Nedko Solakov, 2000, oil on canvas board, from a serie of
12 pieces, 25,4x35,6 cm each
Arndt & Partner are pleased to announce "Studies for Romantic Landscapes with Missing Parts (and tips for the average global cnizen)" (2000) by the Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov - which was so far only presented once in an exhibition, entitled "Leaving the Island" at the Pusan Metropolitan Art Museum in Korea (2000).
Upon first investigation of Solakov´s narrative series they appear as their title suggests - studies for Romantic landscapes, executed in oil on canvas board, seemingly related to the European tradition of 19th century landscape painting. Whether it be the dramatic mountainscapes set against the gleaming sunset, the chiaroscuro making visible an intimate circle of people sitting around a fire in the pitch-dark night or the lonely lovers, contemplating the vastness of the seascape, the academic style and choice of subject matter suggest a traditional painter at work. As one has a closer look, however, a sense of irritation sets in, as the mountain is not reflected in the sea, the fire supposedly warming the circle of people is missing, and the bench on which the two lovers should be sitting is not painted at all. For the "unaccustomed eye of the average global citizen", Solakov even solves the riddle of the missing part by hinting at it in the title of the work.
As in previous work groups, the "Studies for Romantic Landscapes with Missing Parts" reflect the artist´s potent strategy of combining conventional techniques of draughtsmanship and knowledge of art history with the use of playful irony, an emphasis on the absurd and a subversive sense of humour. His narrative installations have a conceptual freedom, successfully triggering a range of questions and issues about the status and relevance not only of contemporary painting and the context in which it is presented, but also of general values and beliefs upheld in Western culture.
Nedko Solakov, born in 1957 in Cherven Briag, Bulgaria, lives and works in Sofia and graduated in mural painting from the Art Academy in Sofia in 1981. Since 1984, he has participated in numerous international exhibitions in Europe and the US. Among his forthcoming projects are exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Casino Luxembourg, the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt as well as several solo shows at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Museo do Chiado in Lisbon, the Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia and the Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art in Mamö.
Parallel to Solakov´s exhibition, which is his third solo show at Arndt & Partner, he will present his related series of "Romantic Landscapes with Missing Parts" at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, from 4.5.-16.6.2002 (opening on Friday,,3.5.2002, 7 pm).