Matthew Couper: Horror Vacui
Tuesday, May 27- Friday, July 18, 2014
Winchester Cultural Center, 3130 McLeod Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89121
An artist reception with a performance by the artist will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 30.
Las Vegas-based artist Matthew Couper presents a multi-disciplinary exhibition featuring paintings, sculpture, digital projects and performance that link together personalities, architecture and forms that relate to the intensely visual experience of the city. The exhibit, entitled “Horror Vacui,” runs from Tuesday, May 27 through Friday, July 18, 2014 at the Winchester Cultural Center Gallery, 3130 S. McLeod Drive, just north of Desert Inn Road. A reception with a performance by the artist will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 30.
Couper’s Winchester exhibit holds a mirror up to his own practice as an artist and his new home of Las Vegas, and uses a vampire theme as a linchpin in making connections between the two. Playful word associations, analogies and puns bridge the gaps and allow the viewer a romp through the similarities. Painting as an art medium has been declared “dead” by artists and critics over and over, yet continues to live on in use after claimed “rebirth(s).” Las Vegas casinos are imploded only to be raised again on the same ground. Undead, blood-sucking, nocturnal beings rise each night from their coffins. The correlations are surprisingly abundant and the unlikely juxtaposition of imagery is intentionally amusing.”Horror Vacui” fills the gallery from floor to ceiling with artwork that references art history, Las Vegas history, the philosophies behind its visual culture (with special attention to simulacra) and of course--Dracula. “Horror vacui” is the Latin postulate in physics, usually translated as “nature abhors a vacuum.”
Matthew Couper, originally of New Zealand, now lives and works in Las Vegas. He uses the established narrative traditions of Spanish Colonial retablos and ex-votos to discuss the space between myth, religion and art politics. He exhibits regularly in the USA, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. His works are represented in public collections throughout New Zealand (Sarjeant Gallery, The Real Art Roadshow, Celia Dunlop Foundation and James Wallace Collection) and internationally (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Rome and Brisbane, Cirque du Soleil Resident Show Division) and in private collections in New Zealand, Australia, USA, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Thailand.