“Usually I am more about trying to bridge divides of thought where people think things are in very defined spaces,” artist Lina Iris Viktor tells Harper’s Bazaar Arabia from her studio in New York. “I am all about making bridges.” The painter and conceptual artist is preparing new work for her first solo museum exhibition now open at the New Orleans Museum of Art entitled Lina Iris Viktor: A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred.
Known for large-scale black and gold works on paper and canvas, the sculptural surfaces of Viktor’s pieces shimmer opulently with densely patterned iconography. There is something searingly original and contemporary about her almost cosmic composition of hieroglyphic elements that recall myriad forms, from Aboriginal Dreamtime paintings to West African textiles.
Born to Liberian parents, Lina Iris Viktor lives in London and Johannesburg, travelling and studying widely. The artist is not inspired by a specific location. Rather “It’s about experience and worldliness and understanding that there is no centre.”