Matthew Couper

       born in 1976 New Zealand

 lives in Las Vegas

Né en Nouvelle-Zélande, Matthew Couper a toujours ressenti le besoin de voyager, de découvrir et d’analyser différentes sociétés. Il a profité de résidences artistiques au Royaume-Uni, au Mexique mais aussi de plusieurs voyages en Europe pour élargir sa culture et son goût pour la peinture.
Depuis 2010, c’est à Las Vegas qu’il s’est installé, ville du pêché et de tous les excès mais également du capitalisme américain. Il y vit avec ces nombreuses sollicitations spirituelles et sociétales qui se répercutent sur son travail, celui d’un immigré qui exprime ses points de vue sociaux et politiques. Ses influences sont nombreuses, issues de civilisations et de cultures éclectiques, allant des symboles de l’art occidental ancien (en particulier italien du trecento, quattrocento) aux images contemporaines.

Born in New Zealand, Matthew Couper has always felt the need to travel, discover and analyze societies. He took advantages of artistic residencies in the United Kingdom, Mexico and of several trips to Europe as well to broaden his culture and taste for painting.

 

Since 2010, he has been living in Las Vegas, the city of sin and all excesses, but also of American capitalism at its height. So he lives there with many spiritual and societal stimulations that are reflected in his work, in which he expresses his social and political viewpoints, "from a recent immigrant’s outsider perspective". His influences are numerous, from eclectic civilizations and cultures, ranging from the symbols of the ancient western art (italian trecento and quattrocento in particular) to the contemporary images.

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Attiré par l’art colonial espagnol, il y voit les reflets culturels d’une société au travers des actes de dévotion, des apparitions de saints et autres monstres. Collectionneur d’ex-votos et de retablos, dont il apprécie l’humilité des artistes, il a lui-même peint une brillante série d’ex-votos qui parlent d’art, de politique, de religion ou de mythes.

Matthew Couper s’est approprié cette iconographie traditionnelle du baroque espagnol, composée de " beaucoup d’obscurité qui s’équilibre avec le rouge ", pour illustrer ses peintures contemporaines dont les sujets, souvent très personnels, sont inspirés de ses rêves, de ses frustrations, des livres qu’il a lus ou de ses rencontres.

Attracted by Spanish colonial art, he sees it as the cultural reflections of a society through the acts of devotion, the apparitions of saints and other monsters. Collector of ex-votos and retablos, whose artists' humility he appreciates, he has painted himself a brilliant and successful series of ex-votos that speak of art, politics, religion or myths. Matthew Couper has appropriated this traditional iconography of the Spanish baroque, composed of "a lot of darkness balanced with red", to illustrate his contemporary paintings whose subjects, which are often very personal, are inspired by his dreams, his Frustrations, books he has read or his encounters.

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Alors que l’iconographie de cet art est soumise aux thèmes de la contre-réforme de l’église catholique, il l’utilise quant à lui pour singulariser des phénomènes sociaux mais aussi des lamentations sur des " faux problèmes contemporains ", un disque dur qui crashe, un mal de ventre lors d’un voyage, un cauchemar composé de figures extra-terrestres populaires des années 80. Il parle de thérapie d’exposition, une façon d'affronter ses peurs par la représentation. Ces sujets simples sont mêlés à des symboles anachroniques et ésotériques, donnant à sa peinture une lecture dense et riche.

 

Sombrement amusantes, et chargées de symboles, ses peintures sont sa tentative de faire le pont entre le spirituel et le futile. " (John Seed)

While the iconography of this art is subjected to the themes of the counter-reform of the Catholic Church, he uses it to stand out social phenomena but also lamentations on "false contemporary problems", a hard drive which crashes, a stomach ache during a journey, a nightmare composed of popular extraterrestrial figures of the 80s. He talks about flooding yourself with exposure, a way to face his fears by representation.

These simple subjects are mingled with anachronistic and esoteric symbols, giving his painting a dense and rich reading.

 

 

"Darkly funny, and dense with symbols, Couper’s paintings are his attempt to bridge the gap between the mundane and the spiritual." (John Seed)

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Ses œuvres sont représentées dans des collections publiques en Nouvelle-Zélande et à l'étranger (Rome, Brisbane, Montréal et Las Vegas) et dans des collections privées en Nouvelle-Zélande, Australie, Etats-Unis, Ecosse, Grande-Bretagne, Espagne, France, Italie, Suisse, Hong Kong, Thaïlande et les Philippines.

His works are represented in public collections throughout New Zealand and internationally (Rome , Brisbane,  Montreal and Las Vegas) and in private collections in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Scotland, Britain, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand and The Philippines.

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Ses galeries / His galleries

Room, Brooklyn, NY

La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Zoya Tommy, Houston TX
Galerie Gimpel & Muller, Paris, FR

Paulnache, Gisborne, NZ

Paper-Works, Napier, Hawkes Bay, NZ

Rayner Brothers Gallery, Whanganui, NZ

Liens / Links

Publications / Publications

2007 : " It's All About Whanau/Ex Nihilo Sui Et Subjecti "Janne Land

            Gallery

2007 : " The Museum Of Inherent Vice ", Sarjeant Gallery

2007 : " The Third Degree Pocketbook ", Matthew Couper

2006 : " Prologue : The Matthew Couper & Jo Russ Collection "

2006 : " Myth Maker ", The Pencil Gallery

2006 : " The Luck Creed ", Matthew Couper

2005 : " Arbroath Devotional ", Matthew Couper, 64zero3

2005 : " Apotropaia ", Janne Land Gallery

2004 : " Whiteworld Drawings ", Janne Land Gallery

2004 : " Royal Over Seas League Scholars Exhibtion ", London & The

            Landings Gallery

Expositions / Exhibitions

2019

- In Memory Of Water, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, US

- Bone Index, PAULNACHE, Gisborne, NZ

2017

- From Nowhere to Somewhere (group), PAULNACHE, Gisborne, NZ

- From Dust to Water, Rise, Las Vegas, US

- Zoocryptage, Musée/Crypte Sainte-Eugénie, Biarritz, FR

- Tilting The Basin: Contemporary art of Nevada, Las Vegas, US

- Laluzapalooza, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, US

- Art Karlsruhe, Galerie Gimpel et Muller, Karlsruhe, DE

 

2016

- In Memory Of Water, ROOM artspace, New York, US

- Vignette - 30 Years at Tylee Cottage 1986-2016, Sarjeant Gallery,

  Whanganui, NZ

- Skull Biennial 2016, The Studio, Sahara West Library, Las Vegas, US

- Tilting The Basin: Contemporary Art in Nevada, Nevada Museum of

  Art, Reno, US

- Salon of Desert Martyrs, Zoya Tommy ,Houston, Texas, US

-  IMAGETEXTE4, Topographie De L'art, Paris, FR

 

2015

- Nosferatu and the Spider Woman(with JK Russ), PAULNACHE, NZ

- Sydney Contemporary, PAULNACHE, Sydney, AU

- Mostly Clay (group), Rayner Brothers Gallery, NZ

- Havelock North High School Arts Festival Art

  Exhibition (group), Hastings Community Arts Center Gallery, NZ

- Contemporary Art Center's 26th Annual Juried Show, Alios Gallery,

  Las Vegas, US

- 29th Laluzapalooza, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, US

- Au Pair, Galerie Gimpel et Muller, Paris, FR

 

2014

- EAST: Local Colour, Hastings City Art Gallery, Hawkes Bay, NZ

- A Beautiful Life (group exhibition), PAULNACHE, Gisborne, NZ

- Monkey See (group exhibition), Tabla Rasa, Brooklyn, NY, US

- 'Scape (group exhibition), Te Koputu a te Whanga a Toi -

  Whakatane Library and Exhibition Centre, Whakatane, NZ

- Life Is Beautiful, Western Hotel, Downtown Las Vegas, US

- Texas Contemporary Art Fair, with Zoya Tommy Contemporary,

  George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX, US

- Lying In Space, (group), 30Upstairs, Wellington, NZ

- MAS ATTACK (group) Torrance Art Museum

- Melbourne Art Fair/PAULNACHE, Melbourne, AU

- 2014 London Biennale Pollination in Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, US

- HORROR VACUI!, Winchester Cultural Center Gallery, Las Vegas, US

- BLACK SQUARE/ BLACK CROSS/ BLACK FLAG, SmallWorks

  Gallery, Brisbane, AU

- AES+F: Last Riot and other contemporary works from the collection

  of Dr Dick Quan, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst, NSW, AU

- Frameless (group exhibition) Development Gallery, Auckland, NZ

- Public/Private: Images of Devotion from 19th and Early 20th

  Century Mexico, Barrick Museum, University of Nevada Las Vegas

- Tools of the Trade, PAULNACHE, Gisborne, NZ

- 28th Laluzapalooza, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, US

- Limbo of the Journeyman, PAULNACHE, Gisborne, NZ

 

2013

- Sampler. Las Vegas. Contemporary Arts Center, Las Vegas, NV, US

- Thirty-Three. Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga, NZ

- Recent Devotional Paintings, College Art Gallery, Riverside, CA, US

- Santa Muerte Arts Festival, Sacred Machine, Tuscon, AZ

- Build the | das Bild (group exhibition), Studio Baustelle, Berlin, DE

- Parallel Lines, PAULNACHE, Gisborne NZ

- The Artist As Peasant, Auckland Art Fair/ PAULNACHE, NZ

- Thirty-Three, Aigantighe Art Gallery, Timaru, NZ

- Valley Of Dry Bones, OXS Gallery, Suite A, Carson City, NV, US

- Disco Inferno group exhibition, Momas'n Dadas, Las Vegas, NV, US

- 3rd Annual Beyond The Sacred Invitational, Sacred Machine, 

  Tucson, AZ, US

- Make Do & Mend, Whangarei Art Museum, Whangarei, NZ

- Troll Im Dachgeschoss (with Matt Arbuckle and Tyrone Layne),

  Bucker Project Space, Muckernbucker, Berlin, DE

- Thirty-Three, Wairarapa Museum of Art & History, Masterton, NZ

- Laluzapalooza Year XXVII, La Luz de Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, US

- Art Fair Philippines, (Light and Space Contemporary), The Link,

  Parkway Drive, Ayala Center

- Thirty-Three, (touring exhibition), Tairawhiti Museum, Gisborne, NZ

 

2012

- Thirty-Three, Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore, NZ

- The Valley Of The Dry Bones, Mark Hutchins Gallery, Wellington,NZ

- Primal Streams: Manuel Cordero, Matthew Couper & Jerry Vigil,

  O'Sullivan Art Gallery, Regis University, Denver, CO, US

- EAST 2012, Hastings City Art Gallery, Hawke's Bay, NZ

- The Whaling and Nashing of Teeth, PAULNACHE, Gisborne, NZ

- Firmamentation: New works by JK Russ & Matthew Couper, 

  SmallWorks Gallery, Brisbane, AU

 

Liste complète des expositions / Full list of exhibitions