Damian Moppett

Damian Moppett (b. 1969, Calgary, Alberta; lives/works: Vancouver) has long been engaged with the processes, materials, and history of painting and sculpture, which he uses for the construction of his own vernacular. Drawing equally from modernist formalism, classical figuration, and advertorial photography, Moppett’s practice is an accumulation of strategies that refract and reconsider the story of art history.

Frequently alluding to the artist’s studio, Moppett renders the productive process as a subject in its own right. Sometimes a half-finished sculpture is painted as if it were a still life, while elsewhere he imagines what the forgotten work of another artist might look like. He consistently maintains transparency around his influences, often explicitly reappropriating the sculptures of Anthony Caro or the photographs of Dorothea Lange to explore how the historical techniques developed by past artists can be revisited to speak to a contemporary social context. Often, this shift in context is facilitated by a corresponding shift in material: black and white photographs become vivid and even grotesquely coloured paintings, while ancient caryatids translate to flattened silhouettes fashioned from architectural sheet metal. These explorations of previous artistic eras invite us to reflect on the role of art in society, and the web of canonical, mythical, and personal threads that give it meaning.

Recent solo exhibitions include Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (2023,2021, 2016), Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (2016); Simon Fraser University Gallery, Burnaby (2014); Vancouver Art Gallery Off-site (2012); Rennie Collection at Wing Sang, Vancouver (2011); Satellite Gallery, Vancouver (2011); Yvon Lambert, Paris (2007); Temple Gallery, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia (2007); Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa (2006); and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2005). Moppett has also been included in numerous group exhibitions at Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (2022); Griffin Art Projects, North Vancouver (2018); the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2017, 2014, 2012, 2008); Vancouver Art Gallery (2010); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2006); Yvon Lambert, New York (2006); Museum Van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp (2005); White Columns, New York; Galerie Kunstbuero, Vienna (2004); Power Plant, Toronto (2002); and Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2002). Moppett holds an MFA from Concordia University, and a BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where he has taught for over a decade.