Night Gallery is pleased to present Eclipse, an exhibition of new paintings by Wanda Koop. This will be the artist’s first solo show in London and will highlight motifs which have recurred throughout her storied, more than four-decade-long career. The artist has shown in over 50 exhibitions internationally and Night Gallery is excited to bring her work to a new audience.
Koop makes uncanny paintings that reinvig-orate landscape traditions with bold, surreal interventions. Often inspired by her dreams, the compositions rely on mood and the un-conscious to explore very real, contemporary ecological concerns. As the artist transforms natural features such as branches, beaches, and an eclipse into neon icons, she laments the degradation of the environment. Smoke (2023), for example, presents a bright orange moon, apparently fantastical until considered against images of the Pacific Northwest coast during fire season.
Fluorescent hues and graphic brush strokes are trademarks for the artist. In Blood Moon (2022), the moon becomes a violently pink, perfectly shaded circle which hovers at unreal proportion to the horizon line. Yet these stylistic elements belie the artist’s intensive process—she applies many layers to her paintings to generate their heady atmospheres.
Koop’s acid tones echo the way we often see nature today: glowing from a screen. Her paintings transfer such virtual luminosity onto substantial, enduring objects. Her tree limbs resemble truncated cords or wires, while reflections or refractions evoke digital glitches. The artist’s longstanding interest in the relationship between technology and perception finds expression in Barcode Borealis (2023), where a series of white and blue rectangles protrude from a minimal, twilit landscape. The “barcode” offers viewers language that cannot be read, a consumerist code that appears where clouds and a celestial body should be.
Koop has lived in Winnipeg for most of her life and she is an ardent traveler and photographer. She documents views from plane windows, dirty snowbanks, and power lines in front of rushing water. These images find their abstracted corollaries in her paintings, which similarly integrate the majesty of nature with evidence of human interference.