28 April - 23 June 2017
Sophia Contemporary is proud to present Shifting Landscapes, a group show of contemporary American artists exploring abstraction through painting, photography and sculpture. Featuring six artists - Afruz Amighi, Iva Gueorguieva, Herman Mejia, Amir Nikravan, Holton Rower and Hannah Whitaker - the exhibition reflects on the evolving nature of American art. Casting a light on the diversity of contemporary approaches to abstraction, the works explore the artists’ impact on the landscape of art and American culture, across generations and disciplines.
Through a variety of points of view and artistic practices, Shifting Landscapes provides a window into contemporary abstraction in America today. Issues of contemporaneity, materiality and historic legacy in a post-modern world unite the artists exhibited despite their differing artistic strategies, points of references and media of predilection. On a broader cultural level, the exhibition examines the multicultural nature of America at a time of division and isolation within the country. Many of the artists in the show live and work in the US, but were born in other countries including Iran, Bulgaria and Venezuela. By reinterpreting American abstraction through the prism of their own varied cultural backgrounds and artistic heritage, the artists urgently reaffirm the diversity and openness in American culture, at a pivotal point in the nation’s history.
Iva Gueorguieva’s (b. 1974, Bulgaria) abstract paintings and sculptures investigate notions of space, illusion and movement. Drawing on the legacy of Abstract Expressionism, the artist’s paintings are driven by a sense of urgency, a desire to orchestrate chaos and recreate the complexity of life on canvas. Composed of intricate arrangements of painted paper and fabric collaged on the canvas with a feverish energy and dynamism, her paintings seek to investigate the fine line between the intrinsic illusion of the painting’s plane and the physicality of its surface. The artist’s sculptures echo her painting practice in their exploration of the spatial properties of materials. By combining simple elements such as metal scraps, fabric and stone to create intricate sculptural assemblages, the artist draws her inspiration from the Californian landscape where she resides, whilst referencing the legacy of Neo-Dada and Russian constructivism.