THE NATIONAL GALLERY
AT 65 MILLION YEARS—THE STONE
21 November 2019–17 May 2020
Opening on Thursday, 21 November, at 6 p.m.
Spirit and matter fuse into one to introduce us to the world of sculptor Ivan Rusev, who narrates his artistic philosophy through stone objects, the fruit of the mental creativity materialised by his hands. ‘At 65 Million Years—the Stone’ is a project whose appearance has a logical explanation following ‘The Marble Town of the Arts’ (2014) and ‘At 60 Million Years—the River’ (2014). In this exhibition, the artist pays tribute to the material he has recognised over the years as ‘his own’—both as a centuries-old artistic material and as a panopticon of his world view.
In Ivan Rusev’s oeuvre, stone is a material expression of his imaginary notions about the world. His works are not merely aesthetic objects: in them, numerous semantic layers are superimposed, transpiring behind volumes and forms, behind constructional solutions. While preserving the inherent nature of the material, he cuts with exceptional skill through the surface of the stone’s flesh to create delicate shapes suggesting the traces left by the artist’s hands. In the open spaces of Kvadrat 500, he once again interprets the unceasing natural cycle and the search for eternal truths. Praise of the material and reverence for it through sculpted forms is a sincere confession, a fusion of a life path with creative activity.
This original gift of Ivan Rusev’s to us all transfers us to the place that gives him the strength and inspiration to forge ahead in spite of everything and of everyone—in his Ilindentsi, in his Marble Town, where he lives, breathes and works at full speed. Among the compositions with columns, luminous stone lanterns and boxes, we come into contact with the sacral fusion of man and nature and can feel the magic of the breathless, centuries-old stone touched by the spirit of the creator.