Exhibition on Display: September 1 – October 23, 2022

In-Person Reception: September 16, 2022 6:30pm  

Virtual Reception: September 13, 2022 6:30pm 

Alfa Art Gallery invites you to explore narratives of despair, acceptance, and joy through artist Iliyan Ivanov’s solo exhibition, “The Way Things Come About.” In this exhibition, Ivanov uses expressive, carefully constructed compositions to explore difficult themes of mental health and trauma recovery. Through a series of six panels, Ivanov endeavors to illustrate the visual diaries of three children, aged nine, twelve, and sixteen, that he treated during his work as a child psychiatrist. Ivanov experiments with texture and color to approximate the feelings that the three patients expressed during treatment. The resulting works are a mixture of figurative and abstract art that attempts to give insight into the lives of Ivanov’s patients. 

For this exhibition, Ivanov draws inspiration from the works of noted painters Joseph Stefanelli and Julian Schnabel, among others. As an artist, physician, musician, and scientist, Ivanov often looks to scientific, musical, and philosophical concepts to inspire his work. This diversity of inspiration is mirrored in the wide variety of materials he uses. Ivanov’s works typically comprise of layers thinned acrylic paint on linen on both primed and unprimed canvas, paper, wood, cardboard, and window blinds to create a diverse collection of textures. 

Ivanov employs rough brushstrokes and overlapping layers of opaque paint to create chaotic compositions that invite intimate observation. In previous works, Ivanov played with how spatial relationships between objects can change how viewers interpret a painting. Across this series, Ivanov heightens this effect with the use of texture and color. Ivanov juxtaposes opposite graphic characteristics to replicate how traumatic events affect a person’s emotional state. High-movement gestural brushstrokes cut through static images, gray backgrounds threaten to swallow swirls of saturated pigments, and thick layers of paint are peeled away to reveal the unprimed canvas underneath. Each composition captures both the intense turmoil and joy his patients experience in their day-to-day lives. We invite you to walk through Ivanov’s collection and experience the stories captured within Ivanov’s abstract works.   

Featured Artist:

Iliyan Ivanov began his artistic career under the tutelage of internationally recognized Bulgarian painter George Yanakiev. After moving to New York, he continued his artistic education at the National Academy of Design’s School of Fine Arts. Over the past several years his work has been selected for presentations at the New York Collection at the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, the d.u.m.b.o. International Art Festival, Miami Art Basel, the Toronto Art Salon, the New York Emerging Artists Gala and the Red Dot Art Fair. His work as a psychiatrist has brought Ivanov numerous accolades, including: the 2019 Hulse Award from the NY Council on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the 2016 Outstanding Mentor Award by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; the 2015 Distinguished Fellow Award of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; and has been selected in the Best Doctors and Top Doctors databases since 2011. In addition to his artistic productions and work as a psychiatrist, Ivanov is a co-founder of the CURB Arts Group, a nonprofit organization that promotes aesthetic dialogue among international artists through alternative space exhibitions and performances in New York City.     

“The Way Things Come About”, Iliyan Ivanov Solo Virtual Exhibition

2022 Iliyan Ivanov Solo Exhibition, “The Way Things Come About”

Gallery Opening Reception:

With regards to our new normal as a nation, Alfa Art Gallery has successfully implemented virtual exhibitions via the Artsteps virtual gallery software and will continue to do so for this exhibition. These virtual and physical displays, although independent of one another, will have their receptions on the same date and be showcased simultaneously throughout the duration of this exhibition. We will also be utilizing the Zoom web communications platform for this virtual reception, as well as for the interviews conducted with the confirmed artists for this show.   

Alfa Art Gallery will be holding virtual opening reception and in-person opening reception as an open event.  The links to this opening can be found on Alfa Art Gallery’s Website and all social media closer to exhibition opening.   The links to this opening can be found on Alfa Art Gallery’s Website and all social media closer to the exhibition opening. Alfa’s staff and interns are working to keep all visitors safe and healthy. We have implemented safety measures along with the CDC guidelines. These include wearing face masks indoors, maintaining limited capacity, and providing a clean and safe environment. 

About Alfa Art Gallery 

The Alfa Art Gallery is a non-profit organization devoted to the discovery, growth, and support of emerging and established artists. Since we opened our doors in 2008, we have worked to achieve this goal through exhibitions and events held at our gallery over the years. Currently the most successful has been our oldest and most prestigious program, the New Brunswick Art Salon. Drawing inspiration from the traditional art salons of the 18th and 19th centuries, we have used these events to connect talented artists with the New Brunswick public. Since the program’s inception in 2010, the New Brunswick Art Salon has helped to enrich the community through its art. We believe that visual art is a universal form of expression that can bridge cultural gaps and provide a forum where diverse perspectives can be shared and appreciated. Our mission is to support emerging and well-established artists by increasing the exposure of their works, providing professional critique, as well as connecting our artists to all local, national, and international communities.  

“The Way Things Come About” is Sponsored By:  

Alfa Art Gallery is a non-profit organization located at 108 Church Street, in the heart of New Brunswick. The gallery is sponsored by the New Brunswick City Market, through grants given by organizations such as Amboy Bank, Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co. Inc, New Brunswick City Center, and Magyar Bank. Alfa Art Gallery believes that visual art is the ultimate form of communication, and aims to provide professional criticism and guidance to exhibiting artists. Alfa Art Gallery aims to create a cultural hub for fine painters, sculptors, actors, and writers from New Jersey and beyond.   

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