Lina Iris Viktor chooses to work in a strictly limited world – it is a mythical one of her creation existing within the zen-influenced, blurred lines of the real and the imagined. The world she imagines is perfectly curated, puristic, and minimalist – it tends to cancel out materiality, to transfer it to the realm of the spiritual & the alchemical. Governed by a purist color palette, her work considers the natural laws, hermetic philosophies, mathematic & scientific principles, and seeks to instill a divine order to all around her.
Working across multiple mediums, she adheres to the colour palette of blue, black, white and 24-karat gold to create paintings, sculptural works, photography, performance works, and installations. Viktor’s work fuses apparent contradictions, synchronizing the monumental and the minuscule, decadent and the minimal, the spectacular and the invisible, seeking to heighten the experience of the spectator by creating immersive environments that transport the viewer into other worlds.
Raised in London to Liberian parents, she traveled extensively in her youth also living in Johannesburg, South Africa for many years. The multi-disciplinary approach to her work, which weaves disparate materials and methods belonging both to contemporary and ancient art forms calls into question the nature of time and being. Her works are a merging of photography, performance, abstract painting, along with the ancient practice of gilding with 24-karat gold to create increasingly dark canvases embedded with “layers of light” in the form of symbols and intricate patterns.
Viktor regards these dark canvases to be “light-works”. Each provoke a philosophical commentary through material that at once addresses the infinite and the finite, immortality and mortality, the microcosm and macrocosm, in addition to the socio-political and historical preconceptions surrounding ‘blackness’ and its universal implications.
Viktor’s multi-disciplinary practice is informed by a background in film which she studied at Sarah Lawrence College, and her continued studies within photography & design at The School of Visual Arts, along with an education in performance arts during high school. Viktor creates her own mythology as a painter, sculptor, photographer, and performance artist.
LINA IRIS VIKTOR
Lina Iris Viktor is a conceptual artist, performance artist, and painter. She lives and works itinerantly between New York and London.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
LINA IRIS VIKTOR — CV
Select Lectures & Talks
- 2018, Artist Talk, ‘Lina Iris Viktor in conversation with Renée Mussai’ with Renée Mussai, New
Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
- 2018, Artist Lecture, ‘The Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series’, Stamps School of Art &
Design, Ann Arbor, MI
- 2018, Artist Talk, ‘Noontime Talk in the Great Hall’ with Allison K. Young, New Orleans Museum
of Art, New Orleans, LA
- 2018, Studio Visit & Artist Talk, ‘MoMA The Friends of Education’, Museum of Modern Art, New
- 2018, Artist Talk, ‘The Dark Continent’ with Lanisa Kitchiner, Smithsonian National Museum of
African Art, Washington D.C.
- 2017, Artist Lecture, ‘The Resonance of Black. The (Im)materiality of Gold’ with Renée Mussai,
Autograph ABP, London, United Kingdom
- 2017, Artist Talk, ‘Visually Speaking: Lina Viktor & Amy Sall’, Schomburg Center for Research in
Black Culture, New York, NY
- 2017, Artist Lecture, ‘The Body, Fashion, and Art’, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, Missouri
- 2016, Artist Talk, Africa Forecast: Fashioning Contemporary Life, Spelman Museum of Fine Art,
Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia
- 2016, Guest Speaker, The Economies of African Art, Columbia University, New York, NY
- 2016, Conference, Black Portraiture[s] III: Reinventions: Strains of Histories and Cultures,
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 2016, Artist Talk, ‘Art of Jazz: Form, Performance, Notes’, Harvard University, Cambridge,
- 2016, ‘What role, if any, should philosophy play in the creation of art?’ panel speaker, Kings College,
London, United Kingdom
- 2016, ‘The Economy of Basquiat’ panel speaker, Moderated by Sandra Jackson-Dumont (The
MET), New York University, New York, NY
- 2016, Artist Talk, In Conversation with Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, South Kensington Club, London, United
- 2015, ‘Contemporary Artists: Contextual Realities’ panel speaker, Institute of Contemporary Arts
(ICA London), London, United Kingdom
LINA IRIS VIKTOR — CV
Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.
Crocker Museum of Fine Art, Sacramento, California
- 2018, A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred. by Allison K. Young, Renée Mussai, Emmanuel Iduma;
Skira Editore & New Orleans Museum of Art
- 2018, Everything this Young Artist Touches Turns to Gold by Tess Thackara, Artsy
- 2018, Artist Lina Iris Viktor Navigates the Entangled History of Liberia and the U.S. by Jasmine
- 2018, Lina Iris Viktor Unearths a Hidden History at the New Orleans Museum of Art by Victoria Stapley-
Brown, The Art Newspaper
- 2018, This Liberian—British Painter is fixing the Art World’s Historical Gaps using 24K Gold by Jennifer
Copley, Harpers Bazaar Art
- 2018, A Tribute to Contemporary West African Culture, Painted with 24-Carat Gold by Miss Rosen,
- 2018, Letters to Lina Iris Viktor by Emmanuel Iduma, BOMB Magazine
- 2018, The Artsy Vanguard | Break Out Talents by Artsy Editors, Artsy
- 2018, The – 20 Best Booths at The Armory Show by Scott Indrisek, Alexander Forbes & Molly Gottschalk, Artsy
- 2018, Rising Star Lina Iris Viktor proves to be more than just a Cause Celebre at The Armory Show by Sarah
Cascone & Andrew Goldstein, Artnet
- 2018, Lina Iris Viktor’s Mesmerizing 24-karat Gold Hand-Gilded Artworks by Janelle Zara, Galerie
Magazine: The New Guard
- 2018, The British-Liberian artist paints with 24-karat Gold by Mary Dellas, The Cut / New York Magazine
- 2017, The Artist Celebrating Blackness with 24-karat Magic by Fiona Mahon, Hunger Magazine
- 2017, The 24-Karat wonders of Lina Iris Viktor’ by The Guardian — Art & Design
- 2017, BBC: Focus on Africa – ‘Black Exodus’, Audio Interview by Mayeni Jones, BBC
- 2017, A Black & Gold Chapel of Sorts: Artist Lina Iris Viktor presents her fictional dystopia by Sarah
Roberts, Twin Magazine
- 2017, On the Misconceptions of Blackness in Art and Painting with Pure Gold, Interview Film Short by Peter
J. Rickards, The Root
LINA IRIS VIKTOR — CV
- 2017, Artist Lina Iris Viktor curated by David Adjaye, Photo Documentary by Mambu Bayoh,
- 2017, Art of Jazz: Form / Performance / Notes, by David Bindman, Suzanne Preston Blier, Vera Ingrid
Grant; Harvard University Press
- 2016, Afrofuturism: The Next Generation by Ruth LaFerla, The New York Times
- 2016, On the Edgy of Blue Heaven by Rea Khoabane, The Times Art Section (South Africa)
- 2016, Artists Dazzling Self-Portraits Explore the Cosmic Power of Gold by Priscilla Frank, The Huffington Post
- 2016, A creative conversation with Emma Gilhooly for CCQ Magazine, CCQ Art Journal / Issue 9
- 2018, AMREF ArtBall Auction
- 2016, “10 – The Face of the Future” Transforming the Future of Girls in Africa through Art & Performance,
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
- 2016, Groundswell Art Auction Benefit
- 2016, 2nd Annual Africa’sOut! Celebration + Benefit Auction
- 2014, 30 Days 30 Artists, Visionaire
Viktor has exhibited at New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana; Harvard Art Museums and The Cooper Gallery, Harvard University, Boston; The Kentucky Museum of Arts & Craft, Louisville; and Spelman Museum of Fine Art, Spelman College, Georgia.
Viktor has engaged in critical talks, panels & lectures at Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Harvard University, New York University, The Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), King’s College London, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Saint Louis Art Museum, and Autograph ABP.
- Lina Iris Viktor Biography and Profile (Lina Iris Viktor)