The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardenannounced on Monday that Korean painter and sculptor Lee Ufan has been commissioned to create a site-specific installation for the museum's 4.3-acre outdoor plaza, including new sculptures from his "Relatum" series. Debuting in the fall of 2019, the installation will be the first time that the Hirshhorn's outdoor plaza will be entirely dedicated to work of a single artist. The installation, which will be accompanied by an exhibition of Lee's minimalist and abstract paintings inside the museum, will be Lee's largest outdoor project in the U.S. and his first exhibition in Washington, D.C.
“We are delighted to present this significant commission by Lee Ufan, one of the pioneering figures of postwar Japanese art,” said Hirshhorn director Melissa Chiu in a press release. “Each Relatum emphasizes the unique ability of art to transcend modern time and thought, and together, in prominent view of the National Mall, they will create a space of reflection and repose for our community.”
Lee, known for his minimalist approach, will be creating sculptures inspired by the museum's architecture. As in his "Relatum" series, these artworks will reflect the relationship between "the viewer, the materials, and the site," according to the press release. "These works are rooted in contemplation and sensation rather than static representation, and in this way, Lee effectively strips away the world around people by appealing to their emotions and encouraging them to surrender to the experience of art," notes the release.
Over the course of the next year, Lee will be traveling to the East Coast to identify local materials, and installation of the artwork will commence in summer of 2019.
Ayda Ayoubi is an assistant editor of products and technology for ARCHITECT. She holds master degrees in urban ecological planning from Norwegian University of Science and Technology and in world heritage studies from Brandenburg University of Technology. In the past, she interned with UN-Habitat's New York liaison office and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property in Rome.