My most recent work continues to be concerned with paint’s ability to visually describe and reinvent and in being able to balance between figuration and abstraction.  Engaging also with being able to rearrange both space and sense of depth on the canvas.

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(Interview) HALOCLINES / Iavor Lubomirov / Traction Magazine .136 | Dec 2016

Susie Pentelow interviews Iavor Lubomirov on the occasion of his exhibition ‘Haolcines’, at Jessica Carlisle, London. ‘Haloclines’ explores the collaborative working process and sees Lubomirov making work in pairings with Katrina Blannin, Abi Box, Lee Edwards, Rab Harling, Lee Maelzer and Valeriya N-Georg.

Read the origonal interview on Traction Magazine 

For this exhibition, you have collaborated with six different artists. What has this process highlighted for you? Did it reveal certain constants within your own practice?

Yes, it’s interesting, collaborating with so many artists who work so differently, hasn’t just opened up new possibilities, but indeed revealed to me a recurring core in my own work. Some of this I was already aware of – my predilection for small increments, the allure of the built curve, but also it has affirmed for me the physical and emotional necessity I feel for making work outside my own narrow personal existence, to connect and grow and interact in art as in life.

How do you relate to the works you have made in these collaborative pairings? Do they feel as much your own as works made entirely by you?

Not at all, there is an emotional uncertainty attached to these works and I feel very aware of the other artist’s work. It has taken me a much longer time to work out how to reconfigure the canvases of Maelzer and Box, Harling’s photographs, and N-Georg’s print, than my own work typically would, and this is in large part due to considerations I have felt for the images I have been given: thinking about how they will change and whether parts will be lost due to my process; whether or not this is acceptable/justifiable for the final outcome; what the other artist’s work is about and what it’s trying to say, how I will change this and how my shapes and structures relate to theirs. 

In fact all the artists have been very generous in allowing me a free hand to alter and transform their work, but I am constantly aware that a poor decision will affect not just my art, but theirs. And then there is the collaboration with Lee Edwards, where the table is turned and I have entrusted him with my earliest paper sculpture (a very precious piece for me) and the excitement and trepidation I feel allow me to keep a level on how the other artists are likely to feel about my intervention in their work.

What is the significance of the title, ‘Haloclines’?

A halocline is a visible difference that occurs when salt water mixes with fresh water, for example where a river flows into the sea. This effect occurs in other ways in nature too, and there are other types of cline, but it is this particular phenomenon that struck me when I first discovered it, as having a familiar quality that I had observed in collaborative works (my own and others’), where the art object is one body, but the separate influences of the makers can be observed. Each work in this show is both a single artwork and a pair of artworks. I had the title in mind about half way into the project, before I had actually cut anything, and it has influenced the way the final works have come out. For example with both Maezler and Box, I decided to leave half the sculpture plain and use the other half as support for their cut up canvases. So that depending on where you stand you will observe a work that could be entirely mine, then as you walk around to the other side it is transformed and the painted image becomes dominant. This is more subtle in my collaboration with Blannin, where the ‘cline’ is conceptual. I’m not sure how easily accessible this will be to observers of the work – they seem to be very clearly Katrina Blannin paintings, made by a single artist’s hand, but the geometry is something I’ve been playing with for about 8 years and I personally find it very striking and moving. I am able to look at these works and see both Katrina and me, both separately and as a whole.

You are an artist and curator, and the nature of this show suggests both roles came into play. Was this the case?

Absolutely. In a way this is another cline within the show. It can so easily be seen as a group show. The way in which I approached the artists and put the work together to me is an entirely familiar curatorial process. The only difference is that I also inhabit this exhibition and each of the works in it. So while it could be seen as a solo show – the press release certainly seems to suggest this – it is unavoidably plain that I am also curating here and having the kind of conversation with the artists in the show that a curator would. There is also history here. I have previously curated exhibitions with each of the artists in this show, except for Lee Edwards – we were both in an exhibition called Perfectionism, curated by Becca Pelly-Fry. But then I have also exhibited alongside most of the artists in group shows.

What does 2017 look like for you?

Well, I am a very, very slow maker. To me 2017 is a step along a bigger stairwell to another show much further down the line. To give some perspective, my last UK solo show was in 2008. There are a number of works I want to make a start on, mostly with the artists I have been collaborating with for this show – there is lots to explore there still. There are also a couple of new artists I am cautiously thinking about approaching for collaborations, if they will have me. That’s the artist’s answer. The curator’s answer is a bit more full on. I help to run LUBOMIROV / ANGUS-HUGHES and we have a myriad of exciting projects scheduled there right into 2018. But my role there is curatorial in a slightly removed sense, in that I am curating a programme of shows by other curators, as opposed to directly curating shows (more ‘clines’?). I do hope I will have time in 2017 to also curate on an exhibition level, perhaps outside the gallery.

Interview by Susie Pentelow.

‘Haloclines’ runs between 14 and 18 of December 2016 at Jessica Carlisle, London W1U 2BF, with a private view on Tuesday 13 December 6-9 pm. For more information, visit http://www.jessicacarlisle.com.

Find out more about Iavor Lubomirov’s practice at www.iavor.co.uk.

(Interview) Lost in Painting / Contemporary Collective | Dec 2016

read the original interview 

1) Which art movement do you consider most influential on your practice?

I don’t think there is one. I change my mind a lot. Impressionism seemed not to interest me much until recently – now it does and I can’t exactly explain that. I’m easily distracted…

2) Where do you go and when to make your best art?

Outside. I like finding the mess in nature. Recently, I visited Peru and stayed in the rainforest. I liked very much the unruly tangle of roots and branches below the canopy.

3) How do you describe your ‘creative process’?

All over the place. I have no set process. I’m currently working with all manner of things, oil, acrylic, watercolor, canvas, board, sheets of Perspex, glass, sketchbooks. I’m finding at the moment I start off a lot of things by making messy scribbly drawings where I don’t look at the page very much – seems I make better work when I’m not looking at what I’m doing.

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4) Which artist, living or deceased, is the greatest inspiration to you?

I blooming love the work of Hurvin Anderson and Andreas Eriksson. Paintings to get lost in.

5) If you weren’t an artist, what would you do?

High rise window cleaner.

6) What do you listen to for inspiration?

Not for inspiration but in the studio. Right now, any music, Adam Buxton Podcast and My Dad Wrote a Porno**.

**A series in which Jamie Morton reads out chapters from the erotic books his 60 year-old dad has written.

7) Which 3 artists would you collect work by if money was no object?

Aside from Hurvin Anderson and Andreas Eriksson. Julie Mehretu, Joan Mitchell ‘Chasse Interdite’ 1973, and a projector ‘drawing’ by Amba Sayal-Bennett – though I don’t know where I’d put it.

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8) If your dream museum or collection owner came calling, which would it be?

I would like to work with nice people.9) What is your key piece of advice for artists embarking on a fine art or creative degree today?Don’t be a dick.

10) What is your favorite book of all time (fiction or non-fiction)?

This changes often but The First Bad Man by Miranda July* – it’s nuts. I also love her short stories, Swim Team from No One Belongs Here More Than You is awkwardly beautiful.

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*Miranda Jennifer July is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, author and artist. Her body of work includes film, fiction, monologue, digital media presentations, and live performance art.

11) If you could hang or place your artwork in one non-traditional art setting, where would that be?

The Starship Enterprise. 

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12) What was the biggest lesson your university course or time studying taught you? 

Heck.. how to better externalise my thinking process.. have conversations out loud and not in my head.

13) And finally, if we were to fast forward 10 years, where would we find you?

Studio cave.