Iva Gueorguieva in residence at Lux Institute

As the first Lux Art Institute resident artist of 2010, Los Angeles-based, Bulgarian-born Iva Gueorguieva is creating a large-scale abstract painting, measuring 8 by 12 feet. Visitors can “see art happen” while Gueorguieva is in the studio and view her completed work through March 17.

The exhibit features Gueorguieva’s tumultuous, acrylic-laden canvases where dizzying brush strokes, loud colors, complex spatial configurations and frenetic energy abound.

Vaguely recognizable objects, dismembered body parts, hints of architecture and obscure characters (grotesque, comic, even tragic in their tattered states) are barely revealed and even seem poised to disintegrate. Yet they all come together, curiously juxtaposed, on canvases heaving with lurid hues, swirling spaces and sharp-edged marks to depict seemingly futuristic worlds where an underlying sense of menace lurks.

It is the process of painting that Gueorguieva makes evident in these chaotic, dynamic works. But as she bleeds abstraction into narrative, despite the absence of any static image, themes of beauty, violence, isolation, sex and death are exposed.

“Having Iva with us for four weeks, creating one of the largest paintings of her career, will be a magical experience for all of us,” said Reesey Shaw, Lux director. “The roiling power and energy sweeping through the layered imagery the artist pulls out of her abstract landscapes will be spectacular at this scale.”

Gueorguieva immigrated to the United States in 1990. She teaches drawing and painting at UCLA. She received her B.A. in philosophy from Goucher College in Baltimore and her M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Her solo exhibitions include shows at Angles Gallery, Santa Monica; Carl Berg Projects, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Electric Works, San Francisco; Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont; Carl Berg Gallery, Los Angeles; Heriard Cimino Gallery, New Orleans; and Stephen Stux, New York.

— Grace Madamba,

Lux Institute

Lux Art Institute
  • Where: 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas
  • When: 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
  • Admission: $10 for two visits
  • Contact:, (760) 436-6611