Georgi Popov – John /1906 – 1960/ is one of those Bulgarian artists whose creative development is associated with the artistic processes around Europe. He lived and worked during the first half of the 20th century. Unfortunately his name is not among the most popular ones in Bulgarian fine art and his diverse work has not been adequately promoted and thoroughly examined.
Who was Georgi Popov – John? He was an interesting person, a well-known Bulgarian bohemian and a man with plenty of artistic interests. He used to work in the field of the portrait painting, the landscape, the nude, the still life and the figural composition. He was also productive in monumental decoration, applied graphics and scenography. Moreover he was a brilliant master of the written word and wrote a series of articles dedicated to different cultural events and artistic issues.
Throughout his creative life John Popov went through several stages. His stay in the French capital in the years between 1930 – 1935 and 1937 – 1939 proved to be of extreme benefit to him. At that particular time he became part and parcel of the French artistic life. He got closely acquainted with French art and the representatives of surrealism, futurism and cubism as well as with the pictorial language of the Prague school of art. Despite all the influences, though, John Popov preserved his unique artistic expression.
Between 1947 – 1948 the artist lived and worked in Sweden where he created mainly illustrations. That period is also noted for his water-colours which stand out for their extraordinary intensity.
From the late 40ies until 1960 John Popov worked entirely in pastel. He explored the topic of “Fishermen” in a cycle of preparatory sketches and pictures. At that time he was attracted by the still-life genre.
The exhibition at Sofia Art Gallery includes about 55 works – paintings and drawings and six books of illustrations. The pieces are owned by Sofia Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, Yambol Art Gallery, Bourgas Art Gallery, the National Art Academy, Atelier-Collection Svetlin Roussev, Cyril and Methodius National Library and private collectors.
The goal of the exposition is to present John Popov as a person and a man of art by showing all that has been preserved so far thus reminding us of the artist’s place in our cultural history.
The exhibition is accompanied by a colourful catalogue.
Curator is Roumyana Konstantinova.