The exhibition is an attempt to touch upon the issue of darkness and shadow, as seen in works, created within a nearly hundred-year period, by thirty Bulgarian artists belonging to various generations, namely Ivan Murkvichka, Nikola Petrov, Vladimir Dimitrov – the Master, Ivan Milev, Zhorzh Papazov, Nikola Tanev, Bencho Obreshkov, Iliya Beshkov, Vasil Ivanov, Genko Genkov, Nikola Daskalov, Georgi Baev, Atanas Patsev, Nikola Terziev, Peter Dochev, Ivan Georgiev – the Rembrandt, Tomas Kochev, Stoyan Tsanev, Angel Stanev, Dimitur Lalev, Dimitur Koulev, Milko Bozhkov, Stanislav Pamoukchiev, Yulia Stankova, Krasimir Iliev, Ziyatin Nouriev, Dimitur Iliev, Nadezhda Karapencheva, Antonia Angelova and Mina Angelova.
For them darkness and shadow have various meanings: the are masters of passions; a nurturing environment that engenders form; ghosts, prophesying doom, yet also the enchanting poetry of darkness, its designated time for ecstatic prayer, opening ajar the gate between life and death. The shadow may be a delicate weapon of female coquettishness. It may dance together with the light and be its counterpoint. The shadow is concentrated spirituality, and in order for form to be eternal, it has to contain a shadow. The shadow of a human is not only his/her essence, but also his/her entirety. Darkness is the fabric of the devil, yet also the haven of beauty. Darkness is the sadness of being aware of human imperfection. Darkness is a womb, yet also a snare for humans. It weaves its thread, entangling light in its attempt to devour it, but not its creator.
Works selected for the exhibition also present light and darkness in a continuum whose extremities are the Christian view of the fight between the two and the Chinese idea of their indivisibility and mutual complementation. It is obvious that in the course of time, especially after the 1970’s, black does not simply take over larger and larger territories in Bulgarian art, but frequently loses its negative meaning, even turning into the essential image-representing device. Consciously or not, this process draws it closer to this part of Far Eastern art, which is rooted in the Zen view of representation, namely the sudden reaching of this darkness-extracted shattering moment, that was prompted by enlightenment.