Exhibition of BAZA Award for Contemporary Art Nominees
20 June 2017 - 30 July 2017
The BAZA Award for contemporary art was established in 2008. The award’s statistics include: nine successfully completed fellowships of Bulgarian artists in New York City, forty-three exhibition nominees, 277 submitted portfolios, and 27 artists, curators and representatives of institutions who acted as members of the jury.
The exhibition aims to present each nominee in the best possible light. Artists present mostly new works, specifically created for the contest, or works created in the past year.
The jury’s choice of a winner is based on various criteria, namely: recognizing new names without ignoring nominees from previous years, who show promise; nominees’ competitiveness on the international art scene; their basic knowledge of 20th century art, and the relevance of their work to the world of today.
The BAZA award winner for 2017 is Martina Vacheva.
• DIRECTIONS • IVAN MILEV (1897 – 1927) •
16 June 2017 - 06 August 2017
This exhibition is organized and presented to the public as an expression of reverence to one of the most original aesthetic phenomena in Bulgarian visual arts of the 1920s, Ivan Milev. At the same time, as is the case with many major exhibition projects implemented in the past, it marks another anniversary – 120 years since the birth of the artist and 90 years since the untimely end of his life and creative work.
The name of the exposition is Directions, as it is an attempt to illustrate or at least outline some of the genre (easel and mural painting, drawing, illustration, stage design) or thematic spheres of artistic interest in the known or preserved part of Ivan Milev’s fine art production. Here one can see works that trace the connection with the national or fairy-tale element in his art, with the themes of religion, mysticism, fatalism, with the Native art movement and Secession, with the decorative style and the short-lived Bulgarian modernism.
The exhibition includes several works that are part of private collections. The viewers can discover the artist’s creative work, including a number of paintings that are not well-known or have not been displayed for decades.
The exhibition comprises works from Kazanlak Art Gallery, National Gallery – Sofia, National Academy of Arts, Sofia City Art Gallery, National Museum of Literature, Art Gallery “Dimiter Dobrovich” – Sliven, Stara Zagora Art Gallery, Art Gallery “Kiril Petrov” – Montana, Art Gallery “Hristo Tsokev” – Gabrovo, Ruse Art Gallery and a number of private collections. The exposition was realized in partnership with Kazanlak Art Gallery which preserves the largest part of Ivan Milev’s artistic heritage. In the fall, the exhibition will be presented in the artist’s home town.
The team of Sofia City Art Gallery would like to thank Academician Svetlin Rusev, Prof. Milena Georgieva, Prof. Marin Dobrev, Architect Alexander Todorov and Emil Chushev for their cooperation in tracing several artworks.
Philip Zidarov– curator
12 June 2017 - 09 July 2017
The idea about the Bronze House originated some ten years ago and naturally evolved in the works of the Bulgarian-Austrian artist Plamen Dejanoff. This is his most large-scale, renowned and commprehensive project that involves a lot of European museums, foundations, galleries, collectors, patrons, and experts in the field of modern art, history, architecture and urbanistics.
The Bronze House focuses on various aspects of art in social environment and its inter-relatedness with social processes, problems of modern cities, attitudes to hisotry, memory and cultural heritage.
There is a compound of houses in Arbanasi that host impressive wood-carvings, metal works and stone details as well as rich records of some 20,000 documents related to Bulgarian history from 13th to mid-20th century. The records include further several texts by Le Corbusier dedicated to the details in the Bulgarian medieval architecture.
Inspired by all this, Plamen Dejanoff sets about restoring missing details from the houses‘ decoration and turning houses in individual works of art that are in the heart of the project.
The Bronze House is the largest sculpture-house in the world made entirely and only by massive bronze. It is 14-metre high, and the foundations are seven metre by seven metre. It is made by more than 1,000 hand-cast and processed massive bronze elements.
The precious colour of the metal and its fine processing refer to the archaelogival monuments found in Bulgaria. The structure of the sculpture is made by alternating rectangular elements whose composition is inspired by the wood-carvings typical for the Bulgarian Revival. The overall plan inevitably calls for associations with the Tower of Hrelyu of the Rila Monastery.
At the same time the stylistics of the Bronze House is markedly modern and drawing on modern urban environment and modern technologies. Thus the sculpture turns into a powerful symbol of the symbiosis of past, present and future.
It is envisaged that the Bronze House will be erected at the end of 2017 and opened in the beginning of 2018 at the place of the former mausoleum in Alexander Batenberg Square in Sofia, a key place for Bulgarian post-liberation, new and modern history. After the mausoleum was destroyed in 1999, nothing significant happened in this area of the city. The square appears desolate and empty from any content. It often provokes debates and disussions, but not a single adequate urbanistic concept could be identified for it during the last 20 years.
The Bronze House is a functional architectural object. Inside the building there is a large space (a hall) that is open for the general public and is envisaged to serve as a stage for various events such as concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions, congresses etc. The Sofia City Municipality may use the Bronze House for its annual cultural calendar. This is precisely the social significance of the Bronze House. The cycle modern art – modern urbanistics – social significance will be successfully accomplished producing a side-effect for the general public.
The Sofia City Art Gallery presents Plamen Dejanoff’s newest work – a model of the Sofia City centre and the location of the Bronze House. The artist further created a special limited circulation of posters dedicated to the project. They will be presented side by side with various covers of international magazines that published articles about the Bronze House.
Curator Boris Kostadinov
The European Union declared 2018 a European year of the cultural heritage. Bulgaria and Austria will hold the EU presidency in the same year.
The Bronze House and its erection in Sofia is the official proposal of the Republic of Austria to Bulgaria in connection with the cultural cooperation between the two countries during their presidencies.
Born in 1970 in Veliko Tarnovo. Works and lives in Vienna and Veliko Tarnovo.
Graduated the National Academy of Arts in Sofia and subsequently studied in Pratt Institute, New York. In 1997 he graduated Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna with a master’s degree in sculpture in the class of Prof. Michelangelo Pistoletto.
H e was awarded by Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna as early as 1992. Then followed awards by Goldenen Heinrich Friedrich Fuegerpreis der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna; Meisterschullpreis der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna; Kunstpreis der Stadt Hamburg, Hamburg, etc., as well as fellowships such as MAK Rudolph M. Schindler, MAK Centre, Los Angeles, MOMBUSHO, Musashino Art University, Tokyo, IASPIS, The Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, Stockholm.
Plamen Dejanoff has had more than 300 exhibitions in the last 20 years, 60 of which individual.
The larger individual exhibitions have been in MUMOK Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, MAK Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, MAMBO Museo d ́Arte Moderna di Bologna, Bologna, Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg, 21er Haus Museum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Vienna, MSU Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, GFZK Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, L’ELAC, l’espace lausannois d’art contemporain, Lausanne, NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aahen.
Plamen Dejanoff has participated with his works in group exhibitions in various museums such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, MOMA, New York, MOT Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Kunsthalle, Zurich and many more.
He has also participated in bienials in Berlin, Shanghai, Prague, Melburn and Cairo as well as in the European biennial Manifesta.