Lina Iris Viktor: Solar Angels & Lunar Lords

5 Jun-13 Jul 2024
PV 4 Jun 2024, 6-8pm

Pilar Corrias, Conduit Street
London W1S 2YT


Pilar Corrias is pleased to present Solar Angels & Lunar Lords, a solo exhibition of new paintings, works on paper and sculptures by Lina Iris Viktor. The exhibition runs in parallel with the artist’s first UK solo museum exhibition at the Sir John Soane's Museum in London, on view from 10 July 2024–19 January 2025.

Viktor’s first solo show at Pilar Corrias sees the artist move away from narrative painting toward formal experimentation, while continuing to underscore the enduring importance of reframing the cultural associations of light and darkness. The exhibition’s title is borrowed from ancient astrology, referencing the proverbial war between the sun and moon during eclipses, and the transitory interplay of light and dark.

Within her work, Viktor embraces a rich tapestry of cultural references, symbolism and sensory experience, integrating forms from the West African visual cultures of the Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Benin. Ethically-sourced earthen materials – including silk and silkworm cocoons from India, natural raffia from Madagascar, 24-carat gold, banana yarn and bronze – come together in formations that reference traditional West African pottery, jewellery and woodwork, as well as Modernist African architecture. Bridging geographical and historical boundaries, Viktor synthesises her ancestral heritage with contemporary modes of expression to foreground the political and aesthetic legacies of material extraction and exchange.

The artist’s new series of sculptures demonstrates this intricate weave of influences. Gilded, totem-like objects, echoing the sacred symbolism, social role and forms of traditional wooden Ashanti and Senufo stools, serve as pedestals for the beaded ceramic vessels that crown them. Viktor’s larger sculptures, standing at six feet, evoke architectural forms while possessing a near embodied presence. Referencing the design of East African mud huts and Moroccan mosques and their cooling stick protrusions, these works marry utility with spiritual resonance. The arch as an architectural visual motif is found throughout the exhibition within Viktor’s wood panel works and curved bronze pedestals. The inclusion of diviner motifs and cage effects, reminiscent of Ghanaian jewellery design, suggests an animate, or even deific, quality one might wish to commune with.

Viktor’s works on paper, influenced by the elevation drawings of African modernist architecture, serve as a cross-pollination with her exhibition at Sir John Soane’s Museum. Drawing from contemporary and ancient art forms alike, Viktor challenges viewers to confront notions of eternity and ephemerality, and their own place within an interconnected continuum of existence.

Viktor’s presentation at Sir John Soane’s Museum, Mythic Time / Tens of Thousands of Rememberings, debuts sculptures made in response to the museum’s architectural features and Soane’s own collections of ancient and modern sculpture. Viktor’s paintings and works on paper reveal the ways in which the artist, like Soane, brings together fragments from multiple periods and cultures, from ancient Egypt to medieval illuminations and Indigenous Australian art.