Working with a restricted colour palette, Lina Iris Viktor blends photography, performance and abstract painting, along with the ancient practice of gilding with 24-karat gold, to create dark artworks embedded with "layers of light".
The Liberian-British artist's unique approach comes from a background in theatre and film at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and through her continued studies in photography and design at The School of Visual Arts, along with an education in performance arts during high school.
Now she's having her first solo show in the UK, Some Are Born To Endless Night – Dark Matter, which launches at Autograph in London on 13 September and runs until 25 January 2020. The immersive exhibition features more than 60 new and existing works on display with key pieces from Viktor’s ongoing Dark Continent series, alongside a selection of unique paintings on canvas – including recent works debuted at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Viktor’s works across paper and canvas draw on a variety of artistic traditions and visual influences, from European portraiture, classical mythology and astronomy, to ancient Egyptian and African symbolism. Her deep, lustrous blacks are punctuated with luminous gold and opulent ultramarine blue. "At the core of Lina Iris Viktor’s distinctive practice are complex, cultural narratives and potent mediations on blackness and being: every single one of Viktor’s sumptuous works is layered with profound provocations on history and culture, fuelled by her astute interest in etymology, astrophysics and remedial recovery," says Renée Mussai, the curator of the show at Autograph.
"In a productive tension between aesthetics and politics, history is creatively reimagined through an emphasis on the circularity of time, and an affirmative excavation of our collective pasts."
Lina Iris Viktor's Some Are Born To Endless Night – Dark Matter runs from 13 September at Autograph in London. Discover more at www.linaviktor.com.