VELICHKO MINEKOV Retrospective exhibition
20 November 2009 - 31 December 2009
Velichko Minekov's exhibition allows viewers to trace the development of an artist, the strengthening of his method, and the process of diversification of his artistic style His is an artistic career that goes back six decades, which, at the very outset, carried the strong promise of something new, revealing the artist’s potential for lasting and high quality presence on the Bulgariancontemporary art scene.
Velichko Minekov had the unique opportunity to communicate with three of the colossi of Bulgarian sculpture, namely Andrey Nikolov, Marko Markov, and Lubomir Dalchev. Influenced by the great Bulgarian masters of sculpture, he started contemplating embarking on a journey into the world of art. His very first works "Repose" (1957), "Thirst" (1958), "Motherhood" (1958) and "Fila" (1959) already attest to the young artist’s willingness to transform nature, to eliminate the accidental and unnecessary, to highlight the most prominent and sustainable features of the object being represented, thus conveying a feeling of monumentality of form and reinforcing the symbolic message of the image.
As just another confirmation of thesimple truth that hardships break the weak, yet making the strong even stronger, in 1969 came the moment when an ideological attack was launched against works, without which both Velichko Minekov’s art and the natural and vital process of diversification of Bulgarian sculpture would have been hard to picture. Essentially, this was an attack on the artist's courage to ignore banal imagery and seek in his works "Icarus", "Shooting", "Movement" the building components for an innovative structure of the sculptural work. Regardless of that, Velichko Minekov invariably continued to apply the principles of expressiveness, flexibility and dynamism, guided by belief in the artist's inalienable right to oppose the existing canon.
The decades to follow are full of moments or even months, sacrificed in the search of ways and means to overcome difficulties, develop skills, uncover secrets, get to know himself and the surrounding world better. The following works came to life as a result: "Expectation" (1967) and “Nestinarka” (1973), "Orpheus"(1969), “Rachenitsa" (1970), “Motherland” (1972) and "Earth and Man"(1977), which are characterized by sincerity and determination. The sculptor created monuments giving an account of both the drama and heroism of past events and his reflections and judgments on the present. Thus the ensemble “Serdica” (Sofia, 1977) the reliefs “Calvary” and "Pledge” (Town of Panagyurishte, 1978) and the monuments "Spartacus" (Town of Sandanski, 1979), 'Khan Asparuh” (Town of Dobrich, 1981) and "The Unification"(City of Plovdiv, 1985) came to life. The works created by the artist over the past 20 years differ from the aforementioned ones. They are a consequence of the years of accumulated wisdom and the artist’s exploration of expressive sculptural form, yet they are most of all the result of the distinctive presence of the artist’s personality.
The “Velichko Minekov” exhibition features more than one hundred of the sculptor’s works, owned by the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the “Stanislav Dospevski” Art Gallery in the city of Pazardzhik and private collectors.