Visual Arts

Rossitza Todorova Collapses Time and Space in Intersections at Night Gallery

Local artist Rossitza Todorova says she's trying to visually collapse space and metaphorically collapse time in her work -- no small feat, to be sure. The thing is, the recent graduate actually achieves this goal with resounding success.

Todorova's solo exhibition Intersections opens this Friday at ASU's Night Gallery. There are two forms of work in the show: three-dimensional paper forms and two-dimensional works on paper. But the idea of movement within a structure remains a central theme in both mediums.

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Todorova was born in Bulgaria but has lived in the United States for the past two decades. She obtained a BFA from the University of Nevada, Reno and worked as an arts administrator for the Nevada Arts Council before moving to Arizona to pursue a Master's at ASU.

Now finishing up her degree, Todorova had her final thesis exhibition at Harry Wood a month ago and is excited about the chance to show the pieces again in a different venue for Intersections. She talks about the thought process of setting up the same work in a new venue; because the Night Gallery is in a more public space, she hopes the 3-D work will draw people in.

Seems like a good method to us. The paper structures, which are actually books that can fold up completely or unfold and twist to create different sculptural formations, are somewhat mind-boggling. Todorova says that it took a bit of engineering, but she came upon a fairly simple origami form that allows the accordion-like expansions and contractions.

"Every time I open it, it's a different composition," she says. "It plays off of the ideas of repetition in everyday life. The structure is still the same but different things can happen within that structure."

These ideas are also present in Todorova's works on paper, which are made from a combination of printing and drawing processes. In many of the pieces, it's easy to see the reference to highways and city infrastructure; Todorova says she gained a lot of her inspiration from time spent in transit and the experience of routine in commuting. But she doesn't try to depict specific places per say -- her work is more of an exercise in movement and memory.

Because the works on paper are so layered and textured, you really do have to see them in person to experience the full effect of the perspectives and luminescence that make these pieces stand apart. "The experience of looking at the work from far away, mid-ground, and close-up and having information that is continuously changing is important to me," says Todorova. "I want to create a space where the viewer can bring their own thoughts and have their own relationship with the work."

The opening of Rossitza Todorova's solo exhibition Intersections will be this Friday, May 1st at ASU's Night Gallery from 6 to 9 p.m.. For more information, visit the Facebook event page or Todorova's website.

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Katrina Montgomery