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Popel Coumou - New Work

Galleries Torch

Lauriergracht 94
1016 RN Amsterdam
info@torchgallery.com
+31 (0)20 6260284

Open Wed - Sat / 12-18 hrs
+ by appointment

4 Apr — 9 May

Time 4 Apr, 17-19 hrs

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Popel Coumou -  New Work

On Saturday the 4th of April a solo-exhibition of new work by Popel Coumou will open at TORCH gallery Amsterdam. Popel's third exhibition at the gallery will focus on an exciting new direction for her work. Her instantly recognizable analogue photographs of collages are gradually moving towards a higher, more abstract plane. By letting go of volume she lets light reign freely. Slowly but steadily she manages to switch background and foreground, resulting in a simmering emptiness. An emptiness that is further explored in a new series of lightboxes, which use the changing intensity of light to continuously influence the character of the image.

Echoing steps taken by her illustrious predecessors from De Stijl, such as Mondrian and Van der Leck, she looks at the horizon as a point of orientation and abstraction. She interprets physical limits of vision as one of the origins of abstract art. Her earlier pieces mainly take place in inner spaces such as abandoned hotels and dusty hallways where the light cuts through in straight lines. During the past years she has literally and figuratively stepped outside. Feeling confident because of a steadily developing career she searched her way through courtyards, parks and open architecture to find new subject matter for her work. She ended up on the beach, taking in the vista and slowly letting go of recognizable forms. Silhouettes of houses and brightly coloured geometric shapes were meticulously inserted in often romantic landscapes. However, the fleeting presence of man was still found in her work at this time.

Now she seems to have reached a new conclusion of this line of thought; a nearly graphical interpretation of the horizon, bathing in bright white light. Humans seem to have left the image and have taken place behind the camera. The space stretching forth before the lens is an existential void constructed out of subtle gradients of colour and a minimalist play of lines. But this is just a theoretical framework. In reality these pieces remain analogue photographs of small, refined collages. Popel combines landscape photography with transparent and plain paper to create very detailed composition. These collages are then lighted from behind to let transparency suggest space and volume in a two-dimensional plane. The resulting, greatly enlarged photograph has the tempered texture of a daydream.

Popel Coumou (NL, 1978) graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2004. Afterwards she had subsequent exhibition throughout the Netherlands and Europe. Her work can be found in the collections of FOAM, Huis Marseille, Gemeente Museum The Hague, Statoil, Dela and several private collections. She has been represented by TORCH since 2011. In 2014 she had her first solo-exhibition in New York at LMAK Projects. Besides her autonomous work she also does select commissioned assignments for clients such as Hermès and the Amsterdam Hilton.

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