SMMoA Santa Monica Museum of Art

Georgi Tushev

14 Jan - 25 Feb 2012

© Georgi Tushev
Strange Attractor, 2008
Oil on canvas
10 x 14 inches
Courtesy the artist
Strange Attractor
14 January - 25 February, 2012

Georgi Tushev: Strange Attractor presents paintings and a work on paper that investigate the effects of oil paint when exposed to extreme magnetic fields. Tushev’s signature works explore the dynamism of pigment, the physical possibilities of paint, and the transformation of matter. He uses pigments that contain high concentrations of iron that, when exposed to magnets, create textured, three-dimensional surfaces, where paint seemingly explodes off the picture plane. Tushev’s works on paper are made through a similar technique, though in water, where the magnetic fields separate the watercolor pigments into areas of black, white, and gray and create concentric rings and circular patterns.

Tushev’s abstract pictorial space is evocative of natural forms and biological processes. On the macro level, the work appears geological, celestial—like lunar terrain. On the micro level, it suggests a view from under the microscope—of cell division and mitosis. Tushev’s method is inherently experimental; his compositions are subject to varying degrees of chance and instability. His long-time scientific testing of material has resulted in works that are arresting in form and astonishing in process.

Strange Attractor is the first Los Angeles show for Tushev and his debut museum exhibition; it also marks the inauguration of NY/LA, the Museum’s new exhibition series that connects contemporary art on both coasts. Strange Attractor is organized by New York-based curator Jeffrey Uslip.

Tushev (b. 1969) was born in Bulgaria and lives and works in New York City. He earned a graduate degree from the National Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria, and completed a residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico, and a Master Class of Painting in Amsterdam with painter Markus Lupertz.

Tushev’s work has been represented in solo exhibitions in San Francisco at Noma Gallery and in Sofia, Bulgaria, at XXL Gallery.

Support for Georgi Tushev: Strange Attractor has been provided in part by Peter Gelles and Eve Steele Gelles.

Tags: Markus Lüpertz