Kim Whanki


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Status, estimate and price of artist Kim Whanki

Price of a painting: 40,000 – 41,000,000 €.

Price of a drawing: 12,000 – 140,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 700 – 4,000 €.

Estimation of a sculpture: 25,000 – 179,000 €.

If you would like to have a work by Kim Whanki appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

Training and first exhibitions

Kim Whanki is a Korean abstract artist. He was born on February 27, 1913 in South Jeolla Province and died on July 25, 1974 in New York City. He belongs to the first generation of abstract artists in Korea.

Kim Whanki studied in Tokyo at Nishikishiro High School in 1931 and then enrolled in the College of Arts at Nihon University from 1933 to 1936. At a very young age he had solo exhibitions at the Amagi Gallery in Tokyo and continued to show his work in various open exhibitions until 1940, when he returned to Seoul in 1937. Kim Whanki became acquainted with the Korean literary circle and was particularly interested in traditional art.

The association of creative artists creates a branch in Korea and organises its first exhibition in Seoul, where Kim Whanki and Japanese and Korean artists show their work. He offered six paintings, including Island Tale and Chamber Music, and left the Association in 1941. Kim Whanki became increasingly interested in white ceramics and traditional Korean art. Following the current of neo-realism, Kim Whanki was inspired by nature and everyday life between 1942 and 1950, as in the work Woods.

Post-war and consecration

Kim Whanki fled Seoul during the Korean War and spent 3 years in a refugee camp. He continues to paint, but turns to alcohol. These are difficult years for the painter and his wife, Hyang-an Kim. We find works from this period such as Landscape at Chin-hae or Refugee Train.

In 1954, Kim Whanki and other Korean artists came to Paris to present Eastern culture to Europeans. Kim Whanki came to reinforce his love of Korean art.

He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Hongik University in 1959 and became President of Hongik Art College in 1960. To his great regret, he spent more time teaching than working on his art.

Kim Whanki participated in the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1963 as a curator and collaborating artist. He decided to live in New York where he found himself in tune with his work. His works represent sound subjects, but also cosmic subjects.

In 1992, the Whanki Museum,45 dedicated to Kim Whanki, opened its doors in Seoul.

In November 2016, an abstract pointillist painting 12-V-70 #172 was sold for 41.5 million Hong Kong dollars.

Recognising Kim Whanki’s signature

Like many artists, Kim Whanki did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature whanki

Appraise and sell a painting by Kim Whanki

If you own a Kim Whanki painting or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.