Collecting Our Thoughts: Nature Preserve, by Wanda Koop
Beaverbrook Art GalleryNovember 13, 20160 Comments
Wanda Koop (Canadian, b. 1951) has been a fixture in the cultural life of Winnipeg since the early 1980s. She is one of the principal Canadian female artists of the past two decades perennially exhibited, discussed and included in prominent collections. Her work Nature Preserve, 2011 was one of the major works in the 2012 North American touring exhibition OH Canada organized by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
Nature Preserve, 2011, is from a highly acclaimed series of works by the artist. Related works from this series are numerously collected by the National Gallery of Canada and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Since the late 1970s Koop has evolved from a tendency referred to as new image painting. Essentially her works featured exaggerated figure ground relationships with a strident, abstracted central figure played off against atmospheric, painterly fictive space. Over the years these works have become increasingly unsettling with lurid colours depicting an otherworldly, surrealist space. They capture the uneasy coexistence of the outcomes of our technological world of machines, architecture and artificial light upon the canvas of the fragile environment. Nature Preserve advances further her superimposition of manmade geometry upon the landscape. Three hovering slabs rise out of the flatness as if stylized supremacist-inspired space craft.