Past Exhibition



In the year that marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Ivan Petkov – Turkata, an unusual and oppressed artist by the communist authorities, Loran Gallery presents his works for the second time. The first exhibition (2015), which exhibited oil paintings from the most important period of his art – the late 70’s and early 80’s was entitled “Surrealism in the Age of Socialism”. Curator of the second exhibition of Ivan Petkov in Loran Gallery is again the art critic Krassimir Iliev. This time he traces the development of the artist in the aftermath of 1989 through his period-specific mixed technique – watercolors, lead pencil and colored pencils on paper.

Ivan Petkov – Turkata was born in 1945. He was a civil engineer, but painting was his true vocation and he devoted himself to it with passion until his last day. As he expresses himself with the means of surrealism, his creative path is littered with painful clashes with the guardians of dogmatic socialist aesthetics and even more so with the "guard dogs" of ideology. His rebellion against the system is not only aesthetic - in his paintings he openly opposes the prevailing communist myths.

Krassimir Iliev, who studied Ivan Petkov's file in the archives of the State Security, revealed the attitude of the investigated "object" to the agents: "The artist" (as Ivan Petkov is code-named) mocks the informers. Agent “Mihailov” reports that when asked what Petkov has been working on lately, he "kindly explained that his latest masterpiece is a landscape in blue, orange and delicate purple, in the sky and mountains, but from a certain angle, it actually represents the thumb between the index and middle finger of a hand.”

The works shown in this exhibition have a different format, but they are all created with respectful precision - the fine drawing invites the viewer to enjoy the details more closely. The frames of the paintings are also made by the artist himself, and the decorative value of some of them makes them an integral part of the work. The exhibitedpaintings are in a wide thematic range - from calm and contemplative bizarre landscapes through plots with provocative erotic elements to works in which Ivan Petkov continues to caricature the modern consequences of communism - "the deep sarcasm rooted in the 70s and 80s is replaced with irony aimed at the unified efforts to compromise and gradually obliterate the ideology."

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog in which the entire text of Krassimir Iliev and reproductions of all presented works are printed. Admirers of Turkata can meet with the curator and organizers of the exhibition during the exhibition opening - Wednesday, February 23, from 17:00 to 19:00.


Emil Danailov