Nikola Manev is one of the Bulgarian artists whose work is associated with one of the greatest European cultural meccas. Born in the town of Chirpan (August 28th, 1940) and a graduate from the Art School in Sofia, he began his artistic training at Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1962, where he graduated in painting under Professor Maurice Brianchon. An early recognition of his talent came as he won first prize at the Chenavard Art Competition. His life became an inseparable element of the rhythm of the European cultural stage. In 1981 he became a member of the Managerial Board of Autumn Salon, Paris. He was living and working at his studio in Ile Saint- Louis which became his refuge after all his adventurous journeys around the world (Arizona, Colorado, Tunisia, Geneva, London, Düsseldorf, Taiti, Frankfurt etc.). He has to his record more than 2500 works, most of which are in private or state-owned collections and in the museums of more than 25 countries.
His painting can hardly be defined in a simple way or described in strict terms. It is a fantasy, a fairy tale come from ancient times, deeply associative and multilayered like the time we are living in. Manev’s canvasses are charged with the hypnotic magnetism of the weird earth formations of Bulgarian nature ( the Thracian Plain, the town of Melnik, the Rocks of Belogradchik) and the exquisite colour of “impressionistic” Paris. In the course of years he has created a plastic language of his own which shows an author’s interpretation of the abstract and the figurative in painting. He has created compositions which destroy form only to compose it again by means of light reflections affecting with the power of the subconscious.
Nikola Manev embodies the personality of the cosmopolitan artist whose belonging to both the Bulgarian and the French culture manages to convince us that we are all members of the big family of the European cultural history.
The current exhibition at Sofia Art Gallery comprises more than 50 works from different periods, some of them shown for the first time.