MMCA unveils more of Lee Kun-hee’s donated pieces in latest exhibition
Paris, around the late 19th and early 20th century, established a reputation as a global art hub. This period was called Belle Époque.
Meaning “a beautiful time” in French, it refers to when France had achieved political and economic stability, as well as an abundance in the arts and sciences.
The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) opened an exhibition on artworks from the collection of the late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s donated artworks from this time at its Gwacheon branch.
“MMCA Lee Kun-hee Collection: Money, Picasso, and the Masters of the Belle Epoque” presents 97 pieces by 20th-century art masters: Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Paul Gaugin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso.
However, the pieces on display are strikingly centered on Picasso with 90 ceramics. The remaining works are a painting from each artist.
Despite the striking difference in the number of works between Picasso and the other artists on display, the museum aimed to explore the correlations between each artist and Picasso, according to the exhibit’s curator Jeon Yu-shin.
For instance, Miró’s oil painting “Painting” (1953), which depicts an abstract nightscape of people, birds and stars, is placed adjacent to Picasso’s ceramic pieces of birds and human faces to show how the two artists illustrated similar motifs in their works.
The exhibition also attempts to provide an opportunity to explore Picasso’s extensive collection of ceramic works, aside from the oil paintings that he is better known for, Jeon added.
In April 2021, Chairman Lee donated 1,488 artworks to the MMCA and so far, only around 250 have been revealed to the public.
“We’re still in the process of studying the donated artworks, and we believe it’s too early to announce the titles because there might be corrections needed before the research is finalized,” said public relations officer Yoon Seung-yeon.
“We’re doing our best to reveal them as soon as possible.”
“MMCA Lee Kun-hee Collection: Money, Picasso, and the Masters of the Belle Epoque” continues until Feb. 26 next year. The MMCA Gwacheon branch is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed Mondays. Admission is free but reservations are required.
BY SHIN MIN-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]