22.05 - 07.06.2008
In "ZEH", there is a first exhibition of Ukrainian artist, who lives and works far away from his homeland. From time to time, the gallery will represent creative work of native emigration, bringing them "back home" and extending the name list in Ukrainian contemporary art.
First artist, whom we are gladly present, is Ivan Trava, an artist with a name of a fairy tale character and just the same archetypal works.
"Basic elements" is the first exhibition of Ivan Trava in Ukraine, which he brought from Chicago.
Trava's basic elements are line, point, spot and texture. He easily creates appliqu? works and collage from cloth pieces (usually with geometrical or flower pattern), fur, and paper. All these components are strengthening to hard basis by stitches and metallic staples, which are also important in creating picture.
Trava creates ironical things. From the first look it is naive landscapes with the banal set of elements: mountain, tree, sky, sun; sometimes composition becomes complicated with the image of Indian deity or butterfly, for example. Moreover, the cloth on the picture can be full of holes, shabby, roughly fixed.
All intrigue is that Trava, while creating difficult, conceptual enough, and not accidental compositions, operates with simple and clear symbols (!!!) Possibly, it is a new way of compositional montage - a montage by texture. A texture of cloth, little stones, keys, and other basic elements alternates surprisingly pleasantly for an eye, and by touch. Indeed, the author does not like public contact to his painting. Once, at exhibition in Minsk, inside the hole in picture that represented woman genitals with soft velvet edges, he had hidden a mousetrap. The result was quantitative...
Ivan Trava is strict and kind at the same time. Perception of technique blend, their harmonic co-existence reminds us genius Sergey Paradjanov.
As the author confirms, at first we see by eyes and then- by mind, that is why we name, designate and determine what we see, and only after, we supervise our feelings. On this exhibition viewer can try to perceive art differently, more sensible and deeper, in the way it is necessary to accept the artistic experiment, which we see as very successful. By the authors' idea, lines, color, textures, and dots are basic elements (fire, water, air, and earth) and principles (male and female; dark and light). Therefore, a child is able to decode them intuitively, but to meditate on this art is possible only with certain cultural knowledge. And we congratulate you, our dear audience!
Maria Hruschak & Vitaliy Lubomirovich Gnativ (curator, culturologist, journalist, collectioner, art-critic)