Ivan Grubanov

Ivan Grubanov

Smoke Nation Screen: Out Of Many, One People

aA29 Projects

  • Four Directions

    Nemanja Cvijanović, Ivan Grubanov, Patrizia Posillipo, Sasha Vinci...


Ivan Grubanov (Belgrade, 9th of March 1976)

Ivan Grubanov’s research compare history, its symbols and banners, with the complex circumstances of the present time. His artistic practice is based on the constant innovation of the pictorial medium and the articulation of historical memory, against the contemporary condition. 

He explores the limits of painting and art as a tool to drive social change and to read and interpret historical narratives.

In 2015, he represented Serbia, his country, at the 56th Art Biennale of Venice with the installation United Dead Nations, representing the idea of nation in the post-global world. The artist used some of the flags of nations that ceased to exist in the 20th century (such as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the USSR, etc.), but whose ghosts continue to influence the geospheres they had occupied. Grubanov treats the flags like any other pictorial material: they are soaked in colors and chemicals, spread on white canvases, folded and trampled to leave imprints. In this way the artist creates sculptural forms and environmental situations.

The Smokescreen Paintings, on the other hand, are a series of abstract paintings made through the controlled effect of smoke on layers of fresh paint on canvas. Each painting features a line of text and represents the human inability to express the desire for political change. 

Finally, in Painting the Nation, the artist three-dimensionally embroiders on the canvas some national mottos that are typical of certain states of the world. The painting here is a process of changing and expanding the context of the national mottos that brings to light the identity and symbolic elements of the citizens.



2016 University of Leuven/LUCA School of Arts, PhD in Arts, Leuven, BE

2008 Casa de Velazquez, Madrid, ES

2005-2006 Delfina Foundation Studio Programme, London, UK

2002-2003 Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL

1996-2001 Academy of Fine Arts, University of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Belgrade, YU


Selected Solo Exhibitions 

2019  City Gallery of Contemporary Art, The Evil Painter, Zrenjanin, RS

2019  Loock galerie, The Return of the National, Berlin, DE

2018  Novembar Gallery, Scars, Belgrade, RS

2018  Art Brussels (with Ron Mandos gallery), Counterpicturing, Brussels, BE

2017  Belgrade Cultural Center, Painting the Nation, Belgrade, RS

2017  Exhibition Hall of the Central University Library Leuven, The Summer of Nationalism, Leuven, BE

2016  Funnel Contemporary, Collective Fractures, Bucharest, RO

2016  Ron Mandos Gallery, Smoke Nation Screen, Amsterdam, NL

2015  Serbian Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, the 56th International Art Exhibition, United Dead Nations, Venice, IT

2015  Loock Galerie, Behind the Smokescreen, Berlin, DE

2015  Vienna Contemporary, solo at the Loock galerie booth

2013  Loock Galerie, Dead Flags, Berlin, DE, 

2012  National Museum of Contemporary Art, Current Pasts (with Vangelis Vlahos), Athens, GR

2012  Loock Galerie, Smokescreens, Berlin, DE

2010  MARZ Galeria, Haunting Memory (associated project of the Architecture Trienale), Lisbon, PT

2010  Loock Galerie, Seven Studies for a Memorial, Berlin, DE

2009  Center for Cultural Decontamination (solo presentation within the 50th October Salon), Belgrade, RS 

2008  Loock Galerie, The Evil Painter, Berlin, DE


Selected Group Exhibitions


The Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Reflexions of Our Time, Belgrade, RS

Pavilion Des Artes Cvijeta Zuzoric, Entangled, The Autumn Salon, Belgrade, RS


Depo Istanbul, When the Present is History, Istanbul, TR 

Aa29 Project Room, Open Ceremony, Reggio Emilia, IT

Cinema Balkan Center for Contemporary Art, Staying Here With You – Moving, Belgrade, RS

Pavilion Cvijeta Zuzoric, The Autumn Salon, Belgrade, RS

Gallery Belgrade,  Scepanovic, Zdravkovic, Grubanov, Peric,  Belgrade, RS


Belgrade Biennial, Marvelous Cacophony, Belgrade City Museum, RS

Salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Between Us, Belgrade, RS

National Museum, Post-Truth, Cetinje, MN

Athens City Arts Center, Materiality of the Painterly Event, Athens. GR

Museum Palais Populaire, The World on Paper, Berlin, DE

Belgrade City Museum,  Form, Application, Art, , Belgrade, RS

Serbian Cultural Center Paris, Color Lucida, Paris, FR


Pancevo Gallery of Contemporary Art, New Aquisitions, Pancevo, RS

China Art Museum, Voyage – A Journey Through Serbian Contemporary Art, Sanghai, CH

Aa 29 Project Room, Four Directios, Caserta, IT

Residency of the Swiss Ambasador, Staying Here With You, a performance with Katia Schenker, Belgrade, RS

Museo del Duomo, Limiti – Confini, Milan, IT

Royal Atheneum Antwerp, I travelled the World on Seven Seas, Anwerp, BE


Salon Dahlmann, Ach, die sind ja heute so unpolitisch, Berlin, DE

17th Pancevo Biennial, SEE Art Gates, Pancevo, RS

Art Brussels, with Ron Mandos gallery

Art Rotterdam, with Ron Mandos gallery


Serbian Cultural Center Paris, Constellation, Paris, FR

Outside Gallery Apolo, Study for a Memorial, Pancevo, RS

Cultural Center of Belgrade, BONTON: Dobro odrzavanje i lepo ponasanje, Belgrade, RS

Naval Heritage Collection, Porto Montenegro, New Horizons, Tivat, ME 


Awards and Grants

2012-2013 Scholarship of the Ministry of Culture of Lower Saxony for Artistic Research, Hannover, DE

2008  Scholarship Casa de Velazquez, French Institute in Madrid, ES

2005-2006   Delfina Foundation, Delfina Studio Trust Award, London, UK

2003  RABK, Scholarship of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Amsterdam, NL

2002  RABK, Scholarship of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Amsterdam, NL

2001  Pancevo, YU, Award of 31st  Salon of Pancevo

2000  Pancevo, YU, Award of 30th  October Salon 

1999  World’s Health Organization, Belgrade, YU, Award for Best Poster

1997  Patagonija Magazine, Vrsac, YU, Award for Best Drawing


Selected Bibliography


Unnation, Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg-Berlin, as author, 2016

United Dead Nations, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, texts by Lidija Merenik, Ana Bogdanovic, Peter Vermeersch, 2015

The Evil Painter, Verlag Fuer Moderne Kunst Nuernberg, texts by Charles Esche, Philippe Pirotte, Ivan Grubanov, 2008

Documents Grubanov, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, editor Martijntje Hallman, text by Ivan Grubanov, 2006  

Visitor, Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade/Kunsthalle Bern, texts by Gerardo Mosquera, Marina Martic, Philippe Pirotte, Ivan Grubanov, 2005