IV TOSHAIN (*1980)

Lives and works in Vienna

Iv Toshain is is an artist, independent curator and a female art activist born in Bulgaria behind the former Iron Curtain, which divided Europe into two separate ideological and geographical areas.

After spending parts of her childhood in Iraq and Libya and studying at the National Art Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria, she moved to west Europe. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Brera in Milan, Italy and graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria in the master class of Franz Graf. 

Her spectrum of work includes installation, sculpture, performance and painting. The steel sculpture NOMOS BASILEUS, which has been exhibited in Belvedere Museum in 2015 and Lentos a Museum in 2017 is a significant milestone in her work. Since 2012 she is the co/founder of the Art-Label FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain / Ceeh, which takes a critical stance toward ideologies and is a base for institutional critique activities. www.fxxxx.me

She took part in numerous group and solo exhibitions, among others:                     

group exhibitions: Belvedere Museum in Vienna/ A; Lentos Museum in Linz / A; Kunstraum Innsbruck/ A; Kuenstlerhaus Vienna/ A; Kunsthalle Vienna/ A; Museo della Permanente, Milan/ IT; MNAC Museum, Bucharest/ RO; Museum Sammlung Friedrichshof/ A 

solo exhibitions: MAK, Museum of Applied Arts Vienna /AT, LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary art, Gdansk/ PL, NAG1 Contemporary, Arezzo/ IT, Kolja Steinroetter Gallery, Muenster/ GER, Fleetwing Gallery, Brooklyn, NY/ USA, Ohge Contemporary, Seattle/ USA, Devening Projects, Gallery, Chicago/ USA.

Artist statement

“The symbol / shape of a star is fundamental to my work. On the one hand it symbolizes the universe, superstars, luxury, glamour, and the divine. On the other hand, its materiality and shape can signify the opposite – weapon, violence, destruction, injury, and death. There are for instance, throwing stars and morning stars, as well as the literal meaning of „shooting stars“.

By that token, a negative picture of a white star captured by the Hubble telescope becomes the black hole of a bullet. The only parameter that has been changed is color and contrast, but the image completely changes our perception and affects.

Iconic superstars portraits have been printed on wooden boards, with face and flesh wounded – shot at by gold plated or plain steel throwing stars. Thus, the expression „Shooting Star“ is rendered authentic and is no longer just a metaphor. In this sense the throwing stars, the destruction of surfaces through transgression and violence pins down the dissemination of the real, escalates the true, lived experience.

In stunt shooting scenes of film productions there is a packet of the red liquid hidden in the actor’s clothing. In reltion Iv Toshain attaches packets of liquid color behind a silk textile surface and instantly shoots on them making the white painting surface „bleed“.”

Iv Toshain



2006 – 2007- Postgraduate / Spezialisierung – Accademia delle Belle Arti Brera, Prof. Diego Esposito, Mailand 

2004 – Stipendium “European Animation Masterclass” Filmakademie, Halle / Leipzig

2004 – Akademie der bildenden Künste, Prof. Frany Graf, Wien – Abschluss Mag. art.

2003 – 2004 Erasmus – Accademia delle Belle Arti Brera, Prof. Diego Esposito, Mailand 

2001 – 2002 Stipendium an der Kunst Universität Linz, Prof. Ursula Hübner

1999 – 2001 Akademie der bildenden Kuenste, Sofia 

1998 Exchange Programm – Bath School of Art and Design 

Solo exhibitions (selection):

2020 “EREWHELSE”, MONEV Contemporary, Sofia /BG

2020 “Ultramodern Solitude”, Art Agency, curated by Stefan Stoyanov, Sofia /BG

2018 “Iv Toshain”, Austrian cultural forum, FLUCA, curated by Boris Kostadinov, Sofia

2014 “Love is the only superstar”, Viertelneun Gallery, Vienna /AT

2013 „Space Odyssey II“, Gemäldegalerie Academy of Fine Arts, Glyptothek, Vienna /AT

2011 „The One That Shines Has No Shadow“, Eberharter Display, Project Space for

Contemporary Art, Vienna /AT

2011 „Space Odyssey“, MAK, Museum of Applied Arts Vienna /AT

2010 “Beyond Eden”, NAG 1 Contemporary, Arezzo /IT

2010 „Urban Safari, Bright Stars Pieta“, Austrian Cultural Forum, Prague /CZ

2009 “Camouflage Predator Species”, LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk /PL

2009 “Ultramodern Solitude”, Fleetwing Gallery, Brooklyn, New York /US

2009 “Crucified tulips live longer”, FB69 Kolja Steinrötter Gallery, Muenster /DE

2009 “Origamy Trinity“, Ohge Contemporary, Seattle /US

2008 „Diablo Species”, Devening Pprojects + Editions, Gallery, Chicago /US

2007 „Black Box”, Habers + Partner Gallery, Vienna /AT

2005 „Lunar Chick“, Artists Quarterly, Sotheby’s ,Vienna /AT

Group exhibitions (selection):


“PARALLEL”, presented by Mario Mauroner Contemporary, Vienna /AT

“PARALLEL”, presented by MONEV Contemporary, Sofia /BG

“Pink Flamingos”, FXXX Toshain / Ceeh,cCurated by Dasha Birukova, Lissabon /PRT

“Light after darkness”, Mario Mauroner Contemporary, Salzburg /AT


“Wie wir arbeiten Wollen – Kollektives Handeln und künstlerische Komplizinnenschaft“, Das Weisse Haus, Vienna /AT

“Art Düsseldorf”, presented by Mario Mauroner Contemporary, Düsseldorf /DE

“MERDELAMERDELAMER”, curated by Kendell Geers, Mario Mauroner Contemporary, Vienna /AT

“Vienna Contemporary”, presentiert von Monev Contemporary, Artfair, Vienna /AT

“МИР- МИРУ- FRIEDE”, Performance, FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain/Ceeh, Red Square, Moscow /RU


“Sterne”, Lentos Art Museum, Linz /AT

“Diamanten”, Kunsthaus am Schauplatz, Vienna /AT

„Opposition“ screened at ‚Floating World,‘ curated by Jonathan Watkins and Alistair Hicks, Art Bahrain, Bahrain/ BHR

“МИР – МИРУ – FRIEDE”, Performance, FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain / Ceeh, 57th Biennale di Venezia /IT

„Frau_Mann_Transgender fotografiert: Feminismus“, FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain / Ceeh, MUWA – Museum of Perception, Graz /AT

“Transparent Borders”, FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain / Ceeh, Centre RED, Moscow /RU


“Let them Draw”, curated by Pravdoliub Ivanov, Sariev Gallery, Plovdiv /BG

 “Death Can Dance – Nature Morte”, curated by Lori Hersberger, RAE space for contemporary art, Berlin /DE

“Revue”, Kustraum Am Schauplatz / Büro Weltausstellung, Vienna /AT

“МИР- МИРУ-FRIEDE”, Performance, FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain / Ceeh, Wir Sind Wien Festival, Vienna /AT

“URBAN DIARY – Vienna Extended” (Part of Destination Vienna, Kunsthalle Wien), Charim Gallery, Vienna /AT

“ANATOMIA – Perfect Body”, FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain / Ceeh, Center for Contemporary Arts, Minsk /BY


“Vienna For Art’s Sake, 13 Positions”, curated by Peter Noever, Winter Palais, Belvedere

Museum, Vienna /AT

“Eureka”, curated by Kendell Geers, GALERIST, Istanbul /TR

“Urban Diary II – Vienna Extended”, Charim Events, Vienna /AT

“Urban Diary I – Vienna Extended”, Charim Galerie, Vienna /AT

“Art International 2015”, presented by Galerist, Istanbul /TR

“Young Art Auction – Ten”, Albertina, Vienna /AT

“Vienna Contemporary, Focus Bulgaria”, Vienna /AT

“Austrian Collection of Imago Mundi”, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice /IT

“Bulgarian collection of Imago Mundi”, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice/IT


“Dance with us”, Projektraum Viktor Bucher, Vienna /AT

“ПРЕЙЪР”, FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain / Ceeh, Art in Public Space, KÖR, Vienna /AT

“PARKFAIR TERMINARTOR”, Park Deck, Stadion Center, Vienna /AT


„Vom Weggehen und (nicht) Wiederkommen“, Kunstraum Montafon, Schruns /AT

„FEMINism – Anna Ceeh – Iv Toshain”, Spiegelkabinett, Büro Weltausstellung, Vienna /AT

„Red Bull Curates“, Kunthalle Wien, Project Space, Vienna /AT

„БАЙХТЕ”, FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain / Ceeh, Charim Events, Vienna /AT

VIENNAFAIR, Artfair, FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain / Ceeh, Vienna /AT

“HOT ВИЗИБЛ”, FXXXi̶s̶m̶ Toshain / Ceeh, Kunstraum Niederösterreich, Vienna /AT


„Anna Ceeh – Iv Toshain / in passing 17“, curated by Ursula Maria Probst, Künstlerhaus Passage, Vienna /AT

„Inklusion“, Kunstraum am Schauplatz, curated by Stephan Bidner, Wiener Art Foundation Vienna /AT

PARKFAIR ARTE NOAH, Park Deck, Stadion Center, Vienna /AT

„Death Can Dance“, Annex M, Project Space, curated by Lori Hersberger, Zürich /CH


“Gaudenz Ruf Award“, Rayko Alexiev Gallery, Sofia /BG

“M21 – Museum of the XXI Century – Evolution“, Langenlois, Lower Austria /AT

“PARKFAIR“, Park Deck, Stadion Center, Vienna /AT

“ARTSTAMP.DK+GUEST“, Kunsthalle Brönerdängen, Viborg /DK

„Heros of Today“, Graffit Gallery, Varna /BG


„Re-Edit“, Charim Gallery, Vienna /AT

„Don’t Even Think About It“, Galeria LETO, Warsaw /PL

“On Paper 2010”, Stalke Galleri, Copenhagen /DK

“Helden von Heute“, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Innsbruck /AT

„Preview Berlin 2010“, presented by Galerie FB69 Kolja Steinrötter, Berlin /DE


„Premio Profilo d’Arte”, Museo della Permanente, Milano /IT

“The Beautiful Children”, The Wharf Road Project organized by V22, The Wenlock Building, London /GB

„OSTRALE ’08” – 2. International Exhibiton for Contemporary Art, Ostragehege, Dresden

„FEMACO“, presented by Habers & Partner Gallery, Mexico City /MX

“7 II 7“, Art Expo / MNAC Museum, Bukarest /RO

„Spiders from Jupiter – Lost Categories – ABC – Antagonist“, Rayko Alexiev Gallery, Sofia 


„Contemporary Istanbul “, presented by Habers & Partner Gallery, Istanbul /TR

„Porno total Illegal”, Mayerhof, Waldviertel /AT

„Somewhere in between”, Museum Sammlung Friedrichshof, Burgenland /AT


„1000KM Vienna – Sofia“, Dauhaus-Association for Contemporary Art and Culture, Sofia 

„I was born to make you happy“, Prospekthof, Semperdepot, Vienna /AT

„Spekulative Projekte“, Betonsalon, Museums Quartier, Vienna /AT