Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане

ANGEL STANEV Sculpture and Drawings

19 May 2012 - 17 June 2012

Angel Stanev is an artist who, in the late 1970s, boldly transformed the routine plastic language of sculptural material. At first glance, his works resemble sketches, moreover that many of them are misleadingly called exactly this way. In fact, everything unnecessary in them is drastically removed in order maximum concentration of depiction to be obtained. Space powerfully invades matter, blows away the unneeded and leaves laconic fragments built with filigree delicacy. This unusual artistic language has been eagerly accepted and thus it raised numerous followers in the range between the simple plagiarism and the creative artistic communication.

The exhibition was contemplated as a narrative of the events in Bulgarian sculpture since the mid 1970s until nowadays – its most dynamic period through the art of its most heuristic representative. It is no coincidence that the exhibition is in Sofia City Art Gallery where the most of Angel Stanev’s works are kept. Among them, there is Swing with Muse (Dedication to Dimcho Debelyanov), a work charged with sarcasm to the illusory expectations for creativity, that deservedly provoked unrest debates for an hour among the jury of the Youth Exhibition in 1978; there is also Head from 1979; Figure from 1979, played on the thin string of a violin; as well as the wind drifted Figure from 1984.

His works combine extreme sensuality and radical asceticism, and they represent an uncompromising, consistent exploration of the wind sound in the bell, of the empty space of a swing and the rhythm between swings, of the echo of the ring - more and more laconic, more and more powerful. For this exposition, Angel Stanev created a version of a composition of his, which has been thought over for decades. In it, the voice of the bell and echoing of the ring combine in a monumental scale. We can discover these sounds still in his early drawings. For the artist, the drawing - even when embroidered with magnifying glass, even though being a result of an explosion of spots and lines - has the mission of a creative enlightenment which can unlock plastic transformations for decades.

60 Years Together with the Sofia City Art Gallery The immortalized moments of the gallerys history, presented by 60 posters

19 May 2012 - 30 May 2012

On the eve of the international cultural initiative “The Night of Museums“, the landmark “Lovers’ Bridge” in the capital city will host the “60 Years Together with the Sofia City Art Gallery”. The event constitutes part of the program for the gallery’s team to celebrate the institution’s 60th anniversary together with the public.

In 1928, following an order of the then mayor, General Vladimir Vazov, the Capital City Municipal Museum was founded to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Sofia’s Liberation, as well as the 1000th anniversary of the Golden Age of Bulgarian Culture. This marked the beginning of the process of collecting materials, providing an account of Sofia’s history, culture, and art, namely books, documents, photographs, maps, city plans, archaeological finds, household artifacts, sculptures, paintings, graphic artworks.

Starting in 1929, the museum kept changing locations until the opening of a special building in 1941 on 3 “Banski” Square (demolished during the March, 1944 air raids). In 1948, part of the museum’s collection was transferred to the newly-established National Art Gallery. In April 1952, the City Museum ceased to be the home of the library and archive, and in October the same year the Sofia History Museum and the Sofia City Art Gallery became autonomous institutions. During the late 1980’s artist Vaska Emanuilova donated a substantial part of her work, which provided the basis for the collection of the “Vaska Emanuilova” Gallery, currently constituting an annex to the Sofia City Art Gallery, as well as a venue for the development of young Bulgarian artists.

The exhibition features documentary photographs, presenting the history, initiatives and significance of the SCAG in the period between 1928 and 2012. The “immortalized moments“ of the gallery’s history, presented by 60 posters, do not only savor the memory of the gallery’s past, but also provide an account of the variety of initiatives and events launched by the gallery at present.

The exhibition was organized in partnership with and with kind support from the Capital City Municipal Council, the BULPHOTO Agency, the Sofia State Archive, the “Old Sofia” municipal enterprise.

MusTempo. Contemporary Art and Photography Collection of the Sofia City Art Gallery Graffit Gallery Varna, Bulgaria

10 May 2012 - 30 May 2012

The MusTempo exhibition is a specially designed concept as a contribution of the Graffit Gallery to the traditional Con.tempo Festival for Contemporary Art (10.05.-14.05.2012), organized by the the Raya Georgieva Foundation in Varna for the fourth year. It is a non-commercial platform for promotion and presentation of young Bulgarian artists under the age of 35.
MusTempo presents the Contemporary Art and Photography Collection of the Sofia City Art Gallery, which has no analogue in the Bulgarian museum practice. Founded in 2004, it currently includes 300 artworks from the mid-80s of the 20th century until today. The fund tracks the latest trends in art, which came around and after 1989.
The collection is primarily a result of the efforts towards the integration of the contemporary art into a classical museum institution. It is a follow-on of a general policy of the gallery: to show Bulgarian and international exhibitions of contemporary art; to create an archive of Bulgarian contemporary art; to organize presentations of artists, conferences and debates, dedicated to contemporary art; to support the Places to Meet Museum Program for Young Artists and the BAZA Contemporary Art Award (in collaboration with ICA-Sofia).
Initially, the Contemporary Art and Photography Collection relies entirely on artists’ donations. Since 2007, Sofia Municipality annually allocates funds to replenish the fund, allowing it to take longer-term decisions regarding its content.
The establishment, the maintenance and the development of a collection is not an isolated phenomenon but part of overall motivated efforts. The collection would not be possible, or at least would not be so visible without the established platform for contemporary art in the Sofia City Art Gallery. Its contribution, beside the storage of the gathered artworks, is significant - the institution responsibly stands behind the contemporary art as initial part of the Bulgarian culture.
The MusTempo exhibition is conceptually gathered for the Graffit Gallery. It features works by: Adelina Popnedeleva, Alla Georgieva, Ani Vaseva, Bora Petkova, Boris Misirkov & Georgi Bogdanov, Boryana Rossa, Daniela Kostova, Ivan Moudov, Kalin Serapionov, Katia Damianova, Kiril Prashkov, Kosta Tonev, Krassimir Terziev, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Mariela Gemisheva, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Nedko Solakov, Nina Kovacheva & Valentin Stefanoff, Orlin Nedelchev, Peter Mintchev, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Rada Boukova, Rassim, Samuil Stoyanov, Stefania Batoeva, Vassil Simitchiev, Ventsislav Zankov, Vikenti Komitski.
Curated by Maria Vasileva, PhD

28 April 2012 - 08 June 2012

IVAN NENOV (1902 - 1997) RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION - 110th Annuversary of Artist's Birth

25 April 2012 - 08 June 2012

This retrospective jubilee exhibition, hosted by the Sofia City Art Gallery, commemorates the 110th anniversary of Ivan Nenov’s birth. He was among the most avant-garde artists of the 1930’s, who earned a special place in the history of Bulgarian visual arts.

The artist’s works belong to, various fields, namely painting, graphic arts, ceramic arts and applied arts, all of them revealing his idiosyncratic style. Regardless of the passing of time, his works never grew old, neither did they lose their lyricism and exquisiteness. They owe their appeal to their plasticity, the use of gentle, light colors, which kept their freshness, regardless of the years that have passed, as well as to the specific use of line, that singles out his work. It is the use of line that lends monumentality and plasticity to his works, contributing to their inimitable power of expression. 

The exhibition features works, belonging to different stages of Ivan Nenov’s career as an artist. It aims to reveal the artist’s multi-faceted work, which involves the use of various styles, as well as the artistic processes and approaches, showing the free spirit of a person relying on the power of his mind. The documentary aspect of the exhibition is also of interest, as it features drawings (sketches), documents and photographs, related to the artist’s life and career. Some of them are exhibited for the first time.

The exhibition features more than 80 paintings, graphic art and ceramic art works belonging to the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the Historical Museum of the Town of Balchik, the Plovdiv City Art Gallery, the “Old Plovidv” Municipal Institute, the Stara Zagora City Art Gallery, the “Iliya Petrov” Razgrad City Art Gallery, the “Dimitar Dobrovich” Sliven City Art Gallery, The “Iliya Beshkov” Pleven City Art Gallery, the Ruse City Art Gallery, the “Ivan Funev” Vratsa City Art Gallery, the “Svetlin Rusev” Donation-Collection – city of Pleven, the “Svetlin Rusev” Studio-Collection – Sofia, the “Boyan Radev” collection and other private collections. The exhibition was organized with support from and in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, the “Archives” State Agency.

An exhibition catalogue is available in Bulgarian and English.


17 April 2012 - 12 May 2012

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.

17 March 2012 - 15 April 2012


14 March 2012 - 15 April 2012

The exhibition “Common History and Its Private Stories. Geschichte und Geschichten” is an attempt to honour the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall not so much as the main event of recent European history but as an event with massive implications; an event, which triggered a succession of political events with global impacts that are defining our lives in the last 20 years. 

The exhibition was conceived on the basis of the collection of MUSA Museum Start Gallery Artothek in Vienna. It pays special attention to the typical for this institution ability to keep close track of the artistic production in Vienna. The defining principles of the museum collection form the basis of the exhibition – it is a composition of personal reactions on the changes; of individual political and social engagement with the process; of witness accounts, reflections, and self-analysis of 
artists from various generations and background. 

Due to the strong increase in dialogue and cooperation in the world of politics, business, art and culture, it has become necessary to readjust and fine-tune our attitude towards everything that is different. National and international aspects have been increasingly intermingled, public entities have been privatised – all these aspects have shaped the recent common history in Europe and beyond. 

Common history tends to generalise matters, create myths and stereotypes. It needs a greater distance to finally calm down and be analysed. However, none of us who have witnessed and/or participated in the process have such a distance. 

“We lack objectivity … but we still remember … we remember the rush of freedom, the fraternisation with former enemies, the experience of terrorist acts and violence. We are the ones who have both won and lost by the transformation from a society that was permanently confronted with shortcomings to a consumer society. Ours are the pains of the slow realisation – the realisation that freedom is not a habitual drug but a social contract with shared responsibilities. We are the ones who have travelled the way from a bipolar model of the world to a political world order to ... well, to what?” 

The exhibition deals with the common history all generations have experienced in the past 20 years. Each of these generations have their own traumas and have made their own experiences, observations and conclusions based on the constant daily comparison of “before” and “after” as well as “here” and “here”. The most obvious comparisons can be made between the Europe that was separated by the Iron Curtain and the European Union and its enlarged “family” of candidate 
countries that are united by common political and economic interests. 

The artists who present their works in the exhibition come from different countries and different cultural backgrounds, but they are all witnesses of the change, the transition, and the unification. 

Roland Fink, curator of “Common History and Its Private Stories. Geschichte und Geschichten”: “Due to their experiences with the transition process the artists broach the issue how society deals with romanticised non-remembering and the reflexion on the phenomenon. Childhood memories, (outlived) traditions, desires, maintained legends and myths, and a search for orientation become instruments in the exhibition as well as objects of artistic analysis.”

The exhibition unites different approaches and ways of dealing with these transformation processes. “Common History and Its Private Stories. Geschichte und Geschichten” presents works of 30 artists. 

A catalogue about the exhibition is available in Bulgarian, English and German. 

Vaska Popova - Balareva /1902 1979/ 110th Anniversary of Her Birth

10 March 2012 - 06 April 2012

The exhibition commemorating the anniversary of the artist’s birth comprises part of the initiative of the Sofia City Art Gallery to show its visitors the work of Bulgarian artists, who went down in the history of Bulgarian art, yet remaining far from the “spotlight”.

Vaska Popova-Balareva was among the artists who avoided flaunting their presence in the artistic circles of the 1930’s through the 1970’s. Having lived her life like a true aristocrat, she is giving today’s viewers the opportunity to catch a glimpse of her world. The exhibition features plenty of portraits of children, men and women, for which the artist employed a variety of painting media. There is an interesting group of paintings standing out, representing the images of tenor Stefan Makedonski, composer Lyubomir Pipkov, artists Cyril Petrov and Raphael Mihaylov, author Elisaveta Bagryana, all of whom were friends with the artist. The exhibition also features still lifes, landscapes, graphic works, as well as various projects of hers belonging to the field of applied arts (leather crafting).

The works featured in the exhibition belong to the collections of the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the “Boris Denev” Veliko Tarnovo City Art Gallery, the “Petko Zadgorski” Burgas City Art Gallery, the “Elena Karamihaylova” Shumen City Art Gallery, the Ruse City Art Gallery, the “Svetlin Rusev” Studio-Collection – Sofia, the “Earth and People” National Museum – Sofia, the State Music and Ballet Center – Sofia, as well as of many private collectors.

Vaska Popova-Balareva was born in the city of Ruse on April 7, 1902. She was raised in the family of a general and a mother who was an artist and a musician. Her love of art took her to the National Academy of Arts, Sofia, where she took up studies in Prof. Tseno Todorov’s painting class. Under the mentorship of Prof. Nikola Marinov, she mastered the language of colours, graduating in 1927. Two years later, following an admission test, she was admitted to the Academy of Arts in Rome for further specialization. There she got acquainted in detail with leather crafting techniques. After her return to Bulgaria, she established herself as a pioneer in this field. In 1933 she married General Hristo Balarev, with whom she had a son. The artist’s home was frequented by intellectuals Soya Paprikova, Bistra Vinarova, Alexander Poplilov, Cyril Petrov, Raphael Mihaylov, Andrey Nikolov, Boris Ivanov, Alexander Zhendov, Mara Georgieva, Vaska Emanuilova, Veselin Staykov, Lyuba Palikareva. Vaska Popova-Balareva died on August 3, 1979 in Sofia.

ASSOCIATION OF NEW ARTISTS (1931-1944) 80th Anniversary of the Establishment

13 December 2011 - 04 March 2012

The “Association of New Artists. 80th Anniversary of the Establishment” exhibition is a part of a series of research projects developed by Sofia City Art Gallery in the recent years.
The Association of New Artists played an important role in Bulgarian art in different historical periods. Founded back in 1931, it had a short existence - only until 1944. In that period, the Association managed to get its way and to demonstrate an intense artistic life. The "New Ones" regularly participated in all the all-artist exhibitions, they arranged exhibitions of the Association and implemented interesting public initiatives. The aim of that generation of artists was to set new tasks and problems to our art, to reach new and modern means of expression facing the needs of the spirit of the time when they lived.

The exhibition is a retrospective one, with two major highlights – an art section consisting of over 250 paintings, sculptures and graphic works, collected from the city galleries across the country and from the private collections; and a documentary section which includes a large number of archival and critical materials related to the organizational and artistic life of the Association. In “Vaska Emanuilova” Gallery – the subsidiary of Sofia City Art Gallery, a documentary exhibition is arranged, related to the exhibitions of the New Artists and to the reviews of the critics. The expositions are accompanied by a film program dedicated to the times of the New Ones, to the Association, to some individual artists. Apart from the visual image that is being built through the works of art, through the documents and films - music from those years, selected especially for the occasion, will sound in the halls of Sofia City Art Gallery.

The exhibition aims to present as explicitly as possible the work of the New Artists united by a common creative platform, to reconstruct the artistic path of the Association, to give a more complete idea of the artists’ personal destinies, of the continuity, influences, traditions, spiritual motivations - so that the viewer touches closer to their epoch.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue both in Bulgarian and English languages.

The project was implemented
in partnership with:
The Institute of Art Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences,
Archives State Agency
Bulgarian National Film Archive,
Bulgarian National Televisionand 

With the assistance of:
Sofia City Library
"St. St. Cyril and Methodius" National Library 
National Academy of Arts
"Boris Georgiev" Varna City Art Gallery
"Boris Denev" Veliko Tarnovo City Art Gallery
Dobrich City Art Gallery,
Kazanlak City Art Gallery,
"Vladimir Dimitrov-The Master" Kyustendil City Art Gallery
"Luben Gaidarov" Pernik City Art Gallery
"Iliya Beshkov" Pleven City Art Gallery
Plovdiv City Art Gallery
Popovo City Art Gallery
Ruse City Art Gallery
"Dimitar Dobrovich" Sliven City Art Gallery
Stara Zagora City Art Gallery
Smolyan City Art Gallery
"Nikola Marinov" Targovishte City Art Gallery
"George Papazov" Yambol City Art Gallery
"Svetlin Rusev" Studio-Collection, Sofia
“Svetlin Rusev” Collection-Donation, Pleven
“Nikolay Shmirgela” Studio-Centre, Sofia
“Loran” Gallery and private collectors.

With kind support from:
Allianz - Bulgaria
Association for the Development of Sofia
CEZ Bulgaria
Onnig Kyuchyukian
Ventsislav Kadiev
Alberto Staykov
Kolyo Byanov
Georgi Ovcharov
Exhibition team: Adelina Fileva, Milena Balcheva, Svetlin Rusev, Ilinka Chergarova, Marin Marinov, Svetla Georgieva, Stefan Stefanov, Stanislava Nikolova, Plamen V. Petrov, Kristina Dineva, Tanya Staneva, Maria Miteva, Anatoli Mihailov, Kalina Mincheva and Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova.

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Vaska Emanuilova Gallery