“In search of history” is an exhibition of portraits, photographs and documents of Ms. Vaska Emanouilova, which is the first event in the exhibition programme of the “Vaska Emanouilova” Gallery.
In the exhibition are presented portraits of the sculpress by Stoyan Venev, Nenko Balkanski, Karl Yordanov, Alexander Stamenov, Lyuba Palikareva, Svetlin Rousev, etc., as well as photographs from various periods of her life that have never been on exhibit before. The portrait itself is viewed as a special record of time providing information not only about the diversity of artistic styles, but also about the topics and issues that artists consider to be of importance in the time they live in.
The documentary material provides the connection between definite phases, interests and artistic means the sculptress went through highlighting the most prominent features of her art, namely her pronounced interest in portraits during the 1930’s, her social convictions demonstrated in her sculptures of the 1940’s and the 1950’s, her interest in the naked body demonstared in both her sculptures and paintings, the compositional closeness employed in sculpting social, mythological and erotic figures, etc.
The presentation of Vaska Emanouilova’s artistic biography with portraits, photographs, sculptures and paintings provides insight into various stages of the Bulgarian art tradition. The sculptress starts her career as a member of the Soiety of the New, then she becomes a member of the Society of Independent Artists, whose ideas were reformatory, she also participates in some of the first female artist exhibitions, in most of the Union of Bulgarian Artists exhibitions and also in exhibitions abroad. The exhibition is a chronological account of the said events telling the life story of the artist while focusing on details such as the artist’s working environment, her fellow artists, the atmosphere of conversations and meetings. All those details help reconstruct historical events and provide insight into the artist’s individual search for a specific aesthetic approach.
Finding history through details is provocative, as it aims to inspire various research approaches, as well as to trigger various initiatives related to the collection, systematising and archival processing of documentary material, which would expand and supplement the collection of the sculptress’s works left by her to the Sofia City Art Gallery in 1985. Thus the history of Vaska Emanouilova’s public collection, which starts in 1984 with the opening of the permanent exhibition on “Shesti Septemvri” Str., reaches a stage when it is necessary to find a new venue for the exhibition, and continues with the serach for new times, contexts and stories to describe the works of the sculptress. This would in turn help give an idea of the development of a whole period of the history of Bulgarian art, a period that has contributed to the formation of our tradition and heritage.
„In search of history” is an open-ended exhibition from the standpoint of researcher curiosity, as well as from the perspective of history itself, as the “Vaska Emanouilova” Gallery will keep contributing to history pursuing an exhibition policy that promotes the works of young artists under the “Meeting point” initiative.