Valentin Yordano 'New Frontiers'
Colors and angles are emblematic in Valentin Yordanov’s paintings, and they remain that way in his current exhibition “New Frontiers.” The overlapping forms reference rhythms of American urbanism filtered with the visual beats of the Strip. That is not to say Yordanov’s geometric impulses are an awestruck whimsy of an out-of-towner in for a weekend. They seem to be a response from the artist's two different worlds.
While these works by Yordanov further embed him with Las Vegas painters who play off mid-20th century modernism and the colors of roadside neon, that’s just the destination. Layers of art references are his starting point and along for the ride by echoing early abstract artists like August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, Natalia Goncharova, and all the others who broke apart forms. Yorkdanov’s paintings are a Las Vegas interpretation on the beginnings of that abstraction and the Bulgarian-born artist has you see Las Vegas while feeling Europe.
Also, look closely at the straight lines that shape his angles. They keep evidence of the artist's hand, an urban defiance of manufactured perfection. That isn’t from naiveté of craft, but a confession of labor, like the renderings he is known to display during an exhibition.
Inside Sahara West Library's Art Gallery you will see how Yorkdanov’s can be well balanced indoors. Also, his work can also be seen on a ZAP 7 box at Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn Road. That has me hope that someday he will be granted a wall to keep making these connections between his new found Las Vegas ethos and still intact Euro-ness. As a mural, Yorkdanov’s angles would be public art that projects big picture vibrancy fragmented with worldly abstraction.
For now, as paintings, there is a tincture of restlessness by the artist honed in Europe who now has his inner tempo match the pulse of his chosen American city. They fill the room with luminous geometry.
Valentin Yordano 'New Frontiers' Inside Sahara West Library Art Gallery.
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.