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Filip Lav

Filip Lav’s paintings juxtapose the symbolic legacy of romanticism with
the cubist language of minimal abstraction. The foregrounds are often
painted in a floating symbolic dreamworld that weaves across multiple
canvases. These inner landscapes cast various mythological
characters, from vampires to spirits and angels. They can be seen as
the visual inheritance of 19th-century dark romanticism and stand in
contrast to the fragmented modernist structures of the paintings’
outlines. Each comprises multiple combined rectangular canvases that
often evoke a cascading crucifix form. The parts are initially sourced
from different works or painted apart from one another to meet in
unexpected combinations, where fragments of diverse identities rub
together, creating a charged quality. These painterly grounds are the
seedbeds that spark the formation of vines, flowers, and geometric
patterns layered on top. The brushmarks range from initially energetic
hazy impasto of warm earth tones to the more ethereal glazing of
figures and patterns in grey and gold. The palette harkens back to the
heavy body of early modernist abstraction while translucency atop
references the intangible anti—materialism of the Viennese Secessionist
Filip Lav (b. 1991, Vienna) lives and works in London. In 2012, he
received his BFA from The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, UK;
in 2016, he was awarded an MFA in painting from Columbia School of
Art, New York, USA. In 2024, he completed the Turps Studio Program in
London. Recent solo exhibitions include Minus Offspace, Vienna

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