Juan Bolivar makes paintings that negotiate relationships between meaning and form.
His research explores dialogistic tensions within hybridity, where ‘abstraction’ acts as a historically and ideologically loaded currency - or 'readymade' - for intertextual discourse onto other sub-cultural positions; highlighting the problematisation of this genre in post-conceptual painting.
For 'These Go to Eleven' Bolivar re-enacts Malevich's last 'black square' painted in 1930, before dramatically being forbidden by Stalin from making any further Suprematist works. Using this context of interpretation Bolivar creates new meanings from the sublime to the ridiculous: Malevich's 'black square' becomes four Marshall speakers such as those a travelling musician, street performer or 'pub band' would have. Merging these disparate elements Bolivar turns Malevich's last Suprematist painting into a symbol of hope and optimism; drawing transcendental comparisons between Malevich's idea of 'pure feeling' and 'live' amplified sound.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela Bolivar graduated from Goldsmiths College receiving the Warden’s Prize, and has twice been a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner award. His work is included in The Government Art Collection, and selected for significant exhibitions such as 'New British Painting', (John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton) and 'EastInternational' (Norwich School of Art). His work was included in Nanjing Museum's first international exhibition of contemporary art, where he was a prize winner in 2015.