Ilian Lalev

Ilian Lalev was born in Nova Zagora in 1962. He graduated from the National Academy of Arts (under the tutelage of Prof. Naiden Petkov) in 1987.

Since the mid-1990s, Ilian Lalev has actively participated in the process of updating Bulgarian art and of painting in particular. He believes in the equality of all the means of expression as a function of work of art and in contradiction to the apologists’ theory that contemporary art has “rejected the brushes and paints”.

Ilian Lalev is the author of many exhibitions (installations, performances, campaigns), many of them with social and political orientation, such as: the audiovisual structure “Waiting for Contact” (1998), the installation “At Closed Doors” (1998), the performance “Protest pour la protest” (2013), the campaign “No to the Replacement, no to the art oligarchy” in front of Sofia City Art Gallery (2015).

Along the same lines, he created two Life art projects – PGQ I and II (Post-graduate qualifications – a boxing coach and a cook, video, print and readymade), reflecting the impact of the changing politico-economic infrastructure on culture in the context of post-communist society in Bulgaria. In 2015, Ilian Lalev created and curated the project “Scales of…” which emerged as the only organized forum for social and political visual art in Bulgaria, and which has had four editions.

The artist has had more than 15 solo exhibitions, including: “Details of the Interior” (1995, Ladder Gallery), “At Closed Doors” (1998, Rayko Aleksiev Gallery), “Handmade” (1999 – ATA – Center for Contemporary Art), “Waiting for Contact” (2000, Irida Gallery), “Missed Opportunity” (2008, Art Alley Gallery), “Painted Observations (2013, Rakursi Gallery), and many more.