Kyung Youl Yoon (b. 1947 in Gangjin, Jeollanam-do, South Korea) is a Korean American artist, currently dedicating his practice to the ‘Cubic Inception’ series of sculptural paintings.
Yoon moved to Madrid, Spain, in the 1980s, where he continued his studies and widely exhibited his artworks. He studied painting, sculpture, and printmaking at the National University of Madrid (University of Bellas Artes) in Spain, and later moved to the United States in 1995.
The artist’s works were exhibited in “End of Career” and “Monasterio de Carracedo” at the University of Bellas Artes. In 1994, he was invited to have solo exhibition at Detursa Galeria de Arte, in Madrid, Spain. Yoon was also invited by the City of Valdés to the Arte O Barco de Valdeorras for an exhibition, and Yoon was also sponsored by Exmo for an exhibition in Spain. Additionally, Yoon’s artworks were selected by ABC and El Pais Newspaper’s “Este y Complutense,” at various cultural centers like The Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art (M.E.A.C., Arte Contemporaneo) and Alcobendas for two years.
Yoon held numerous exhibitions in the United States, Korea, China, and Spain since the 1980s, including the Shanghai Li Haisu Museum, Public Naeseorak Art Museum Korea, Seoul Arts Center, Queens Museum, and the Art Gallery at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve. In 2015, Yoon, held a solo exhibition titled “Journey” at the United Gallery in Korea. Yoon was also represented by the Donghwa Ode Gallery since 2016, through which he participated in the Art New York, Art Miami, Art Aspen, Art Palm Springs Art Fairs, Art on Paper, and Hamptons Art Fair. Yoon also had a solo exhibition at the Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery in 2017. Yoon was also invited to exhibit his works at Encounter Korea at the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) and the Project of First Encounter at the Korean Culture Center in Los Angeles, California. Furthermore, he participated in the the Passion Connected 100 x 100 - Pyeong Chang Olympic 2018 Event, the Asia Week Special Exhibition, A Wave of Peace from the World Korean Cultural Center in New York, and other venues.
Yoon was invited to exhibit Galerie Bhak in Seoul, South Korea, in 2021, where he was interviewed regarding the Cubic Inception Series. Yoon subsequently participated in KIAF 2023 through Galerie Bhak. The ideas and the vision behind the Cubic Inception Series were also made more widely accessible to the public with the 2022 interview with Peter Frank hosted by the AHL Foundation, which then published "The Archive of Korean Artists in America" in 2023.
Recently, Yoon held solo exhibitions at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve and the New York Hall of Science, in 2023, combining his previous lyrical abstraction/abstract expressionism paintings with the Cubic Inception Series. And in 2024, Yoon was selected to have a solo show at the G & J Gallery of the Jeonnam Museum of Art, in Seoul, Korea, titled, "The Echoes of Materiality, Towards Infinity." The exhibition will feature the first of the Bamboo and Hanji series, which is a nature-inspired deviation of the Cubic Inception Series.
About the Cubic Inception Series:
The Cubic Inception Series began as a response both to global climate change and to the alienation of contemporary urban life. Moving away from his traditional abstract paintings, Yoon embarked on a journey of experimentation and discovery by adjoining sculptural elements to his paintings. As he has written, Yoon hoped that the resulting works would "break the indifference of onlookers and... create an exchange where the viewer begins to reflect on a new thought or idea that eliminates obscurity in the forms and creates personal meaning."
In the Cubic Inception Series, the individual pieces become a large matrix of cubes forming a collection of ideas. Each cubic piece takes the place of a brushstroke. Each edge takes the place of a line. The resulting masses of shapes suggest aerial views of industrial landscapes, articulated topographies of beautiful but implicitly hostile environments. Los Angeles-based critic and curator, Peter Frank, notes that the Cubic Inception paintings “extend Yoon’s painterly practice into sculpture, into a low relief of a kind that cannot logically be derived from painting."