01 February 2019 - 03 March 2019
Borjana Ventzislavova captures the immersion in the game with the somewhat forgotten games from the recent past. The exhibition Real Games is motivated by the artist’s desire to bring to mind the experience and the memories of her generation of the entertainment outdoors with live games, sometimes with simple or self-made toys.
The five-channel video installation shows already grown-up children invited to continue the game of paper blowgun darts or the game of elastics. The protagonists are people of various walks of life invited to play a role by taking part in an enjoyable reenactment, remembering their childhood and the very game with its rules at the same time. In the situations provoked by Borjana Ventzislavova, the participants play while being themselves, in their role of working adults.
The games played in the video installation are linked to the memories of the generations that grew up in the 80s. Team games, in addition to requiring physical presence and contact, unlike the static screen experience, provoke jubilation and certain theatricality, highlighted in Borjana Ventzislavova’s videos by the appearance of the adult players.
The players in the situations staged in the video installation are children and adults, serious and incredulous at the same time, players in their own manner and their own life and playing in someone’s political ambition, who can always give their credit of trust to the game so that it will come off or the other way round, it will lose its magic and end. It is namely those various aspects and meta-levels of the “Games of Fate” that the artist covers in the exhibition Real Games through various types of media such as video, photography, text and objects.
Borjana Ventzislavova often considers the social transformations that concern individual groups of today’s society. Her characters are real people, whom the artist puts in a situation or an environment which reveals the discrepancies between personal expectations and reality, arising namely from the paradoxes of the modern world.
Curator: Vera Mlechevska
Vladimir Mishaykov, Georgi Petrov, Doychin Kotlarov, Linda Ruseva, Martina Staneva - Antonova, Sava Bobchev, Garo Ashikyan, Yana Georgieva
cinematographer: Petko Lungov
sound: Veselin Zografov, Stefan Pashaliyski
assistant producer: Elena Radeva
The exhibition is realised with the kind support of the Austrian Embassy in Sofia and the Arts and Culture division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria.
About Borjana Ventzislavova:
Borjana Ventzislavova is an interdisciplinary artist who works in the field of photography, film/video, installations, performance and media art. Her works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and included in numerous media and film festivals. She has received a number of awards, recognitions and scholarships. In 2017, she was presented with Vienna’s Fine Arts Award, in 2013 – the Austrian state scholarship for fine arts, 2009 – start scholarship, 2006 – the award of the film festival in Cologne, awards for art from Sussman Stiftung, Otto Putscher fund, etc. She was a resident artist at Banff/Canada (Banff Centre), Athens (Snehta), London (ACF), Rome (BKA), Newcastle (ISIS Arts), Berkeley (CEC Artslink), Los Angeles (MAK Schindler), Chicago (BKA), and in 2019 she will be in New York. Her works have been included in a number of private and public collections.
Borjana lives and works in Vienna and Sofia. She gained her MA in Visual Media Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 2017 she was granted honorable Austrian citizenship for her achievements in the visual arts.
18 January 2019 - 28 February 2019
The backstory of Ivan Paskalev’s exhibition at 0GMS-cabinet started in Munich. Under the working title Prototype, he embarked on a new piece which marked a change in his work so far. The artist’s work from 2003 to date can be described as a continuous experiment with the generation and occurrence of the image, and also with the methods of its perception when the visual reality of our environment is juxtaposed to that projected from technological devices. He puts the visible and the invisible, the real and virtual on one level. Unlike many others, he does not make use of the latest technologies as an end in themselves, but is always tempted to walk the borderline between science and magic. In his earlier works, he studied for a long time the capacity of one type of monitors – he literally disassembled them and sabotaged their core function, their capacity to reproduce pictures. After that, with the parts of the disassembled monitors he created moving installations, which featured the functions of video and sculpture at the same time. With one of these works, he won the award for videoart at the second VIDEODOX biennial in Bavaria in 2017.
18 December 2018 - 25 January 2019
NEW DIRECTIONS IN OUR PAINTING
13 November 2018 - 10 February 2019
The Our Painting in New Directions exhibition presents one trend in the development of Bulgarian art during the first half of the 20th century. During the 1930’s and 1940’s, artists turned their attention to nature, reality and modern life. Certain genres (still life, landscape painting, portrait) gained considerable popularity, while style gravitated towards realist means of artistic expression. These processes took place on our art scene in unison with European trends that were introduced in Bulgaria mainly by Bulgarian artists who completed their studies abroad. Their works reveal various influences, one of which is the influence of the New Objectivity movement which arose in Weimar Germany. Yet New Objectivity was hardly a prominent well-established trend in Bulgarian art during the 1930’s and 1940’s. The German movement’s most distinguished representative in Bulgaria was Cyril Tsonev. New Objectivity was most frequently used as a stylistic solution as reveled in individual motifs and artworks by various artists who demonstrated their social involvement and interest in a new lifestyle associated with the modern city and the conditions and entertainment it offered. For this reason, it is mostly reflections of New Objectivity that artworks reveal, and since it made its way to an area on the periphery of the European art scene, these reflections are characterized by peculiar uniqueness.
The exhibition was developed along four thematic lines, namely The New Life of Objects, The Modern City, The Landscape, Faces of the City. The exhibition features works by better known artists such as Cyril Tsonev, Boris Eliseev, Vera Nedkova, Vasil Barakov, as well as lesser-known ones like Asen Vasilev, Todorka Burova, Karl Yordanov, Asen Dochev. The exhibition presents more than a hundred artworks, two of which have not been shown or published before. It also features little known artworks.
Artworks included in the exhibition belong to the permanent collections of the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, other Bulgarian galleries, as well as to private collectors. Research consultant for the exhibition is Prof. Krasimira Koeva. An exhibition catalogue is available alongside a program featuring thematic lectures and meetings with curators providing opportunities for more in-depth exploration of individual themes of the exhibition.
Curators: Neda Zhivkova, Lyuben Domozetski
MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY
06 November 2018 - 09 December 2018
The first Arnold Newman retrospective in Bulgaria will expose 55 original works. Arnold Newman (1918-2006) is widely renowned for pioneering and popularizing the environmental portrait. With his method of portraiture, he placed his sitters in surroundings representative of their professions, aiming to capture the essence of an individual’s life and work. Though this approach is commonplace today, his technique was highly unconventional in the 1930s when began shooting his subjects as such. He is also known for his carefully composed, abstract still lifes. He dedicates 70 years of his life to photography and seals the history of the century, creating an innovative approach to portraiture - "environmental portraiture", by taking the model out of the sterile world of the studio.His environmental approach to portraiture was influenced by symbolism and impressionism, and defined by the imperative of captivating the viewer no matter how well known the subject was. While he specialized in photographing artists, Newman captured the likeness of a vast range of figures, from athletes and actors to presidents and politicians. Among his many sitters, Newman’s impressive roster of subjects includes: Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, Audrey Hepburn, Igor Stravinsky, Salvador Dali, Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Newman was an important contributor to publications such as the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Life, Look, Holiday, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Town & Country, Scientific American, New York Times Magazine, and many others. In addition to numerous monographs, he contributed photographs to countless histories of photography, catalogues, articles and television programs throughout his career. Newman was the recipient of awards including the American Society of Media Photographers, The Lucie Award, The Royal Photographic Society Centenary Award as well as France’s “Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.” In 2005, Photo District News named Newman as one of the 25 most influential living photographers. In 2006, Newman was awarded The Gold Medal for Photography by The National Arts Club. He is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the country and the world.
Masters of Photography – 10th Anniversary Edition is organised by MUSIZ Foundation, America for Bulgaria Foundation, in partnership with VIVACOM, Sofia City Art Gallery, supported by Sofia Municipality. The exhibition is in collaboration with The Arnold & Augusta Newman Foundation and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY.
ALEXANDER DOBRINOV (1898 – 1958)
25 September 2018 - 28 October 2018
In commemoration of the 120th anniversary of artist Alexander Dobrinov’s birth, the Sofia City Art Gallery is opening a retrospective exhibition of cartoons and caricatures drawn by the artist over the period 1915 - 1958.
Dobrinov created hundreds of political and socially conscious cartoons and compositions, leaving behind a voluminous legacy of incredible portraits of entire generations. Were it not for Dobrinov’s art, these images of poets, musicians, singers, authors, actors, art critics, philosophers, and politicians would have remained hidden behind their occupations and professional accomplishments.
In the 1930’s, art critic Emanuil Popdimitrov gave a foresightful account of Alexander Dobrinov’s past and current presence in Bulgarian art, writing: “Besides being satirical in character, Alexander Dobrinov’s cartoons have a purely aesthetic effect produced by the beauty of lines and the subtlety of watercolor. This is supplemented by the joy of likeness to the model. Because viewers of today take pleasure in solving the riddle, in recognizing the model, while admiring the artist’s ability to accomplish likeness regardless of the significant change in facial features presented by the drawing. This concerns viewers of today alone. Many of these cartoons will also be admired by those who will not be familiar with the models. And this is what the true art of portrait caricature is all about: to have a life of its own apart from the model. And this is how it is going to be for Alexander Dobrinov’s cartoons.“
Today, there are fewer and fewer witnesses to the age presented by the artist. What we are left with are facts, events, archives, libraries, and the artist’s works dispersed among various newspapers, magazines, galleries, museums and private collections around Bulgaria, and throughout the world. This exhibition features more than 200 cartoons and portrait caricatures belonging to the permanent collections of the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the National Museum of Literature, and the artist’s family.
An exhibition catalogue is available presenting works from Bulgarian collections, as well as, for the first time ever, works belonging to the permanent collections of the Gallery of Fine Art in Ostrava and the Gallery of Modern Art in Hradec Králové, the Czech Republic.
ELIEZER ALCHEH AND
21 September 2018 - 04 November 2018
The Eliezer Alcheh and "Aesthetics of Disgrace" project focuses on the past, more specifically on that segment of the past stretching between the dates of birth and death of artist Eliezer Alshekh, namely the time between the years of 1908 and 1983. Drawing on Ruzha Marinska’s study of the artist’s work, as well as on the knowledge acquired by Rumyana Konstantinova during the preparation of the large retrospective exhibition organized in 2008 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth at the National Art Gallery in Sofia, today, ten years later, the curators of the exhibition hosted by the Sofia City Art Gallery, namely Plamen V. Petrov, Ramona Dimova, Natasha Noeva, and Nikoleta Gologanova, offer their own perspective on the artist’s past. Memories of him, documents shedding light on his personal life and professional career, and the substantial body of his work are finally being transformed into history, which helps put things in perspective. The past is rendered into a story, which does not constitute a mere succession of dates and events, but rather a narrative that could not only be read through, but also lived through and made sense of.
“Death projects its brutal and necessary separation on every nook and cranny of our lives“, wrote philosopher Jeanne Hersch in her essay From Exile to Farewell. Alshekh’s separation from Bulgaria happened in the distant year of 1928, when the Bulgarian national with Jewish blood running in his veins set off on a journey to Munich. In the decades to follow, he would live the life of a rover, a stranger until his last breath, whose work, overshadowed by labor camps, would be branded formalistic and disregarded because of that. Yes, Bulgaria and Eliezer Alshekh parted a good 90 years ago. Yet it is this separation that defines his notable and unique place in the history of Bulgarian art. The Eliezer Alcheh and "Aesthetics of Disgrace" exhibition tells the story of his earning this special recognition. The exhibition centerpiece is his 1960’s work Port by Night, a painting considered to be one of the peaks of his artistic career. The canvas will be shipped from Buenos Aires exclusively for the exhibition together with other works of the artist that have not been exhibited or published before. Featured among them are Alshekh’s first artistic attempts.
Also, the exhibition prompted the collation of a printed edition featuring the contents of the exhibition, including pictures of the artworks included and the entire volume of newly found documents providing evidence and facts about the artist that have not been published before, as well as already familiar papers by renowned Bulgarian researchers. To help shed light on the historical context of the artist’s personal life and professional career, the exhibition team asked prominent researchers such as Prof. Eugenia Kalinova, Ph. D., Rumyana Marinova-Hristidi, Ph. D., Assoc. Prof., and Alexander Sivilov, Ph. D., Assoc. Prof., to contribute research papers to the edition.
The exhibition features artworks belonging to the permanent collections of the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, Sofia, the Ruse City Art Gallery, Boris Denev Veliko Tarnovo City Art Gallery, Iliya Beshkov Pleven City Art Gallery, the Kazanlak City Art Gallery, Dimitar Dobrovich Sliven City Art Gallery, the Stara Zagora City Art Gallery, the Plovdiv City Art Gallery, the City of Vratsa Museum of Regional History. Also featured are paintings from numerous private collections.
The project is brought to life in official partnership with the Faculty of History of the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in the Republic of Bulgaria, and the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria Shalom.
The exhibition is organized with the patronage of His Excellency Alberto A. M. Trueba, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Argentine Republic to the Republic of Bulgaria
Exhibition of the nominated artists for the modern art Baza award:
17 July 2018 - 12 August 2018
The eleventh edition of the most prestigious competition for young artists in Bulgaria will be held in 2018. BAZA is part of the Young Visual Artists Awards international network (YVAA) in different countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It was established in 1990 and managed by International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York (by 2014) and by Residency Unlimited (RU), New York (since 2015). Bulgaria joined the network in 2008 upon the initiative of Maria Vassileva, and the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia was chosen as a partner to organize the award provides the competition management.
For 2018 the BAZA jury members are: Boshko Boskovic (program director of Residency Unlimited, New York), Karina Kottova (curator), Vladiya Mihaylova (curator), Vera Mlechevska (curator), Stefka Tsaneva (curator).
The BAZA award winners so far are: Rada Boukova (2008), Samuil Stoyanov (2009), Anton Terziev (2010), Vikenti Komitski (2011), Leda Ekimova (2012), Kiril Kuzmanov (2013), Zoran Georgiev (2014), Alexandra Chaushova (2015), Dimitar Shopov (2016) and Martina Vacheva (2017).
0 FOR BLACK, 1 FOR WHITE
06 June 2018 - 08 July 2018
The exhibition is a joint project of Nina Kovacheva and Valentin Stefanoff, following an invitation from the Fotofabrika and produced by the Festival specially for the Sofia City Art Gallery. The event will display thirty large-scale photographic images and five videos. The works are part of several sequences that show the two artists’ individual quests. Most of the photos are exhibited for the first time in Bulgaria. Nina Kovacheva’s cycles “The Hidden Face of Fragility” (2010) and “Five Bible Stories” (2011) lead us through different stages that depict characteristics of man and of traits of human nature while Valentin Stefanoff’s series “Organon” (2011), “Primordial Soup” (2011) and “Plastic Romanticism” (2018) take us into the world of inanimate matter and enable us to peep beyond the large form and to focus our attention on details that he has chosen.
Nina Kovacheva and Valentin Stefanoff graduated from the National Academy of Art in Sofia in 1985. They have been living in Paris since 1995. Their distinguished artistic careers comprise plenty of exhibitions in galleries and museums in Bulgaria, France, Austria, Germany, China, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and elsewhere. They employ a variety of art media like drawing, painting, and photography, in addition to video, video installations, objects and sound instillations. The two artists are well known for their individual aspirations and performances and for quite a number of joint projects that are intended mostly for museum façade and public space and that they sign NINAVALE.
Nina Kovacheva was born in Sofia 1960 in Sofia.
The Temptations of ninavale, the Sofia Arsenal – Museum for Contemporary Art (SAMCA), Sofia, Bulgaria, 2018 / Aging Pride, Belvedere Museum, Vienna, 2017 / The Temptations of ninavale, National Gallery of Macedonia, Skopje, Macedonia, 2017 – Guo Zhong Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2017 / Gold and Niles, Galerie Heike Curtze, Vienna, Austria, 2016 / The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Musée d'art moderne et contemporain (MAMC), Saint-Étienne, France, 2015 / Art for Change 1985-2015, Sofia City Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2015 / The Naked Man, The Museum of Modern Art (Lentos Kunstmuseum), Linz, Austria, 2012 / The Crying Game, Galerie Heike Curtze, Vienna, Austria, 2012 / Close Encounter, Jeju Museum, South Korea, 2010 / Surplus Enjoyment, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan, 2010 / Art Project, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris, France, 2007 / Face, ZONE: Chelsea Center for Contemporary Art, New York, USA, 2007 / Desire and Resistance Determine the Motion, Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg (MAMCS), France, 2007 / Au-delà de ce qui est visible, National Museum of Contemporary Art (Muzeul Național de Artă Contemporană MNAC), Bucharest, Romania, 2005 / Wet Contact, Kunsthalle, Hannover, Germany, 2002, inter alia.
Valentin Stefanoff was born in 1959 in Sofia.
The Temptations of ninavale, the Sofia Arsenal – Museum for Contemporary Art (SAMCA), Sofia, Bulgaria, 2018 / Le Musée a 30 ans! Musée d'art moderne et contemporain (MAMC), Saint-Étienne, France, 2017 / National Gallery of Macedonia, Skopje, Macedonia, 2017 / Art for Change 1985-2015, Sofia City Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2015 / Close Encounter, Jeju Museum, South Korea, 2010 / Surplus Enjoyment, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan, 2010 / Micro-Narratives, Musée d'art moderne et contemporain (MAMC), Saint-Étienne, France, 2008 / Contemporary Art Biennial, Quebec, Canada, 2008 / European Attitude, Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China, 2008 / Desire and Resistance Determine the Motion, Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg (MAMCS), France, 2007 / ASIA – EUROPE Mediations, National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu/MNP), Poznan, Poland, 2007 / Micro-narratives, October Salon (Oktobarski Salon), Belgrade, Serbia, 2007 / Play for Two Hands and Black, the façade of the National Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria 2006 / Phases of Accumulation and Extraction in a Limited Space, National Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2005 / Phases of Accumulation and Extraction in a Limited Space, Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg (MAMCS), France, 2006 / Currency, Galerie Mabel Semmler, Paris, France, 2003 / Open – Closed, Museum of Contemporary Art (Muzej savremene umetnosti), Belgrade, Serbia, 2000, inter alia.
CELESTIAL DOG Painting and terracotta
27 April 2018 - 27 May 2018
The exhibition has been structured as a study of the universal concept of roots, genetic memory, and the primal impulse to describe the world using the magic universality of the sign.
Artworks inspired by Neolithic art use layers of modernity combining into a single whole abstract imagery with recognizable details. Touching upon the symbolic richness and geometry of prehistoric means of expression, these artworks seek to represent a consolidated image of time and the human presence sealed in it.
Through the rich language of the paintings the artist offers an effortless translation of archaic symbols into relevant artistic, aesthetic, and philosophical interpretations.
The tailor-made exhibition created by the artist to fit the space of the Sofia City Art Gallery features 30 paintings. They are complemented by three cycles of terracotta works creating the sensation of authenticity and primal vitality.
An exhibition catalogue is available.
„All forms of Neolithic representations around the world constitute painting ensembles that are a combination of three major categories, namely geometrical motifs or abstract signs, animals, and human figures. This thematic and technical unity of prehistoric art harbors an amazing symbolic treasure which motivated me to interpret and create this cycle of paintings and terra cotta works entitled ‘Celestial Dog’.“
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