"The Third Day After" - Robert Aitchison & Iliyan Ivanov - Two-Men Show at Alfa Art Gallery Curated by Mr. Kiril Tarpov

New Brunswick, NJ, December 19, 2008 --(PR.com)-- In this exhibit the curator Mr. Kiril Tarpov and the artists Robert Aitchison and Iliyan Ivanov explore the artistic interpretation of controversial topics that are somewhat unique to the art of painting in its more conventional sense. These are the ideas of collaboration between artists and the revision of art works that at an earlier point of development were thought of as having been “completed” and “finished”.

Collaboration between painters on themes of styles, media of expression and philosophical or ideological issues is not new – however, the approach of hands-on collaboration of two or more artists creating paintings either simultaneously or through exchanging works and taking turns remains at odds with the very basic tenet of the art of painting, namely that it is a strongly individual and almost solitary art form (similar to poetry and writing) and very much unlike other arts including music, dance and theater. Furthermore, for centuries the art of painting has repeatedly revisited stylistic ideas informed by the style of a particular artists or an individual masterpiece. In this light the culture of re-thinking and revisiting one’s own ideas is a very familiar approach to every dedicated painter. Nevertheless, most of the time the artist will use this approach as a springboard for the development of novel and deeper explorations of the “old” ideas and under rare circumstance will re-paint or paint over the already finished work(s).

In this show Aitchison and Ivanov offer two parallel interpretations of the theme of artistic collaboration and re-thinking of ideas that have inspired them over the years of their spiritual friendship. They do so by presenting sixteen individual pieces of small works on paper (eight by each artist) that were created independently in the “gestalt” spirit of their artistic dialogue as they offer personal opinions about composition and palette. This part of the show could be viewed as a more “traditional” and in adherence to the more conventional understanding of artistic process and collaboration. The remaining paintings of this exhibit, however, present an unapologetic direct exploration of these same topics. The artists literally dug out old piles of paintings (dated from 1991 and 2000) and “resurrected” the emotions and the concepts that initially inspired these works through a two-month process of collaborative painting. During this period they took turns working on the other person’s original paintings guided mainly by their individual reading of the other artist’s ideas as well as the emotions that the original works evoked in each one of them. The result is a series of twenty two (currently) paintings on tar and heavy weight paper all under the umbrella title “Landscapes and Still Lives”. The curator has included five of these in the present show, which carries the noteworthy title “The Third Day After” as an indirect reference to the possibility if not of mythical but at least creative miracle of resurrecting one’s own roots of inspiration.

Exhibition Duration: December 19th - January 22nd, 2008

Opening reception: December 19th, 2008 - 7-11pm
Live music by Angel Tarpov – Bach sonatas for cello

Closing reception: January 17, 2009 - 7-11pm
Live music by: All-Shrinks Jazz Band
Milan Patel- sax
Matt Swan- bass
Iliyan Ivanov- guitar
Dan Gollin-drums

Alfa Art Gallery
Galina Kourteva