• Deep-Sea Fish, triptych, Iliya Iliev, Plenary Room, Supreme Bar Council

Iliya Iliev, Deep-Sea Fish, triptych

Supreme Bar Council, Plenary Room

Deep-Sea Fish, triptych, glass and stone, 270×90 cm, 2000

The author of both monumental and small-size works, Iliya Iliev has shown a remarkable consistency in creating mosaics. With a balanced composition and moderate size, Deep-Sea Fish is fit to be exhibited in a variety of interiors. As in other of Iliev’s works, feeling and reason, the emotional and the rational coexist in this triptych. The panels are conceived as a visual highlight of the setting and have a vivid, memorable imagery.

In previous work, Iliev has used shells and pebbles, alongside glass, smalt and metal. In Deep-Sea Fish, he has dynamically combined stone and glass. The mixing of materials and the wealth of shapes and colour combinations make the mosaics lively and surprisingly impactful. The choice of colours is tailored to the interior, while the hue of each panel is different.

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Ilia Iliev

Ilia Iliev
Photo: personal archive

Iliya Iliev was born in 1931 in Burgas, Bulgaria. In 1954, he graduated with a degree in architecture from Sofia’s Higher Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering, which is today’s University of Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Geodesy – UACG. He worked from 1955 to 1959 as an architect-designer in Burgas.

Between 1959 and 1966, Iliya Iliev pursued studies in “Monumental Decorative Painting” under the guidance of Professor Georgi Bogdanov at the National Academy of Art in Sofia, which was at that time called the “High institute for fine arts “Nikolai Pavlovich.” Starting in 1969, he worked as a composition lecturer at the National Academy of Art. He became an associate professor in 1985 and eventually a professor and the head of the department for “Mural Painting” in 1990.

In addition to his studies, Iliya Iliev undertook specialized training in Paris in 1970 and had a creative residency in Finland. In 1989, he became a member of the International Association of Contemporary Mosaicists (AIMC) based in Ravenna, Italy. A couple of years later he served as a visiting professor at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in the United States.

Iliya Iliev’s artistic work primarily focuses on monumental painting, easel painting, and monumental mosaic art. He uses materials such as marble, granite, stone, and glass (often artistically molded) and incorporates various natural forms into his creations.