The Worlds of Nam June Paik

The Worlds of Nam June Paik


Venue: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street)

New York City


Dates: February 11-April 26, 2000



The Worlds of Nam June Paik is the first American retrospective of the Korean-born multimedia artist since 1982. This exhibition brings together the major artworks that define Paik's singular achievement. Through his sculptures, installations, videotapes, and projects for television, Paik recognized and realized the potential of video to become an artist's medium. The exhibition will allow audiences to experience the numerous ways in which Paik has treated the electronic moving image and expanded the definition of sculpture and installation art over the past four decades. The exhibition explores the crucial role Paik has played in changing visual and media culture.



The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a spectacular site-specific installation, Modulations in Synch (2000). It will feature laser projections cast onto the Rotunda ceiling, as well as laser projections that pass through an actual seven-story waterfall cascading from the top of the museum to the Rotunda floor. On the floor of the Rotunda will be an installation that employs more than 100 television sets facing upwards, displaying a pulsing mix of Paik's video imagery. This dramatic merging of lasers and video can be viewed all along the ramps that circle the Rotunda, offering the viewer multiple perspectives on the work.


On the ramps will be a selection of Paik's seminal video installations from the 1960s and 70s, including The Moon Is the Oldest TV (1965-76), TV Garden (1974-78), and Video Fish (1975), as well as groupings of important smaller-scale sculptures. Several of Paik's early prepared televisions such as Magnet TV (1965) and performance pieces such as TV Cello (1971) will also be on view in the Tower Gallery. A selection of the artist's laser sculptures will be installed in the High Gallery.


The exhibition has been organized by John G. Hanhardt, Senior Curator of Film and Media Arts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, with Jon Ippolito, Assistant Curator of Media Arts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The Worlds of Nam June Paik is an initiative of the Film and Media Arts exhibition program at the Guggenheim Museum. The program was inaugurated in 1998 to provide a forum for contemporary directions in film and media arts. It offers audiences and artists an opportunity to see and share this work, and to understand the contributions of these art forms to the culture of our time. The program presents a broad range of material from the world's cinema, video, television, and other media arts. The goal of the program is to examine and represent, in innovative ways, the central role of media arts in defining global culture.

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition. Published by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and distributed through Harry N. Abrams, Inc., it includes an essay by John G. Hanhardt, along with a selection of Paik's own writings.

This exhibition is sponsored by Merrill Lynch.

The commissioned works of art are made possible by The Bohen Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Samsung Foundation for Culture, The Rockefeller Foundation, and NASA.

Public Programs:
In conjunction with The Worlds of Nam June Paik, a number of public programs have been planned, including a performance by the artist on February 15; a screening and discussion of Paik's early work on February 29; and a panel discussion with leading video artists Bill Viola and Tony Oursler on March 21. All programs begin at 7 pm and are held in the Peter B. Lewis Theater at The Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum. For additional information and tickets, call (212) 423-3587.

November 18, 1999


Senior Publicist

Telephone: (212) 423-3840

Telefax: (212) 423-3787




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