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Dark Testament is an immersive, installation by British-Liberian conceptual artist Lina Iris Viktor.
Composed around Viktor's evocative Dark Continent series, the exhibition is an excerpt of Autograph's recent exhibition Some Are Born To Endless Night — Dark Matter, and includes image projections of new works produced since.
These extraordinary black and gold works - based on photographs, then painted over and gilded - are infused with the cultural, historical and material implications and multifaceted notions of ‘blackness’: as colour, value and socio-political consciousness.
Lina Iris Viktor lives and works itinerantly between New York and London. Raised in London to Liberian parents, she travelled extensively in her youth, and also lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, for several years. Viktor’s multifaceted practice is informed by a background in theatre and film at Sarah Lawrence College, New York, and her continued studies in photography and design at The School of Visual Arts, along with an education in performance arts during high school. Working with a restricted colour palette, her artworks are a blend of photography, performance and abstract painting, along with the ancient practice of gilding with 24-karat gold to create increasingly dark canvases embedded with ‘layers of light’.
Selected solo exhibitions include Some Are Born To Endless Night — Dark Matter at Autograph, London (2019-20); A Heaven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred, NOMA, New Orleans (2018); The Black Ark, The Armory Show, Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, New York (2018); Black Exodus: Act 1 – Materia Prima, Amar Gallery, London (2017); Arcadia, Gallery 151, New York (2014).
Visit Viktor's website, and follow the artist on Instagram
Lina Iris Viktor’s Golden Touch in the British Journal of Photography
Lina Iris Viktor’s manifesto for creativity in the age of pandemic
Read about Viktor's work in Harper's Bazaar Arabia
Evening Standard interview with Lina Iris Viktor: 'The way we think about darkness, it's ominous'
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Lina Iris Viktor: Dark Testament is presented in collaboration with Fotographiska
Banner image: Lina Iris Viktor, No. XXVI Refuge from the aftermath . . . A Reckoning to come. [detail] From the series Dark Continent — Act III: The Wake, 2018-9. Courtesy of the artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery. Page images, from top left: 1) Lina Iris Viktor, II. For Some Are Born to Endless Night. Dark Matter. [detail] From the series Dark Continent: The Seven, 2015-9. Courtesy of the artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery. 2) Lina Iris Viktor postcard pack. 3) Lina Iris Viktor, No. XXXVII Paradiso Perduto. Paradiso Trovato. From the series Dark Continent — Act IV: Absolution, 2018-9. Courtesy of the artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.