Review: Iva Gueorguieva’s paintings exude simultaneity and sensuality at ACME

"An Orange Shadow Slithering" by Iva Gueorguieva at ACME.

“An Orange Shadow Slithering” by Iva Gueorguieva at ACME.

(Gene Ogami /ACME Los Angeles)

Iva Gueorguieva’s paintings are tighter than ever -- and just as loose as they have always been.

Gueorguieva collages, dyes, draws and paints fervently across every inch of each canvas or cardboard surface, playing every instrument in the orchestra and acting as the conductor as well. Her new work at ACME is riveting.

She forges an exquisite collaboration between entropic energy and formal unity -- not a balance, for there is nothing static nor necessarily harmonious here. The paintings hold the eye with comparable urgency from near and far, in part because Gueorguieva is as deft with fine line as with broad passages of color.

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Shapes interlock. Gesture layers upon gesture. The paintings accrete. They accelerate.

Figurative presences emerge, less so than in the past: card players (a nod to Cezanne?); a self-portrait enfolding her small son; a boat and its passengers. The paintings are spurred by world events, prior art, popular culture and private history, but their real narrative is of life’s persistent change, its violence and sensuality, the flux of fortune’s favors.

Gueorguieva’s visual/visceral record of response takes the form of sculpture too. There are three “Vanished Animal” pedestal pieces here, modest shipwrecks of concrete, rebar, epoxy clay, fabric scraps painted and printed.

These, too, merge muscular materiality and metaphoric portent, chaos and control. All at once, Gueorguieva’s work insists with incantatory force. All of life is happening, all at once.


ACME, 6150 Wilshire Blvd., (323) 857-5942, through Oct. 10. Closed Sunday and Monday.


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