Valio Tchenkov was born 1966 in Svishtov, Bulgaria. He lives and works in Munich, Germany and Oresh, Bulgaria. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia and the Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste, Munich. His recent solo shows are “Traumraum”, Galerie Royal, Munich (2018); “Jumping over Three Seas… into the Fifth One”, Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia (2018); “König des täglichen Nichts”, Old Prison, Freising, Germany (2017); “Minga – Moon”, Gallery Florian Sundheimer, Munich, Germany (2016); “Kunschelecke, raue Decke”, Projectroom Nagel-Draxler, Cologne, Germany (2014); “A Sunny Day: Sandpaper on One’s Back” (2014) and “ a trice and for a while...” (2012) at Sariev Contemporary, Plovdiv. Tchenkov has participated in various group exhibitions such as “The day After Yesterday” (with Vincent Mitzev), Kunstpavillion Munich, Germany (2017); “V&V TV”, 56 Venice Biennale (with Vincent Mitzev), Gallery Royal, Munich, Germany (2015); “Why Duchamp? From Object to Museum and Back (125 years)”, curated by Maria Vassileva, SAMCA, Sofia (2012); ”Conviction”, curated by Wenie Wong (a.o.), Dafen Art Museum, China (2010); “Sweet Case Eluminated”, curated by Katia Angelova (a.o.), MAC/VAL Museum Paris (2007); ”Fuori Uso”, curated by Agnes Kohlmeyer, Pescara, Italy (2005); “Poesie Summer”, curated by Jan Hoet, Watou, Belgium (2003). In 2018 he participated in the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA1), curated by Katerina Gregos.  

He has been nominated for the M-tel Unlimited Contemporary Bulgarian Art Award (2011).

Valio Tchenkov is represented by Sariev Contemporary since 2012.


My approach is a reaction to the rigourous structuring of the society I work in and reflect upon. The German sense of structure is relentless and I often find it drives me to destructive gestures. I normally start off constructively, aiming at a specific outcome, but then a moment comes (the most interesting moment!) when I lose control and "the cart veers off the road". I have no interest whatsoever in that which is being kept under control, but before you reach that moment of surrendering control, there is a lot to be done, you must prepare rigorously. Catastrophes can sometimes be very productive. I often think of the discoveries of America, champagne, penicillin, aspirin... All of them mishaps that have led to progress. I just try keeping my eyes wide open so I don’t miss the right moment. - Valio Tchenkov


Valio Tchenkov is technically very skilled, which is crucial to the survival of painting in times when it has been declared dead. He mixes in substantial doses of skepticism and reflection, without making a claim to genius. - Annegret Erhard, Weltkunst magazine, 2013