Lina Viktor: Arcadia
On View from May 22 through July 10, 2014 at Gallery 151. 132 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011.
Curated by Laura O’Reilly
Lina Viktor’s debut solo exhibition ARCADIA creates an immersive visual experience inviting us into her golden world, an idyllic paradise of visual harmony expressed through universal truths encompassed by the golden ratio. The Greeks believed there were three key ingredients to beauty: symmetry, proportion, and harmony. This triad of principles is at the core of Viktor’s paintings. The Greeks were attuned to beauty as an object of love, emulating and reproducing this beauty in their lives, education (Paideia), architecture, and politics. Viktor seeks to modernize these concepts through neoclassical design. Her production studio integrates the labor intensive ancient technique of hand gilding 24-karat gold with digital technology utilized to map out her underlying compositions. Exhibiting 10 new paintings with beautiful ornate frames, Viktor fully transforms Gallery 151 with a floor and window installation that truly takes us into her self-made ARCADIA.
In ARCADIA Viktor explores concepts of infinity and universal principles, inviting us to strive for greatness by creating our own concept of what it means to live in a golden age. The symmetry of our solar system and the golden ratio found in nature inspires Viktor’s work. Continually searching for knowledge of the universe and its composition, Viktor questions our place in the cosmos and imagines possible theories through her work.
Her bold paintings are composed of original black, white and gold patterns that achieve astonishing vibrancy, creating an instantly recognizable signature style. In ARCADIA Viktor introduces a regal blue into 6 of her 10 new works. The rich color encompasses the boundless nature of the sky and ocean, provoking a striking emotional response. Viktor’s work is infused with divine geometry, ancient Greek symbols, and Baroque tracery, balancing a masterful decadence that draws us into her visual utopia. Sometimes incorporating photographic source material, Viktor’s complex works are printed, painted by hand, then gilded with 24-karat gold directly onto the canvas, amplifying the ornate sensibility that informs the framework of her powerful images.
One of the most striking elements of Viktor’s paintings is her use of 24-karat gold. Most of the Earth’s gold lies at its core, the metal’s high density having made it sink there in our planet’s youth. Virtually all gold discovered is considered to have been deposited by meteorites that contained the element. In essence Viktor is painting with metal from fallen stars. In the future Viktor’s color systems may change, but the use of gold will always be a constant in her work. What interests her most about gold is its scarcity and the emotional response that real gold evokes. Beyond symbolizing opulence and wealth it manifests a feeling of refinement that is often lost in today’s disposable culture.
Viktor unlocks the potential energy in each of her paintings by experimenting until she finds the right combination of shapes, color and divine proportion to create a balance and harmony that uplifts viewers. She plays with the symbiosis of negative and positive space, approaching her work like solving a puzzle. By listening to her higher self, the part of all of us that is connected to universal truth, the work creates Viktor as much as she creates the work.
Each of her paintings are an individual universe, a visual portal into a world with noble notions of what life could be if we each underwent our own personal renaissance and believed in abundance instead of insufficiency. Not everyone can afford one of Viktor’s works, which are currently priced between ten and seventy thousand dollars apiece, though her visual practice is meant to be accessible to everyone through her curated presence on social media platforms like Instagram. She invites the public into her visual world, calling on viewers to dream of what their version of ARCADIA would be.
Lina Viktor is a New York-based fine artist from London that studied film at Sarah Lawrence College and photography at The School of Visual Arts. In creating her own mythology as a painter combining modern and ancient techniques, Viktor in a short period of time has amassed a strong and dedicated following. Lina Viktor has exhibited her paintings alongside works by Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Tom Sachs, Ryan McGinley, & Peter Beard at a variety of exhibitions in New York and Miami Art Basel.