Cover A rendering of the interior of Lehmann Maupin's upcoming Seoul space. (Image: Courtesy of Society of Architecture and Lehmann Maupin)

The gallery is the latest to strengthen its presence in the South Korean capital

The Korean wave keeps rolling. 

Lehmann Maupin is moving its Seoul gallery to a 2,600 sq ft space in the Hannam-dong neighbourhood, close to the Leeum Museum of Art. The new space will open early next year with a solo show by American artist Lari Pittman. 

The gallery—which has spaces in New York and London, and has had a Seoul outpost since 2017—is the latest to double down on the South Korean capital, where the art market is booming. At the latest Korean International Art Fair, which took place in October, a total of ₩65 billion (US$55 million) worth of art was sold over five days. 

This year alone, Pace has moved to a larger space, Berlin-based Konig Galerie opened a new outpost in the city and Thaddaeus Ropac opened its first Asian gallery, also in the Hannam-dong district. 

Frieze, the media and events company that operates art fairs in London, Los Angeles and New York, is launching its first Asian fair in Seoul in September 2022. 

“Our connection with Korea runs deep," says Rachel Lehmann, co-founder of Lehmann Maupin. "We have the special privilege of working with such historically important Korean artists as Do Ho Suh, Lee Bul, and Suh Se Ok—relationships that date back to as early as 2000 and which have been crucial in defining the gallery’s DNA. We’re tremendously proud of the close community we’ve built of collectors, curators, artists, writers and, importantly, the Korean public, who have shown their support for our programme of boundary-pushing artists."

See also: South Korean Artist Lee Bul On Her Homecoming Exhibition At The Seoul Museum Of Art 

Emma Son, senior director of Lehmann Maupin, who has led the gallery in Korea for four years, added: “With this move, we are more than doubling our footprint and reaffirming our commitment to Seoul and the local community we are part of. The city is undergoing a period of rapid transformation with an infusion of cultural investment and international interest—2022 will surely be Korea’s year on the international stage, and we are ready and excited for this next chapter." 

Lehmann Maupin opened its first gallery in Asia in Hong Kong in 2013. That closed in late 2020, but earlier this year Lehmann told Tatler that with her co-founder, David Maupin, she is actively looking for a new space in the city. “The minute I can hop on a plane, or David Maupin can get on a plane, we will close on a space in Hong Kong,” said Lehmann. “Hong Kong is a very special place. We can’t wait to be back there—hopefully sooner rather than later.” This year the gallery also hosted pop-up spaces in Taipei and Beijing. 

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