Works, Non-Works and Illusions

Works, Non-Works and Illusions

Pravdoliub Ivanov is one of Bulgaria’s best known contemporary artists. He has shown at the biennials in Istanbul (1995), Sidney (2004) and Berlin (2006) and took part in Bulgaria’s national presentation at the 52nd Biennial of Contemporary Art in Venice – “A Place You Have Never Been Before”, curated by Vessela Nozharova (2007). 

His objects, installations and photography make use of text puns and play with changes in perspective on the visible and the invisible. His handling of serious existential and social problems is light and unobtrusive, while the reversals of meaning in his use of quotes from other artists are humorous and entertaining. His signature works include: “Territories”, Istanbul (1995), Kassel (2003), Berlin (2006); “Memory is a Muscle”, Venice Biennial (2007); „The Kingdom of Wish and Waste”, 1st Balkan Biennial, Thessaloniki (2004); „Monument to the Unknown Washerwoman”, Luxemburg (2005); „Loaded”, Amiens (2010); and “August in Art”, Varna (2010).

The idea for „Works, Non-Works and Illusions”, his first solo exhibition at the Sariev Gallery, arose from a subversive interest in visual illusion. Some of the works were made especially for the Sariev Gallery, while others, like the installation “There is No Such Thing as a Perfect Game”, a few new photographs from the series “Non-Works” and a one-minute film about a trip to Cyprus, which is part of the international project „Suspended Spaces”, will be shown in Plovdiv for the first time. The overall theme for the exhibition is “the impact of visual illusion, which tends to distract us from the fact that first impressions are the shortest way to meaning”.

Pravdoliub Ivanov
Born in 1964 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Lives and works in Sofia.

Graduated from the National Academy of Art, Sofia, in 1993.
Founding Member of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Sofia, since 1993.
Teaches at the National Academy of Arts since 1996.

Selected solo and dual exhibitions: 
2008 - “Thoughts Within Thoughts”, dual show with Alec Finlay, ARC Projects Gallery, Sofia
2007 - “Double Trouble”, dual show with Valyo Chenkov, Steinle Contemporary Gallery, Munich, Germany
2003 - “Existing Objects”, Ata Center / Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia
2002 - “Pessimism, No More”, Musée des Beaux Arts, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
1999 - “Negligible Incidents”, TED Gallery, Varna, Bulgaria
1998 - “The Vehicles’ Dream”, Longwood Arts Project, New York, USA

Selected group exhibitions: 

“Suspended Spaces – depuis Famagusta”, Amiens, France
“Breaking Walls, Building Networks”, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki

“Who Killed Painting?”, works from the Block Collection, Weserburg Neues Museum, Bremen, Germany
“Black Little Curly Hair”, Kappatos Gallery, Athens, Greece
“Techniques”, ICA Gallery, Sofia

“Readymade Today”, Steinle Contemporary Gallery, Munich, Germany
“Транфер/Transfert”, LA BF 15, Lyon, France
“No Place Like Home: Perspectives on Migration in Europe”, Argos Center, Brussels, Belgium

“L’Europe en devenir”, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, France
“A Place You Have Never Been Before”, 52 nd Venice Biennial, Bulgarian Pavillion
“Plus Zwei”, Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg, Germany

“Check-in Europe”, Europe Patent Office, Munich, Germany
“Of Mice and Men”, 4th Berlin Biennial

“Sous les ponts, le long de la rivière – 2”, Luxembourg

“On Reason and Emotion”, 14th Sydney Biennial

“In the Gorges of the Balkans”, Fridericianum Museum, Kassel, Germany
“Blut & Honig, Zukunft ist am Balkan”, Essl Collection, Vienna, Austria

Manifesta 3, “Borderline Syndrome”, Ljubljana, Slovenia

19 October – 26 November 2010
Opening 19 October 2010