Digital Pigment print onto Epson Hot Press with UV glaze
35.6 x 71.1cm [14 x 28 inches]
Edition of 25, signed and numbered.
About the work
Douglas Coupland’s edition for the Whitechapel Gallery derives from his 2014 painting titled Better Living Through Windows, which is on display in the 2016 exhibition, Electronic Superhighway 2016 - 1966 at Whitechapel Gallery. The canvas is sixteen feet long and its graphic forms are taken from a TrueType font called Marlett which was used from 1995 until recently by Microsoft to create user interface icons. The canvas is one of a series of canvas works done by Coupland over the past five years, many of which are a conscious revisiting of the work of Roy Lichtenstein that focuses on his late 1960s and early 1970s work.
By 1970 Pop Art was dead, and Lichtenstein spent a decade painting images that were intentionally minimalist, such as mirrors and sunsets. This was maybe his way of coping through a complex decade rife with academic wars and battered by waves of theory. Coupland sees many similarities between the early 1970s and now: “Mostly the utter absence of a dominant ‘ism’—as well as a sense of everything and nothing all happening at the same time.” Coupland’s paintings evoke 1970s Lichtenstein, yet are built from twenty-first century code systems such as printing registration technologies, luggage tag barcodes and new fonts built for new systems such as software coding. The works are a way of mirroring a seemingly evanescent present with a distinct patch of art history that seems to share much in common with the current moment.
Born in 1961 at the Royal Canadian Airforce base in Baden-Söllingen, West Germany, Coupland moved with his family in 1965 to West Vancouver, British Columbia and studied later at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Hokkaido College of Art and Design in Japan as well as the Sapporo Instituto Europeo di Design, Milan. A selection of Solo exhibitions include DX Design Exchange, Toronto (2004); Canadian High Commission, London (2004); Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal (2005); and Simon Fraser University Gallery, Burnaby (2007.). A major retrospective at Vancouver Art Gallery in 2014 is currently on tour.
Coupland lives and works in West Vancouver, British Columbia and is represented by Daniel Faria Gallery, Canada.
Group exhibitions include JFK Terminal 5, New York (2004); Plug-In ICA, Winnipeg (2008); Cambridge Galleries (2008); Centre for Contemporay Arts, Prague (2008); Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina travelling to Mount St. Vincent Art Gallery, Halifax and MacLaren Art Centre, Barrie (2008-2009); Vancouver Art Gallery (2010-11); and Mass MoCA, North Adams (2012.) extending with Oh, Canada touring to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (2014) and a further group show currently at the CCBB in Sao Paulo (2014).
Whitechapel Gallery editions are generously donated by the artists. All proceeds from the sale of these works directly support our exhibition and education programmes.
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