Lehmann Maupin will dramatically grow its presence in Seoul, with a new gallery set to open in the South Korean capital in the spring of 2022. Its decision to expand there comes galleries based in Europe and the U.S. plot moves to launch spaces in the city as well.
In the past year, galleries like Pace, Gladstone, and Thaddaeus Ropac have revealed plans to expand or open up shop in the city. But Lehmann Maupin has been there longer than most: the gallery opened its Seoul location in 2017.
As the art market in Seoul rapidly expands, Lehmann Maupin has decided to open a larger space, designed by the award-winning firm Society of Architecture. The gallery will relocate from the Sogyeokdong district to the Hannam-dong area, a ritzy neighborhood that is home to both the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art and BTS, the internationally adored K-pop boy band.
The gallery has worked with prominent Korean artists like Do Ho Suh, Lee Bul, and Suh Se Ok. Nevertheless, it is an artist based in the U.S. who will launch the new space. Lari Pittman, a California-based Colombian-American painter, will debut a series of 15 new paintings when the Seoul space opens.
The gallery will continue to be led by Emma Son, who ran the old Seoul location for four years. She worked as a curator in Seoul for 20 years previous to her appointment at Maupin.
“The city is undergoing a period of rapid transformation with an infusion of cultural investment and international interest,” said Son is a statement.
Frieze recently announced plans to launch its first Asian fair in Seoul. Meanwhile, the Korea International Art Fair is rumored to be planning on doubling in size next year. Son appeared to be alluding toward both of these developments when she said, “2022 will surely be Korea’s year on the international stage, and we are ready and excited for this next chapter.”