Ivan Grubanov – The Return of the National
August 30 – October 19, 2019
Opening: August 29, 7– 9pm
September 14, 2019, 4pm
Gabriela Galati in conversation with Ivan Grubanov
Loock Galerie is pleased to announce “The Return of the National”, Ivan Grubanov’s sixth solo exhibition in the gallery. In his recent series of paintings, Grubanov explores the concept of nation and its contemporary references. A native of the former Yugoslavia who grew up in the midst of a civil war inspired by nationalism, Grubanov relentlessly investigates the link between nationals and their methods of identification. Using various national slogans as a starting point, he has them embroidered on a piece of canvas and then paints over them, at once changing their meaning and prompting alternative readings. Covered and highlighted, the national slogans are simultaneously derogated and celebrated through the painting process.
For the artist, the national slogan is both the semantic and poetic core of mobilizing and articulating the subjects of the nation; the very framing of a nation, therefore, has an "artistic" element to it. New paintings exploring these themes will be exhibited alongside “The Return of the National”, a large-scale triptych that occupies an entire wall of the Loock Galerie. Bordering the line between traditional and expanded painting, the latter seeks the viewer’s visual and physical engagement, and is in dialogue with Grubanov’s “United Dead Nations”, a floor painting exhibited in the Serbian Pavilion at the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015).
The artistic practice of Ivan Grubanov (b. 1976) is marked by constant innovation to the medium of painting and the articulation of historical memory against the contemporary condition. His process-oriented painterly method evolves into a podium for knowledge production, persistently posing challenging questions about social and political realities.
Educated at the Belgrade Academy of Fine Arts, the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam, Delfina Studios in London, Casa de Velazquez in Madrid and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Grubanov has established his international career through numerous solo, group, and biennial exhibitions worldwide: the Serbian Pavilion at the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015); Witte the With, Rotterdam (2010); the 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade (2005) and many more. His works are part of important national and international collections such as the Deutsche Bank Collection, Berlin; MSUB (Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade); Kunstmuseum Bern; MUSAC (Museu de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon), and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens.