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The first impressions of the enormous works in Wanda Koop’s View from Here are starkness and intensity.

The evocative paintings feature prominent landscapes composed within the bald outline of a face, erasing the comfortable familiarity we have with both landscape and portrait. “With enormous pieces like this, you tend to get lost or overwhelmed, which, I think, is part of the intention,” says curator Riva Symko.

This re-hanging of the iconic Manitoban work in WAG-Qaumajuq feels incredibly timely in the context of climate change, especially with all the disasters, floods, fires, and droughts; seeing ourselves in the landscape more is something we have to start reconciling and considering. And here Koop has literally done that: the landscape is the face of the figure.

Many of the works reference specific Manitoban landscapes, giving a very real and personal context to the paintings for a viewer. This connection to place offers a kind of intimacy with the landscapes portrayed in View from Here.

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