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Wanda Koop
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas
Recommendation by John Zotos

Wanda Koop, "Deep Bay," 2019, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist

Continuing through February 2, 2020


Eight new large-scale paintings by Canadian painter Wanda Koop from her “Dreamline” series are accompanied by twenty smaller preparatory pieces executed over the last twenty years. Koop aesthetically explores the intersection of natural spaces and landscapes with the urban built environment. In the past she has tackled the polarity of abstraction vs. figuration, and how the personal and political play out in visual terms.


In this body of work a surreal, blurry finish characterizes the paintings, to which she adds deliberate drips of paint that fall vertically across the surface. The calming and serene blue surface of “Look Up” has two deep red drips descend from the top of the composition that fail to traverse the length of this restrained and minimal composition. A political dimension informs the dramatically red “Capitol,” where a glowing rendition of the building in Washington, D.C. sits dead center. It seems to float on a mountainous horizon line, while its reflection is inverted in a reflecting pool that reaches out to the viewer. This ominous treatment of the seat of our nation’s government characterizes in the instantaneity of a single image the current political climate. Koop visually implicates the questionable and unprecedented actions of the executive office, the Senate and the Supreme Court as well. The blurry hues vibrate where they intersect, implying that the painting represents a nightmare that any sane person would hope to quickly wake up from. 

Dallas Museum of Art | DMA

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