Meet the Artist

Friday 18 February at 12:15 pm
Visit the exhibition with Wanda Koop. In English with bilingual question period. Included with Gallery admission.

Meet the Curator

Friday 25 February at 12:15 pm
Visit the exhibition with Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Curator, Contemporary Art. In French with bilingual question period. Included with Gallery admission.

About Wanda Koop

Wanda Koop is one of Canada’s most distinguished and inventive artists. From the very beginning of her career, which spans three decades and includes over fifty solo exhibitions, Koop garnered critical acclamation. Starting in the 1980s, she charted new directions for painting, pushing the boundaries of presentation and display with her all-encompassing installations. Over the last decade, she has become recognized for incorporating poetic video work into her painting environments.

I don't really work on paintings as such; I've always worked in a series, or a continuum of ideas and thoughts
Wanda Koop, May 1998

Koop was born in 1951 in Vancouver, British Columbia the second of six daughters. Her parents, both Russian-Mennonite immigrants from wealthy backgrounds, arrived in Canada with nothing having fled the Russian Revolution. The family eventually settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba where Koop was raised. As a child her parents encouraged her in the arts. She recalls Saturday morning art classes, and the moment she knew she would become an artist; it was at the age of 8 having visited a Vincent Van Gogh exhibition. While still a university student, Koop’s work was included in an exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1972. She graduated the following year from the Lemoine Fitzgerald School of Art at the University of Manitoba.

Koop travels extensively as part of her working process and has exhibited across Canada and the United States, as well as in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Japan, India, China, and Italy (in conjunction with the 2001 Venice Biennale). Her work is represented in prestigious museum and private collections in Canada, Europe and Shanghai.

Tenacious and exceedingly generous, Koop is also well known for her community work. In 1998 she founded Art City, a storefront art centre in Winnipeg whose goal is to bring together contemporary visual artists and inner-city youth to explore the creative process.

Over the course of her career, she has received numerous national and international awards in recognition of her achievements as an artist, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and the Order of Canada (2006).