Svilen Stefanov, Houben Tcherkelov, Kosio Minchev, Georgi Tushev, Ivan Kiuranov, RASSIM, Genadi Gatev, Georgi Rouzhev, Peter Raychev, Anatoliy Osmolovski, David D’Agostino, Boris Serginov, Rosen Toshev, Krassimir Dobrev, Dimitar Yaranov
The exhibition features selected works by artists from the XXL Gallery circle. The said gallery existed during the 1990’s in Sofia. In artistic circles the group has traditionally been associated with intentionally provocative artworks, actions and exhibition concepts. The group’s main strategy is to dare the public to notice and respond to art, adopting a critical stance on anything traditional, as well as on politics, social morals and popular culture.
„…What distinguishes these artists from other artists is their clear willingness to promote social radicalism in art, focusing on burning social issues, mutating morals, political perversions and even the status quo-loving stance of quasi-commitment, adopted by certain artistic circles. There is willingness to encourage new moral action aiming to change social imagination, yet not in a prescriptive manner, but rather by attempting to activate the process of autocommunication in each and every viewer tempted by modern art…”, as Svilen Stefanov puts it with reference to the said group.
The Sofia City Art Gallery-hosted exhibition includes videos, photographs, paintings, installations and objects created by members of the circle and featured in XXL Gallery exhibitions over the group’s most productive period, namely between 1994 and 2003.
This exhibition is based on a series of defining events from XXL’s history, while in November the “Academia” Gallery will be hosting the sequel to the exhibition, which will feature new works by the same artists, who have been working in Bulgaria and the USA over the last years.
The XXL manifesto was written in January, 1995 and was first published in the “Koultura” newspaper to be supplemented and republished later in the “Literatouren Vestnik” newspaper. In 1996 the group founded the XXL Gallery and the “Contemporary Art” Foundation, both of which went on to exist until 2003 at 2 “Macedonia” Sq. in Sofia.
Some of the most popular exhibitions initiated by the XXL circle are: “Kosio, Houben, Tushev” (1997), “Dimensions of Violence” (1998), “Gangstart” (1998), “Antifeminism, Antimachismo“ (2000), “Let kick the culture” (2000), ”Bulgarian Landscape As a Methaphor” (2001), as well as the exhibition cycle ”New Radical Practices” (1997 through 2001).
Regardless of the fact that the gallery closed down after the "Anti-Saxe. New Political Art" exhibition in 2003 and the larger part of the artists belonging to the group emigrated, they never lost touch, and kept working till the present day in various genres and various placesround the world.