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Abstract Artist in New York City

Su Kwak

Biography of Su Kwak

Born in Busan, Korea, Su Kwak grew up near the seashore and the mountains of her native country. She moved to the United States in 1973 where she attended college at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and later completed her MFA with honors at the University of Chicago. She is represented by June Kelly Gallery in New York City. Kwak is known for imbuing her paintings with a message of healing and hope. The painting surface is created with an inventive use of collage and paint to capture phenomena of light.

Lilly Wei, the New York-based art critic for ARTnews writes that “light has been the subject of Korean-born Su Kwak’s paintings from the beginning of her more than three decades of artistic endeavor, both as a natural phenomenon and as a metaphor for the spiritual and ineffable...In many ways, her works function as a meditation and a prayer, a talisman and an offering, a deeply felt search for meaning and spiritual redemption through art...Her recent body of work has affiliations to works such as Blake’s heavenly visions, Turner’s roiled seascapes and Constable’s cloud studies (the latter two verging on pure abstraction), and more recently to Dorothea Rockburne’s vividly colored, cosmological images.”

Kwak’s paintings are in the permanent collections of leading museums in Korea and America, including the National Modern and Contemporary Art Museum of Korea, the Seoul Museum of Art, the Busan Museum of Art, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon and the Brauer Museum of Art in Indiana. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Korea, including a recent traveling retrospective exhibition at the Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. Kwak’s exhibitions for 2019 were at the Brauer Museum of Art (August 20 to December 8, 2019) as well as HK Art and Antiques Gallery (September 6 - 16, 2019) and June Kelly Gallery (September 6 to October 8, 2019) in New York City.