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Do-Ho Suh’s ‘Houseable’ Pieces Appeal to Collectors Worldwide

Though Korean artist Do-Ho Suh (b. 1962) is best-known for his intricate, large-scale installations, he also creates works that dealers refer to as “houseable”—smaller pieces that are often more affordable.

NEW YORK—Though Korean artist Do-Ho Suh (b. 1962) is best-known for his intricate, large-scale installations, he also creates works that dealers refer to as “houseable”—smaller pieces that are often more affordable.

Works on paper (drawings and watercolors) start at $3,000 and may reach $60,000. Sculptures also vary, from $15,000/500,000, depending upon size, says Stephanie Smith, a spokeswoman for Lehmann Maupin gallery, which represents the artist exclusively.

At recent shows in the gallery’s two Manhattan sites—one from Nov. 3-Dec. 22 in Chelsea, the other presently running from Nov. 29-Feb. 2008 on the lower East Side—a range of large and small works have sold out, Smith reports.

Suh’s work reflects the disorientation that the artist has described feeling when he first came to the United States in the 1980s to attend the Rhode Island School of Design as a painting major (he later earned an M.F.A. in sculpture from Yale University).

Suh lives and works both in New York City and Seoul. His architectural installations often depict his living environs, what he has seen and what he remembers, using a variety of materials—glass, nylon, resin, silk and wood, in particular.

Most Buyers Are American

Smith says Suh’s collectors are worldwide, though most of the buyers are from the U.S. Among museums that have purchased his works: the Artsonje Center, Seoul, South Korea; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Brooklyn Museum, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

Lehmann Maupin has not handled any works by the artist on the secondary market; and, to date, only a handful have appeared at auction.

Last November at Christie’s, the artist’s Some/One, an installation of military dog tags, stainless steel and fiberglass, which was featured in 2001 at both the Philip Morris branch of the Whitney Museum and in the South Korean pavilion at the 49th Venice Biennale, fetched $541,000, bettering the auctioneer’s estimate of $180,000/220,000.

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