Lee Ufan Unveiled a New Museum in the South of France

A 16-century mansion reconverted to highlight his legendary imprint, along with serving as an exhibition space for emerging artists.

Art
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Arles is a Southern French city that is home to a gamut of artistic treasures. From a well-preserved Roman coliseum to medieval street corners that inspired the dynamic compositions of Vincent Van Gogh. The historic city is home to a new museum specially opened by the South Korean artist, sculptor and philosopher, Lee Ufan.

Globally recognized for his minimalist paintings and sculptures that contemplate the relationship between artwork, viewer and space, the new institution is an extension of the New York-based Lee Ufan Foundation. With a studio in Paris’ Montmartre district, the additional outpost in the South of France felt like a natural fit for an artist who has exhibited around the country for years.

Housed at Hôtel Vernon, a 16th-century private mansion that was once the home of the Dervieux family, Ufan has reworked with award-winning architect Tadao Ando, who in 2010 designed the Lee Ufan museum on the Japanese island of Naoshima. The Arles space has been repurposed to accentuate Ufan’s minimalist practice, such as Chemin vers Arles (Road to Arles), a new work that features a long curved mirror juxtaposed against two boulders and a rigid gravel floor. The installation was inspired by Ufan’s “morning walks gazing at the sky along the quays of the Rhone.”

The multi-floor space includes a lower level that is only available via appointment. There you’ll find two works from Ufan’s emblematic “Dialogues” series, which depicts a gradient that is made up of oil and crushed stone pigments. For a room that can almost be equated to a cellar, the artwork interestingly alludes to the gradient formations found across the skies above.

More than just a museum dedicated solely to his own oeuvre, the second floor of the Lee Ufan Arles will serve as a cultural and exhibition space for a range of artistic disciplines. Please visit the institution’s website to inquire into tickets and more information.

In case you missed it, Ugo Rondinone meditates on space and time at Kukje Gallery.

Lee Ufan Arles
5 Rue de Vernon,
13200 Arles, France

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