Art Reviews


Review by Claudia Moscovici, Art Critic


Ivan Minekov represents the rich and diverse tradition of Modernism incontemporary sculpture. Born in Bulgaria, he’s a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts Nicolae Grigorescu in Bucharest, Romania. A student of Paul Vasilesku, Ivan Minekov quickly distinguished himself throughout Eastern Europe in the domain of sculpture.

Versatile in terms of material, subject and style, Minekov’s wood and bronze sculptures range from elongated figures reminiscent of  Alberto Giacometti‘s art, to the more minimalist and essential forms associated with  Constantin Brincusi, to comparatively realistic figures similar to  Auguste  Rodin‘s. The sculpture featured above, for instance, resonates with Brincusi’s famous  Platonic saying that sculpture captures the essence of forms rather than their external appearance:
“There are idiots who define my work as abstract; yet what they call abstract is what is most realistic. What is real is not the appearance, but the idea, the essence of things.”
Sometimes highlighting the essence of objects, at others capturing the realism of forms,  Ivan Minekov is a contemporary master of modernism, in its multitude of styles. Few sculptors have the talent to pull off so successfully so many different artistic traditions while shining through as unique in their own right.
Minekov’s versatility developed not only from his natural aptitude and diverse artistic influences, but also from his international success, as the artist adapted to his international patrons. Between 1975 and 1990, he was commissioned to do a series of monumental sculptures in several Bulgarian cities, including Pazardjik, Burgas, Rousse, Lovech, Dorkovo.
My personal favorite, the sculpture  Ballerina, was offered as the award to the winner of the  23rd International Ballet Competition in Varna. Reminiscent of Degas’ famous dancers, Minekov’s statuette is gracefully elongated rather than realistic in style, capturing the fragility of youth and the fluidity of movement. In 1990, Minekov was asked to do a realistic portrait of  Professor Denton Cooley, the founder of the Texas Heart Institute.  Not surprisingly, Ivan Minekov’s works are popular with collectors throughout the world, including Europe, Japan, Israel, and the United States. 

He often pursues, and purposefully at that, some lengthening of the proportions in his bronzes, a reinforcement of the resonance, of the delicate texture and the spatial development of the composition. With wood it is the other way round.

There the shapes are generalised and often a juxtaposition of human figures and architectural elements is observed, while the delicate curves build up the impact of the images.


Ivan Minekov is an artist characterised by the diversity of his talents. That is why, in his works, there are no abrupt transitions from one stage to another but a constant movement towards a crystallisation of his personal style.

Ivan Minekov is an artist possessing a marked sense for the dramatic nature of the subject matter, for the suggested development of the idea that is being expressed. His education - acquired in Bucharest in Professor Paul Vasilesku’s studio, from 1970 to 1975 - prepared him for a difficult and at the same time favourable path in the light of his subject matter.


He makes it his aim to set in motion the inherent grandeur of sculptural works, to seek for that memorable quality that will attribute contemporary significance to his works and involve them in a dialogue with our current way of thinking. I am convinced that he carries out and maintains this line of artistic development in his compositions above all.Ivan Minekov has an inclination for materials such as bronze and wood, and searches for some specific forms to solve his artistic endeavours. When working with wood he achieves rituality of impression and when with bronze – dramatised states. Such a differentiation in the works executed in different materials speaks about the dynamism in the artist’s conception of the world.




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