Ivan Minekov and the Modernist Tradition

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. 

Ivan Minekov

Ivan Minekov is a leading Bulgarian contemporary sculptor and one of the few artists in the world whose work has been launched into space. Minekov's statues are owned by private collectors throughout Europe, USA, Israel and Japan. He is included in the Bulgarian Encyclopaedia of Fine Arts and the Council of Europe's Art Catalogue of 2009. Ivan Minekov's works can be purchased online on www.lanternartgallery.com

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