7 MAY – 15 JUNE 2024

4 MAY 2024 | 4 – 7 PM

KÖNIG SEOUL is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Johanna Dumet. Entitled JEUX DE SOCIÉTÉ, the French name for board games, the show consists of 16 new paintings and 27 small works on paper, all made within the last year.

Founded on concepts of play, food, and leisure time, interests that continue to animate Dumet’s practice, the current show deals more explicitly with the nature of engaging in activities that require multiple people – the board game. According to Dumet, “playing with friends and family is a precious moment for me, it is when we escape from reality and are in our own world.” Indeed, the French term for board game includes direct reference to the concept of society (société), which Dumet translates into the most foundational social organization: family and friends. In addition to focusing on the topic of playing games with others, the artist created her own set of 27 cards, in gouache and oil on paper. Rather than depicting abstract symbols or numbers, Dumet personalized these “cards”, giving voice to those elements that feature routinely in her leisure time with family and friends. These include, among others: pepper, asparagus, the artichoke, the baguette, ice cream, garlic, and even oysters. Together, these smaller works on paper speak to a cosmos that is both specific to Dumet’s circle and universal.

In the larger paintings on canvas and wood, like those that Dumet has been making since moving from the world of fashion to fine art, still life scenes are presented in lush, vibrant colors. Tables, the literal ground for both board play and eating, feature prominently, as do the specific games on offer, from dominoes to cards to checkers, as well games native to the country where these works will be exhibited for the first time, like hwatu and go. Absent are any characters of said games, a purposeful exclusion that creates an opportunity for viewers to imagine and project themselves inside of Dumet’s unique world of play and repose.

The larger implications of Dumet’s emphasis on the time spent playing and enjoying the micro-societies that are familiar to everyone, is signaled by the artists’s reference to pediatrician and psychoanalyst, Donald Winnicott, who wrote: “It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.” The discovery in JEUX DE SOCIÉTÉ is one that will appeal to any stage of a person’s development, with paintings that are animated by the very spirit of play that they depict.



Johanna Dumet (b. 1991 in Guéret, France) graduated in Fashion Design from La Calade, Marseille, France in 2011. Before starting her fashion design studies, she studied Applied Arts at the Baccalauréat (STI) in La Souterraine, France.

Dumet paints with oil on canvas; she also uses other techniques such as gouache-painted paper glued to the canvas. She is known for painting impulsively, with a strong sense of flow, and without constraint. The result is a sublime, captivating use of colour and abstract form that continually interplays with figuration. Rather than focusing purely on detail, Dumet creates a minimalist representation of wh...
Read more