Island at Noon

March 13th - 29th 2018

For the second time within about a year, Stubel Gallery presents an exhibition of the Bulgarian abstract artist Catherine Tomova. As with all her prior exhibitions, she has given this one a name that sets it apart, calling it “The Island at Noon”. Avid readers in our audience will immediately make the association with the short story of one of the greatest Latin-American writers of the twentieth century, Julio Cortazar. And also with the question: whether, why and to what extent does Catherine draw on this particular story as a source for her artistic inspiration? Rather than looking for an answer here, we can look for the underlying emotional ties and explanations for their existence. The most likely explanation is rooted in the very essence of pointless imagery in art, particularly in painting, which stands upon a vast mosaic foundation from real to surreal, from imaginary to fantastic, from tangible to sensual. Breaking down conventions such as verisimilitude and natural logic offers pointlessness the advantage of roaming in the realm of sensations, free from the constraints of logic. So the images of this art become identical to music, to play, to dreams.

The Island also relates to another metaphor, compiled of concreteness, symbolism, materiality and abstraction. It is the metaphor of an island as a state of mind – moments, captured in the magic of the small, protected territory, surrounded by the vastness of the blue sea, which instead of being its border, opens it toward infinity. All the things that men look for and try to attain during their life journeys are islands of desire, similar to those mythical strips of land that lured the ancient sailors toward new discoveries. There are islands tucked away in the ocean of every soul, waiting to be discovered – islands of love, happiness, success, mercy, wisdom... The island is the illusion of eternity, constantly blurred by the surrounding waves like the game of the time, without beginning or end.

The author

Catherine Tomova