Ivan Mateev

Ivan Mateev was born in the city of Provadia on December 28, 1911 in the family of Matyui Ivanov and Ivanka Matova. He spent the majority of his childhood in Varna. A fulfilled dream of the young artist is studying at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, which he graduated in 1940 under the supervision of Prof. Boris Mitov.The early paintings of Mateev's impress with simplicity, clean drawing and pastel tones. The artist draws inspiration from nature and especially from the life of the people by the sea. He likes to paint fishermen, sea cliffs and seaside towns - Balchik, Sozopol, Nessebar, Ahtopol. The work of Ivan Mateev is rare and little known, maybe because the creative fate of this artist is contradictory. After graduating from the Academy of Arts, he began working as teacher in Teteven - until 1945. He was one of the founders of the SBH and was elected for chairman of the Economic Council of this organization, from the foundation and until 1956. Later, Mateev was expelled from the SBH - as a motive his different view on the criteria for conducting the exhibitions. From 1956 to 1959 he worked as an artist at Central home of the People's Army, and subsequently gave drawing lessons. The artist's views are often at odds with the status quo and despite the original style of painting, his works to a large extent remain in the shadows. Meanwhile, Mateev does not stop painting. He puts a lot of feelings into his works - love for nature and people and an almost ecstatic adoration of life. Friends of the artist considered him a seeker of beauty and an incorrigible romantic, who is extremely honest and always prefers the modest life. A good friend of Ivan Mateev is Georgi Pavlov - Pavleto. He defines him asa man with a big heart and an ever-seeking spirit of discovery, and his landscapescalls "little snippets of beauty" executed in subtle colortonality, a real "music of colors".This immediacy and frankness in the works of Ivan Mateev, andalso the confident brushwork, the warm and soft colors, impresstoday. The artist made only two solo exhibitions during his life time- in Varna in 1942 and in Sofia - in 1969. On the occasion ofthe exhibition in Sofia, Prof. Vasil Stoilov notes affirmativepictorial style and the unusual vision of forms and colors inthe presented landscapes. He defines Mateev as a "painter ofthe elusive'.


Ivan Mateev died in 1982.