Miyako Yoshinaga is pleased to present the solo exhibition entitled Between Four Mountains by Yana Dimitrova (b.1983), a New York-based, Bulgarian-born painter and mixed-media artist. This is the artist’s third solo presentation at the gallery and the inaugural exhibition at its new Upper East Side location (24 East 64th Street).
Yana Dimitrova is a classically trained painter informed by contemporary theory and practice. Her work explores the interplay between artist, subject and viewer. For Dimitrova, her work is a conduit of her life as an immigrant and an artist – ideas around arriving and leaving behind, family and culture. Painting is a universal voice that can empower human experience and provide a sense of universality. “I hope to build onto the capacity of painting as a social medium, whilst creating a platform for interpersonal and collective agency.”
Dimitrova’s work is a heady mix of vibrant colors and exuberant brushstrokes that create palpable emotion. The viewer is swept up in her consciousness and reminisces alongside her despite not having been physically present at inception. The large canvas painting titled “A Remembered Imagined Landscape” portrays a lush riverbank and sprawling mountain ranges – a landscape full of memory and motifs – with a barely perceptible human face in the distance, instilling a sensory familiarity. “Map of Love and Suffering”, a gouache painting functioning as a tapestry prototype, is inspired by conversations with a fellow immigrant and Bulgarian folk singer. The theme mirrors experiences of Dimitrova’s own parents and grandparents. Another large painting, “Parallel Portrait 1” is an affectionate and ubiquitous portrayal of shopkeepers in the community that have welcomed her in. She depicts imagined and remembered places and people, some of whom no longer exist, based on visual recollections as well as simple verbal descriptions told by others.
For Between Four Mountains, Dimitrova spent time with her family, friends and neighbors in Bulgaria and her current base in Brooklyn, conversing, enquiring and connecting. The work conveys a sense of place and people described lovingly and longingly. By including fragments of stories and the emotional charge of conversations exchanged, Dimitrova weaves together the multi-faceted complexity of human memory and incorporate themes of struggle, empowerment and interpersonal relationships. Between Four Mountains transforms the gallery into a community space, where painterly dialogues unite people and build alliances, and exist as unique social tools for storytelling.
Yana Dimitrova studied painting and printmaking, achieving both her BFA and MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. She is currently conducting an international practice-lead PhD research at LUCA School of Arts in Brussels/Ghent, Belgium with focus on painting as a medium of empowerment. She has shown at various national and international venues such as The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (New York), Aronson Gallery (New York), Walke (Brussels, Belgium), OAZO (Amsterdam), Gallery Twenty-Four (Berlin, Germany), NXNW (Manchester, UK), Sofia City Gallery Museum and Credo Bonum (Sofia, Bulgaria), Field Projects, Flux Factory, NARS Foundation, and Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery (New York). Her work is in the collection of Republic of Bulgaria Ministry of Culture Fund, Sofia City Gallery Museum National Art Fund, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, SCAD Museum, Paula and Glen Wallace collection, and numerous international private collections. Dimitrova is currently a part-time professor at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.