Lina Iris Viktor | Artist Overview

Lina Iris Viktor

b.1987, British

Lina Iris Viktor is a Liberian-British multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Italy. Interweaving disparate materials, methods and visual lexicons associated with contemporary and ancient art forms, Viktor authors an idiosyncratic mythology that threads through deep time, knitting together a diasporic past with an expansive present in order to divine future imaginaries. The artist’s practice is equally informed by her background in film, preceded by an early education in performance arts. Her synthesis of painting, sculpture, performance, photography and water-gilding with 24-carat gold produces a charged materiality that at once addresses philosophical ideas of the finite and the infinite, the microcosm and macrocosm, evanescence and eternity. In her recent sculptures and paintings, the use of materials once embedded deep within the earth – gold, black marble and volcanic rock – establishes a timelessness both intimate and intangible. Within Viktor’s cosmology, black as matter and as colour plays the lead role of materia prima or the primordial source of life, a provocation and a challenge to the sociopolitical and historical preconceptions surrounding ‘blackness’ and its universal implications. The artist’s interest in architecture, the materiality of objects and how they inhabit space informs many of the installations she envisions and builds.With an archaeological aesthetic impulse, and influences spanning West African sculptural traditions, ancient Egyptian iconography, classical astronomy and European portraiture, Viktor’s practice traverses mortal and divine realms. Viktor received her BA in film at Sarah Lawrence College and studied photography as continuing education at The School of Visual Arts, in New York. Her work has been the subject of exhibitions at the Fotografiska Museum of Photography, Stockholm & Tallinn (2020); Autograph, London (2019); and New Orleans Museum of Art (2018), among others. She has been included in group exhibitions at institutions including the Hayward Gallery, London (2022); North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh (2020); Somerset House, London (2019); Ford Foundation, New York (2019); Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento (2018); Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville (2016); Spelman Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta (2016); and Cooper Gallery, Harvard University, Cambridge (2016). Her work resides in collections such as the National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC; Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta; and Crocker Museum of Fine Art, Sacramento.