Ivan Grubanov – Seven Studies for a Memorial

May 1 - July 23, 2010

With "Seven Studies for a Memorial" we are pleased to present the second solo show of the Serbian artist Ivan Grubanov at Loock Galerie.  

For Grubanov, a former activist and an exuberant painter and draftsman, art is a parallel institution where he critically processes subjects from his public and historical realm. Grubanov juxtaposes micro-narratives against the backdrop of official history, makes non-institutional claims for a different kind of truth and justice and creates alternative reconciliation with historical responsibility. Series of 160 drawings made in the courtroom of The International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, series of paintings of stages erected for political rallies, drawings of archeological excavations and mass graves in his native former Yugoslavia are some examples of his ongoing quest. He explores the limits of art as a tool for documenting and interpreting history. 

Always involved with the notion of personal responsibility for the shared identity, Grubanov brings together a show titled "Seven Studies for a Memorial". Poetically engaging the term of "study" as used in the traditional painterly practice, he emphasizes a series of attempts to reach a visual conclusion, a visual definition. The subject is condensed in the heavily charged notion of "memorial". A visual mark, a visual entity made to commemorate and signify an event from the past, a troubling chapter of history, a site of mass atrocities, a historical quilt.  

But a memorial is always a product of the collective attempting to reconcile. What is then a memorial proposed by an individual, if not an act of rebellion? Painter, an outcast from the global communicative network of images, is pleading for the need to signify memories and traumas in the times when memorials are relics and yet there’s politics of terror performed and executed all over. Grubanov sees his painting as an intervention into the historical, referring to how history used painting to explain itself. Instead of some pathetic symbolical references to the idea of historical painting, Grubanov offers renderings of an actual experience, his own experience of turbulent political climate of today. 


Ivan Grubanov, born 1976 in Belgrade, lives and works in Belgrade and Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include Loock Galerie, Berlin; MUSAC, Leon; Le Grand Café Centre d’Art Contemporain, St. Nazaire; Stroom Center for Contemporary Art, The Hague; Nogueras Blanchard Gallery, Barcelona. Participations in group shows include: Witte de With, Rotterdam; City Gallery, Prague; Iaspis, Stockholm; 10th Istanbul Biennial; 3rd Bucharest Biennial of Young Artists; Kunsthalle Bern; The Drawing Center and Apex Art in New York; Henie Onstad Art Center, Oslo; Stedelijk Museum CS an De Apel in Amsterdam; South London Gallery; Thessaloniki Biennial; Tirana Biennial; Extra City, Antwerp.