Exhibition at the Optical and Mechanical Plant features artworks:
Socks attached to canvas, 3 pieces, 240 × 240 cm each, one divided in two parts. Courtesy of the artist
Anton Stoianov experiments with diverse materials, tools and production techniques. Reflecting the soul of Berlin where he has been residing in recent years, the Bulgarian artist has produced large-scale abstract paintings — without paint or pigment. At first glance, the work evokes minimalist half-toned compositions until the tri-dimensionality of the medium, grids of variably worn cotton socks, reveals itself to an absurdly abject effect, leading to cognitive dissonance. These biomorphic paintings by Anton Stoianov express affinity with repulsive bodies of work situated outside the symbolic order and strategically forced upon the viewer’s gaze in order to maintain boundaries between nature and society. In the context of the pandemic and new conditions of hygiene, the viewer is confronted to reconsider the feeling of cleanness and dirt.
Glass and UV glue, both 160 cm X 160 cm
Glass and UV glue, both 160 cm diameter
Courtesy of the artist
The unique mirror pieces inspired by Stoianov’s glassworks training at the Glaser-Innung Berlin, reflect the architecture, environment, and spaces, where they are installed, through shadows, light and gazes that change during the day. The presence of the audience with their gaze is part of the artistic proposal, which creates aesthetical, dynamic and reflective connections to their location. He clearly refers to color symbolism, and Alexander Scriabin (1872–1915) who lived and worked within artistic traditions in Russia, in which the various avant-garde movements in music and art from Western Europe had flourished. As a literary-philosophical movement, Russian Symbolism grew from these western European roots, and took different forms in the artistic circles of St. Petersburg and Moscow.
The Circus features a site-specific installation Fab-Egg (2021), created specially for the 6th Ural Biennial. It is a huge reflective sphere suspended under the Circus dome. It is accompanied by an electronic musical creation composed by Viktor Ilieff. The idea of this work is to unite sound, color and space in order to immerse the viewer into a synthetic experience, which is inspired by the “color-tonality” theory of the Russian Silver Age composer Alexander Scriabin and is inscribed into the context of “synaesthetic perception”. In their joint work, the authors aim to create the feeling of Gesamtkunstwerk so much aspired by generations of artists.
Anton Stoianov lives and works in Berlin. He entered the Murals Arts Program of the National Academy of Art in Sofia, continuing his education at the Universität fur Angewandte Kunst, Vienna in 2001. In 2007, he graduated from the Universität der Künste, Berlin. In 2006, he was an exchange student at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco.
He works in the field of painting, relief, installation, objects, design, and scenography. Through experiments with typical or atypical materials, techniques, basics, and formats, he explores the stylistic and conceptual aspects of contemporary painting.
He has numerous solo shows and group projects: xavierlaboulbenne Gallery, Apartment, Nice & Fit (Berlin), Bulgarian Cultural Institute Haus Wittgenstein (Vienna), Elektrohaus (Hamburg), Sariev Contemporary Gallery, (Plovdiv), Æther, Structura Gallery (Sofia), etc. He had a solo exhibition at the art fair Art Cologne, 2018. Anton Stoianov is part of the Louis Vuitton Collection, Paris. This year he will participate in the 6th Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg.
Photo by Jetmir Idrizi