Wanda Koop 1951-
Works in the exhibition
Wanda Koop’s latest exhibition at Division Gallery Toronto features new works from the FaceTime series. These 6 x 4 foot paintings depict heads painted in Koop’s highly distinctive style –wispy brushstrokes, mirage-like space, luminous colour. The heads are enveloped by an array of looping lines that resemble wires or cables and reflect the way we are becoming networked as a virtual extension of computer technology. These paintings reflect the darker side of the delight we experience seeing ourselves in the new mirror – handheld devices. With the wide-spread availability of video conferencing courtesy of Smartphone technology, we can “be” everywhere, heightening anxiety about identity and privacy. These paintings have an uncanny presence, as if the future were gazing back at us.
Also on display are a new body of large landscape-based paintings. “Home and Native Land” plays off an earlier work, “Native Fires”, referencing the First Nations tradition of camp fires along the banks of the Winnipeg River. In this new painting, a trio of building silhouettes represent business, government and religion.
Koop’s New Minimalism of ethereal space and vertiginous forms invite contemplation of the contemporary world. Her recent exhibitions include a retrospective at the National Gallery of Canada in 2011 and she is recipient of the Order of Canada.