The Korea Herald


Master of abstract painting dies at 66

By Korea Herald

Published : Feb. 24, 2013 - 19:36

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Lee Doo-shik, the country’s most respected abstract painter and a professor at Hongik University, passed away Saturday morning of a heart attack. He was 66.

Lee, who was to retire from his teaching post at the end of February, was last seen in public on Friday when he attended an exhibition dedicated to him at the Hongki Museum of Art. He told the press, “I hate to leave the professorship but at the same time I am excited to try new things from scratch. I think the fact that collectors liked my pieces has made me a little too comfortable. Just wait and see: I will come up with totally different paintings.”
Lee Doo-shik Lee Doo-shik

Born in 1947, Lee graduated from Hongik University and its graduate school. He received an honorary doctorate from the Kyoto University of Art and Design.

Lee debuted in the late 1960s. Making use of five colors ― yellow, blue, white, red and black ― in depicting Chinese characters and the faces of women, fish and many other subjects, Lee was the darling of the abstract painting field in Asia.

He is believed to have produced more than 4,500 paintings, and held more than 70 exhibitions. He served as the executive director of the Busan Biennale Organizing Committee since 2007.

Lee is survived by his children, Ha-rin and Ha-yun.

By Bae Ji-sook (