Rouen There's Something About the Quality of Light in September

Douglas Coupland2014

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery

In the 1890s Claude Monet made repeated paintings of Rouen Cathedral. A half century later, Roy Lichtenstein revisited these works, and then another half century later, Coupland asks 'What is the cathedral of our era, and how is it to be represented?' This series of paintings, which initially appear abstract, reveal the facades of the World Trade Center when viewed through the lens of a smartphone. Forever embedded in our collective consciousness due to the events of 9/11, Coupland has rendered this iconic building repeatedly and in the process he expands on the notion of what is sacred, and what it means to have an obsession, either individually or as a culture.

The twenty-first century has been shaped by many events but in Coupland's view perhaps most profoundly by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, environmental degradation and the ubiquitous presence of new technologies. Coupland comments on the darker side of today's world through installations and paintings that are often enhanced by viewing through smartphone technology.

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  • Title: Rouen There's Something About the Quality of Light in September
  • Creator: Douglas Coupland
  • Date: 2014
  • Physical Dimensions: w76.2 x h101.6 cm
  • Exhibition section: The 21st Century Condition
  • Credit line: Courtesy of the Artist and Daniel Faria Gallery
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: acrylic on linen