 1971 © Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, Fin de Siecle II, 1989, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York © Nam June Paik Estate

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Nam June Paik in
Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018

September 28, 2018–April 14, 2019
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
whitney.org

This exhibition aims to establish connections between works of art based on instructions, spanning more than fifty years of conceptual, video, and computational art. The pieces in the show are all “programmed” using instructions, sets of rules, and code, but they also address the use of programming in their creation. Work by Nam June Paik is included.

Nam June Paik, Fin de Siecle II, 1989, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York © Nam June Paik Estate

Nam June Paik, TV Clock, 1963/89 © Nam June Paik Estate

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Nam June Paik
TV Clock

May 20–October 14, 2018
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California
www.sbma.net

Nam June Paik’s TV Clock (1963/89) is on view for the first time in nearly a decade. The work consists of twenty-four color televisions mounted upright on pedestals that are arranged in a gentle arc and displayed in a darkened space. Paik created each electronic image by manipulating the television to compress its red, green, and blue colors into a single line against a black background.

Nam June Paik, TV Clock, 1963/89 © Nam June Paik Estate

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