Chris Valkov just opened his solo exhibition Schematical Sabbatical in Breeze Block Gallery’s gallery 2 space. We were excited to see the work on the walls after getting a preview on our recent studio visit and Chris’ debut showing certainly didn’t disappoint.

Drawing references from his endeavours as an architectural draughtsman, Valkov’s exhibition materials presented a highly graphical series of paintings using a cohesive colour palette throughout. The striking paintings were split into groupings linked by their subject matter. His American house group of mock-blueprints brought to the fore a healthy dose of humour ever present in his work, with such details illustrated as Teenage son’s pot smoking hideout” and a “Majestic view of bland suburbia.”

Environmental issues are a dominant factor within Valkov’s work, but he relays his message without being preachy. His paintings use deep box canvases, simply framed to not detract from the message contained within. The one-shot enamel he uses to paint is flawless in its execution – almost looking like digital renderings both from afar and also up close. His newly explored use of pastel within his compositions provides a compelling foil to the super-flat stylings of his painted elements.

Valkov also produced a dynamic installation, grouping his paintings into series and applying painted graphical elements to the gallery walls using draughting instruments for his architectural series, a riff on Michaelangelo’s hands from the Sistine Chapel’s The Creation of Adam for his shadow puppet series, and nautical elements for his boat series. Topped off with his latest painting At the Museum which depicts a pastel rendered father and son in an art gallery observing a painting of an ice cap melting, whilst drips fall to the floor in the real gallery space.

The exhibition runs until 28th September. Well worth a visit if you find yourself in the Portland area.

Discuss this show here.