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EXPERIMENT IN FLESH TONE Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland’s work examines themes of technological advancement and the effect that this progress has on our environment – both literally and metaphorically. Coupland probes advancement of new technologies by questioning what it means to be existent at this very time; to be living through highly accelerated technological advances, throwaway culture, and mass environmental negligence. All these things make up what Coupland terms the "21st-century condition," something he investigates through the incorporation of readymade consumer objects and digital applications into his work.

Coupland’s work has been displayed in solo exhibitions internationally at galleries including the Saint Petersburg Manege, Villa Stuck in Munich, Daniel Faria Gallery in Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum & Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto, Or Gallery in Berlin, and Gallery Speak For in Tokyo. In addition to his solo shows, he has contributed numerous works to group exhibitions at the Audain Art Centre in Vancouver, Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal, Whitechapel Gallery in London, La Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, The 6th Beijing International Art Biennale, OCA Museum in Sao Paulo, and Mass Moca in Massachusetts along with many others. Coupland has been honored with a variety of awards such as the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2015 and honorary degree’s from OCAD University in 2013, University of British Columbia in 2010, Simon Fraser University in 2007, and Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2001. bill@thecoolhunter.net p .

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photo courtesy of ALESSANDRO PAGLIA

Canadian artist, novelist, and cultural theorist Douglas Coupland employs a variety of different materials within his post-medium practice to reflect on the changing cultural landscape. Coupland is highly critical of what he calls “the early 21st century condition,” addressing issues of identity, technology, and pop culture. While alluding to the graphic imagery of artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Piet Mondrian, Andy Warhol, and James Rosenquist, Coupland often uses repetition and patterns as well as everyday materials and objects. He couples the tradition of painting with current technologies, exemplified in his use of QR code within a painting. When observed the piece is both visually stimulating to the viewer and interactive with a smartphone. Coupland’s work, while simple in composition, prompts chaos within the mind of the viewer as he suggests the convergence of world culture and loss of identity due to new media and the internet. Working as a thesis for his work is his statement, Twelve Slogans for the Early TwentyFirst Century, which reads, “It’s Okay to want to stop being an individual,” “The Internet allows you to dream while you’re still awake,” and “A fully linked world no longer needs a MIDDLE CLASS.” These statements along with his use of pop-art depict modernisation and a distillment of identity. Coupland’s work includes practices of painting, installation, photography, quilting, and printing to ultimately probe the way that things, images, and processes of contemporary life affect our reality.

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