The double bind
Born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1975, Rada Tzankova moved to study painting and drawing in Paris at the École Nationale Superieure de Beaux-Arts School.
Tzankova’s work has been inspired by her travels in different countries, from Nepal and Togo to Croatia, Greece and the Czech Republic. Andrey Daniel, Atelier Manager in Painting at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, has praised her work, saying, ‘The sense of the unique spirit of place and the atmosphere created with almost minimalist means is remarkable.’
Discussing her piece ‘Épopée’ with Ina Grigorova in 2000, Tzankova revealed the personal nature of her practice: ‘You might think that these are all individual characters,’ she said, pointing to the figures in the work, ‘but the warriors, the fishermen, the children flying kites all represent the same person. They represent my story, all that I’ve been through, all that I’ve dreamt of and all that I’ve loved’.
Yet, her works are by no means free of troubling undertones. ‘Drawing has betrayed me,’ she has admitted on one occasion. ‘I wanted to devote my entire life to drawing … but it turns out that when I draw, I can’t move, I can’t participate in life, I lose touch with others. To an extent, I die.’
It is perhaps this combination of joy and aspiration and sadness that writer Nicolas Eliot highlights when he writes of the figures that people her works, ‘When looking at them, I often ask myself if I’m in Paradise or Hell, before Rada reminds me that I’m simply on earth’.
In addition to her paintings and drawings. Tzankova has also illustrated several books of poetry and recipes.
Sources include: Text by Ina Grigorova in ´Egoist´, May 2000
Author: Diana Yeh, Visiting Arts
Rada Tzankova was born in 1975 in Sofia, Bulgaria and she currently lives and works in Paris. She received her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in painting and drawing from the École Nationale Superieure de Beaux-Arts School in Paris in 1999 and 2001 respectively. She has had solo exhibitions in Paris and Sofia and has participated in several group exhibitions in Europe.
Exhibition / Installation,
2004 ´Dialogue´ exhibition, National Theatre, Sofia
2005 Galerie ´Kojuharov´, paintings & drawings, Sofia
2002 Alliance Française, Hôtel des Invalides, Paris
2002 Foundation Minu Balkansui, Nova Zagora, Bulgaria
2001 Gallery Cité International des Arts, Paris
2001 Gallery Alliance Française’, Barcelona, Spain
2000 ‘Francophony Days’, The Euro-Center Gallery of Ministry of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria
1999 ‘Drawings from Africa’, Gallery CROUS, Paris)
1998 engraving and drawings at Incoherent Arts Gallery, Paris
Exhibition / Installation,
2004 Espace Culturel Bulgare, Paris
2004 Le Festival TTr, Montreal
2004 Parabellum, Institut de Developpement du Séminaire, Paris
2003 Association Filomuses, Paris
2002 Inauguration of gallery Marie, St-Rèmy-de-Provence, France
2002 Second ‘Francilienne’ of Young Artists, Nozay, France
2001 Cimelice Castle residence for artists, group exhibition, Prague, Czech Republic
2000 exhibition at St Pavlè, Zadar, Croatia
2000 Festival for Contemporary Art Process-Space, Varna, Bulgaria
1999 Exhibition of ‘Studio de l’Image’ Gallery, Paris
1997 Exhibition of drawings Gallery ‘Quai de Conty’, organised by Academy of Fine Arts (Paris)
1996 Exhibition of engravings ‘Oleum’, organised by Academia Italiana, London
2002 Residency for artists (Oriahovitza / Bulgaria)
2001 Cimelice Castle residency for artists
2000 Residency at Cité International des Arts
2000 Grant from the French Ministry for Culture, Paris
1999 Prize for drawing ‘Pierre David-Weill’ of Academy of Fine Arts, Paris
1995 Junior prize ‘Jules Verne’ engraving, Paris
This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.
(01 April 01 - 31 August 01)