Cho Yong-Ik at Olivier Malingue

78-1108, 1978, by Cho Yong-Ik. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy Olivier Malingue.

This month another contemporary gallery joins the Mayfair throng, proving that London’s art scene shows no sign of slowing down. French dealer and gallerist Olivier Malingue is the latest arrival and presents work by the Korean artist Cho Yong-Ik (b.1934) for his inaugural exhibition. Cho Yong-Ik is of the Dansaekhwa school of artists that rose to prominence in Korea in the wake of the Korean Civil War of 1950-54. A focus on repetitive action, the use of unpretentious materials and a minimal colour palette typified the paintings of the best-known Dansaekhwa artists – Park Seo-bo, Lee Ufan and Ha Chong-hyun; all motifs which are also evident in Cho Yong-Ik’s work. Muted, organic colours highlight the textural qualities of his canvases and emphasise a philosophical, meditative concern with the painted image.

Bamboo patterns ground the artworks in an Eastern vernacular, but the feeling evoked by Cho Yong-Ik’s enticingly tactile surfaces is universal.

Olivier Malingue presents a selection of the artist’s works from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Subtle style and tonal developments are discernible in this chronology, but Cho Yong-Ik’s dedication to enchanting surface texture remains consistent.

The exhibition shows that as well as the London art scene, global recognition of Dansaekhwa art is going from strength to strength.