Nadezhda Kouteva is an artist exceptionally consistent in her plastic pursuits. The structure of her paintings is characterized by a slight, anxious vibration as if an ethereal breeze is swaying the space and everything within it, blowing harder at times, tilting trees and people. Architecture plays an increasingly important role in her works perhaps because it quietens the gusts of wind so as not to blow the people away. Those people are restless – like embarrassed extras accidentally gotten into the shot, hastening to get out of it at the risk of being broken up by its end. When decked out in national costume, their demeanour changes and their frieze movement turns into ritual chain dance and chant sung from music on an invisible stave for which the picture space is often not sufficient – then Nadezhda Kuteva arranges them on the next line dividing the space in belts. As melody carriers they are impersonal, unrecognizable, rhythmic accents rather than a presence charged with meaning, even when caught in the foreground. The drawings in the exhibition reveal the attention with which architectural objects are composed, the main goal being the vibrating of the space between and within them. The significance of space in her most successful works is dominant, that is why the place preferred for still life is the window sill. When skies and sea waves are not sufficient, the reflections of the clouds passing by come to the aid.
In this traveller’s exhibition temples take a special place. Something happens in the reflected light around St. Geroge’s Rotunda, the silhouettes of the visitors in the Russian Church are reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance, the saints walk about together with the worshippers in the half-demolished Nessebar church of St. John Theologian where light and winds rush in from all directions.
Works in the collections of The National Art Gallery, Sofia City Art Gallery, the Art Galleries of Gabrovo, Kjustendil, Plovdiv, Sliven, Stara Zagora; The Humour and Satire House, Gabrovo, Poland, Slovakia and Private Collections in Bulgaria, England, Germany, Korea, USA, France, Holland, Japan.