Viktor Kopp at Ribordy Contemporary
Artist: Viktor Kopp
Venue: Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva
Date: May 3 – June 16, 2012
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Viktor Kopp and Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva. Photos by Annik Wetter.
Though they seem simple at first glance, Viktor Kopp’s paintings reveal afterwards a part of ambiguity and strangeness; always in tension, they function in opposition.
Between representation and abstraction first: although often figurative, the painting likes to wander through the experiments of the material – textures, flats, shines … – which contrast with the often rigid geometrical structures of the composition. Back and forth between lush materials and severe forms, the works of Viktor Kopp become more and more extensive.
As they interrogate the Albertian idea of painting as an open window on the world, and use the pictorial traditions of trompe l’œil or illusionism, Viktor Kopp redefines formats and plays with the conventions of the frame – also to exceed them. Thus in some paintings the image is only partial, and suggests a much wider field off, which is left to the viewer’s imagination.
Viktor Kopp manipulates the illusion with some irony, deliberately showing its strengths and/or failures. For example, doors in perspective placed on plain and neutral colour fields seem to float, as if their power of illusion had been deactivated. Similarly his recent series of landscapes in grey shades shows the transformation of a quite rough and completely abstract painting into something that comes to a landscape – as the touch becomes tightened and clearer, and the shadows define a space.
Of his earlier works, which mixed aesthetic of comics and surreal atmospheres, in colourful tones, Viktor Kopp has retained a taste for humour, as well as the construction of mental projections surfaces. His chocolate bars series that started in 2007 witnesses these changes: as they were originally hyper-realistic, the chocolates were also marked with the artist’s initials, parodying a brand concept. Gradually, the painting became more physical, the touch thicker, and each square could be considered as a painting in itself. The initials of Viktor Kopp are present in other paintings where, magnifying what could be just a signature, they become a self-portrait.
As they propose a comment about the medium of painting itself, between tribute and parody of various moments of the art history, the works of Viktor Kopp are puzzles in which the viewer is invited to drift away.