Solo exhibition at +359 Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
22.11. – 22.12.2022
Curated by Vladiya Mihaylova
Vasilena Gankovska is an artist of consistency – in her interest in architecture and the urban environment, in her diligence to observe social processes and circumstances, in her trust in the art of painting as a language, as a tool for analysing reality and memory. Over the years, the author tracks various themes and transforms them into series of paintings – parks, factories, monuments, places of recreation, reviving socialist hotels along the Black Sea coast, panel blocks, Moscow movie theatres, etc. Her interest is focused on places going through processes of change that remain aside, lose their previous functions and necessity or change their type and format in new economic and social circumstances.
At first glance, dispassionate and analytical, the clear compositions of colours and shapes in Vasilena Gankovska’s paintings actually represent timekeeping, colourful testimonies of the transience and transformation of living conditions. As if in order to slow down time, the artist turns the canvas of the picture into a territory of freedom and a tool for looking and examining beyond the immediate. Far from documentation and realism, her works represent ‘evidence’ of a certain organization of spaces that people share and of society in general.
In the exhibition In the Blind Spot of the Painting, the author turns to her own artistic vocabulary. The blind spot as that elusive physical point where the eye fails to perceive the image; as a mental state that distorts the picture of reality, hiding under its surface deep fears and traumas, or in this case – as the fragile point of refraction of the artist’s glance, which invariably leaves hidden the motivation of the choice in the transformation of the surrounding world. At first glance, the paintings of the exhibition do not have a common theme; they do not work out a narrative or a thesis. They are visual fragments, abstract architectural compositions of colours and shapes reminiscent of familiar places, presented against the background of an open, context-free colour base. The individuality of these places does not matter, what matters is time, the impermanence of their habitation. Whether these are poker rooms, bungalows or other short-stay structures are secondary; the architectural environment is a transit zone, a metaphor for the inevitability of abandonment and loneliness. The boundaries of the canvas usually frame the territory of the painting; however, in this case, the artist breaks them. The world she created continues its development in space through colours, lines and shapes as a gentle personal manifesto of the basic human need for self-support, of a foundation built from observations, experiences, memory, places of return and an individual ‘colour’ code of recognition and sharing.
English translation by Iren Boykikeva