Antonia Gurkovska is a contemporary artist born in 1984, in Sofia, Bulgaria. Influenced by the detail and richness of European Renaissance painting, her early works were largely figurative. During her time at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Gurkovska began to expand beyond the conventional framework of painting, removing figures and transforming the material itself into the subject of her works, an approach that developed with a conscious awareness of the body itself. This evolution positions materiality as both object and narrative, and as an extension of the artist’s physical and intimate relationship to material in the process of mark-making.
Reminiscent of artists Lucio Fontana, Gustav Metzger and Rudolf Stingel, the works of Gurkovska are deliberate in their rough hewn state and almost always involve a cutting or puncturing of the pictorial plane. Works like the Index or Holes Of Steel are epitomic of Gurkovska’s use of negative space or the absence of material as a primary subject in a work’s composition. However, unlike the Arte Povera approach of Fontana, her work often presents this canvas cutting only to unveil a secondary plane beneath, suggesting that the aesthetic structure that gives a work its form is never singular, but multiple and fractal.
Gurkovska received her MFA degree in Painting from The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago in 2011 and a BFA degree in Painting from the National Academy Of Art in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2008. She has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and fellowships including the George and Anne Siegel Fellowship, 2011, Fulbright Scholarship, 2009, and an Erasmus Student Exchange Grant, 2005. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe and America.