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Visual Art: Sense of No Place

Valentin Yordanov-Social Club Acrylic on canvas 60" x 48" stage 4

Valentin Yordanov-Social Club Acrylic on canvas 60" x 48" stage 4

He calls them “non-spaces.” With their swooping planes, vivid colors, and layered densities, the subjects of Valentin Yordanov’s paintings stop just short of cohering into recognizable urban locations — they’re at once strange and familiar. Here we follow Yordanov’s large (60 by 48 inches) painting “Social Club” from decidedly urban-looking sketch, through intermediate phases in which vectoring “cityscape” lines begin to disrupt an orderly grid of background squares, to the completed piece, a riot of color, window-like patterns, and shapes suggesting building lines, signage, angles of flow. You can almost imagine yourself into it as a figure in a capital-intense metropolitan thrum, dazzled by a cityscape abstracted into a kind of idealized purity — this is not a place bedeviled by homelessness or downtown grit. (That’s how you know it’s not real.) Yordanov, who earned art degrees in Bulgaria and Romania before landing in Las Vegas, will have his exhibit Beyond Borders in the Sahara West Library’s Studio gallery (which is a real space) through September 28 (


(Editor's note: Scott Dickensheets no longer works for Nevada Public Radio)