Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане


TRACES OF THE CITY JOSEF OBERBAUER (1854 1926)

14 September 2010 - 17 October 2010


Josef Oberbauer was the first artist to devote most of his artistic efforts to the depiction of Sofia. His documentary-style watercolour paintings and drawings provide invaluable evidence of what the capital city and other cities throughout Bulgaria looked like in the late 19th and early 20th century. A passionate traveler, he drew pictures of the cities of Nesebur, Veliko Turnovo, Tryavna, being attracted by houses of worship, old houses, cemeteries, fortress walls remains, open air markets, inhabited with an impressively diverse multitude of people wearing various traditional garments. These paintings-cum-authentic documents captured the spirit of an age, gradually giving in to the pressure of Europeization. 

He was particularly interested in places whose mission it is to preserve spirituality, such as monasteries and churches. He painted a series of paintings featuring the St. Sofia Basilica, the most prominent of the capital city’s landmarks at the time, allowing the viewer to trace the architectural transformations underwent by the said church. He also depicted the Rila Monastery, churches in the city of Nesebur, the Bachkovo Monastery, the “Forty Holy Martyrs” Church in the city of Veliko Turnovo and many others. 

In his capacity of chief draughtsman at the Sofia Municipal Council, he drew a plan of the neighbourhoods of Banishor and Draz, featuring the remains of the northern part of the ancient city of Serdica’s fortress wall. The said plan provided the basis for the his watercolour painting ”Reconstruction of Ulpia Serdica”, where he combines fact and imagination to represent the image of the ancient city.

It is interesting to study the new developments in the city and trace the various transformations it has undergone. Some places have stayed the same, others have been destroyed. Oberbauer’s images of Sofia convey a sense of relaxation, yet also of anxiety, caused by the awareness of the passing of time. 

Oberbauer’s paintings were a reproach for the city planners of his time and their negligent treatment of the remains and traces of ages gone in a time of dynamic changes. They are also a cautionary tale for architects of today.

The exhibition features 78 drawings and watercolour paintings, as well as the most interesting of his original hand-drawn maps of the city. The exhibition is the result of the combined efforts of the Museum of Sofia History and the Sofia City Art Gallery.

An exhibition catalogue is available







POINTS OF INTERSECTION Portraits of Artists by Other Artists

29 June 2010 - 26 September 2010


The exhibition features portraits created between the late 19th century and the early 21 century by various generations of artists. The broad time span allows the viewer to follow the transformations in the mutual perceptions of artists.

The exhibition reveals the popularity of the genre of portrait painting, the quality of artistic output, as well as the interest demonstrated in artists and critics as models. It may be viewed as part of a succession of exhibitions that started with the “Self-portrait. Visible Image and Hidden Meaning” exhibition hosted by the Sofia City Art Gallery in 2006. While the “Self-portrait” explores the artist’s view of himself/herself, the current exhibition reveals the life of an artistic community as depicted by insiders through the modifications in the meaning of the artist-to-artist and artist-to-critic relationships. 

Traditionally, Bulgarian portrait painting is characterized by emphasis on form, relatively sustainable compositional patterns and formal setting. Portraits featured in the exhibition can be grouped into several categories, reflecting the trends in an artistic dialogue. Those are portraits documenting a personal relationship (an intimate relationship, relationship between spouses), portraits documenting the parent-child relationship within the context of continuity between generations, portraits presenting informal artistic circles and friendly societies, and portraits documenting an actual event in the life of the artistic community or revealing institutionalized communication. Portrait painting as a type of communication can be found in the so called “pair portraits”, where artists belonging to the same or different generations have portrayed each other. 

Portrait painting is a type of communication. When there is such interaction going on between an artist and a critic things become multifaceted and complicated. The role of the critic has changed through the years. The portrayal of the images of prominent art and literary critics belonging to different periods in the history of Bulgarian art reveals yet another layer of life on the Bulgarian art scene.

The exhibition features canvases created in the period between 1898 and 2010, part of them being brought to the attention of the public and researchers for the first time. The CD-ROM available at the exhibition features 165 artworks by 98 artists. 

The works featured in the exhibition belong to the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, “Svetlin Rousev” Atelier Collection, National Academy of Arts, Art Gallery - Varna, Art Gallery - Vidin, Art Gallery - Dimitrovgrad, Art Gallery - Pazardzhik, Art Gallery - Pleven, Art Gallery - Plovdiv, Art Gallery - Kazanluk, Art Gallery - Kyustendil, Art Gallery - Sliven, Art Gallery - Stara Zagora, Art Gallery - Strazhitsa, Art Gallery - Turgoviste, Art Gallery - Razgrad, Art Gallery - Rouse, Art Gallery - Shoumen, “Old Plovdiv” Municipal Institute, the Union of Bulgarian Artists and private collections.

Curator: Daniela Chulova-Markova







Exhibition of the BAZA Award for contemporary art nominees: Anton Terziev, Vikenti Komitski, Orlin Nedelchev, Raycho Stanev, Svetlana Mircheva, Stefania Batoeva, HR-Stamenov

15 June 2010 - 18 July 2010


The BAZA award for contemporary art is to be presented for the third consecutive year to a young visual artist. It constitutes part of an international fellowship award program for young visual artists in the region of Central Europe and the Balkans (YVAA, Young Visual Artists Awards), launched in 1990 and managed by the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York. Bulgaria joined the program in 2008 on the initiative of Maria Vassileva, establishing the BAZA award, which is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia. The exhibition of nominated works will be hosted by the Sofia City Art Gallery. The award comprises a six-week travel fellowship to New York and a solo exhibition at the gallery of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia. Eligible for the award are artists under 35 years of age, working in any medium of contemporary art. The award winner will be announced at the exhibition opening.

Now that it is 2010, it is already possible to sum up all BAZA-related events. In October-November 2009, the first BAZA award winner, Rada Boukova, had a solo exhibition entitled STILL LIFE ...all the rest is by the way... at the gallery of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia, and at the beginning of 2010, the 2009 BAZA award winner, Samuil Stoyanov, successfully completed his residency in New York. Broadening of the scope of opportunities for professional fulfilment and networking is one of BAZA’s top priorities. In 2009 the Vaska Emanouilova Gallery hosted a solo exhibition of Luiza Margan, winner of the OHO award, which is the equivalent of the BAZA award in Slovenia. 

The nominees for the 2010 BAZA award were selected out of a total of 35 applicants. The winner will be chosen following consideration of projects completed, particular attention being paid to the work presented at the exhibition. This year’s nominees have been working predominantly on new projects, specially completed for the event, as well as on the the further development of artworks that have already been on display – mainly objects, video and installations. 

Members of the BAZA 2010 jury are as follows: Iara Boubnova, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Rene Beekman and Daniela Radeva.

The winner is Anton Terziev







More or Less Exhibition

26 May 2010 - 18 June 2010


More or Less is the major exhibition within the second edition of Sofia Design Week 2010. The idea for the exhibition was initiated by Vasil Iliev, art director of the “One” magazine.
What exhibition participants, namely the KesselsKramer communications agency, journalist Andrew Losowski and multidisciplinary artists Helmut SchmizH Thomas Mailender, Daniel Eatock and Francois Nouguies, have in common is that they approach modern design with a sense of humor, thus questioning its value. 
The Dutch artist Helmut Schmiz comes up with designer solutions which strike us a quite uncommon. The English artist Daniel Eatock, on his part, playfully touches upon the issue of the smoking ban in Bulgaria, presenting a collection of unusual alternative versions of the classic “No Smoking” sign. The exhibition witl also feature a presentation of an action entitled “Do a plastic bag” by the KesselsKramer communications agency, which is famous for its nontraditional approach to advertising. Basically, the action seeks to create new designer objects out of used plastic bags. Another highlight of the exhibition are the works of French artists Thomas Mailender and Francois Nouguies s, who are trying to eliminate the boundary between art and design through their work. Another participant in the exhibition is Andrew Losowski, who is a passionate fan of independent magazines, fond of transforming hardcopy editions into design objects.
The exhibition is one of the events featured within the SOFIA DESIGN WEEK 2010. it is organized by the “One” magazine with support from the America for Bulgaria Foundation.







18 May 2010 - 11 June 2010








Bogdan Alexandrov NOISE. Portraits of a Dear Person

11 May 2010 - 06 June 2010


Autism. A disorder of neural development that prevents adequate perception of and interaction with the surrounding world and affects the processing of information acquired through the senses. A neurological condition that affects the functioning of receptors.
Bogdan Alexandrov learned the above in 1989, when his daughter, Emiliana, was two and a half years old. What came next was a visit to a Swiss clinic applying a method for the treatment of autistic people that consists in an attempt to correct the sound receptor by exposing the latter to filtrated sound that is gradually becoming louder and louder until it reaches, at the end of the therapy, the tolerable limits of loudness. The method is based on the assumption that you get accustomed to loud noise. You no longer hear the trams passing by your window by the end of the second week of exposure to that sound.
Twenty years later this personal story provided the basis for the creation of a cycle of works, namely large format portraits, through the addition/layering of color noise to the point where the image vanishes. The idea is based on a physical phenomenon occurring in the process of using technical or digital equipment for image fixing or reproduction – the so called visual noise (grain structure remarkably reminiscent of white noise) is added (generated) to the image to produce an extra-rational effect. 
Change in the positioning of meanings and the reversal of the works’ message transforms them into an artistic and symbolic “therapy” targeted at “normal” people.
The exhibition features eighteen 130cm/200cm works, arranged on the mirror principle. Each pair of binary works is connected with headphones and a flash-stick that take the viewer into the sound environment. Color noise and mirror (binary) images are generated with the help of foam. 

* * *
Bogdan Alexandrov was born in 1960 in the city of Vidin, where he lives and works. In 1989 he graduated from the “SS Cyril and Methodius” University of Veliko Turnovo, majoring in painting. He works in the field of contemporary art (painting, video, installation), and also as a curator. 







FLAVIO BONETTI. STORIA NATURALE curator Katia Anguelova

09 April 2010 - 16 May 2010


The “Natural History” project features ten large format photographs (130х160cm), inspired by Italian artist Flavio Bonetti’s visit to the Museum of Natural History in Sofia in 2006.

When he found himself in the museum for the first time, he was struck by the presence of objects that were evidently extraneous to the “sterile” environment of the contemporary museum. Examples include a beige curtain befitting a bourgeois apartment, which serves as the backdrop to an impressive stuffed rhinoceros. This observation changes the message of the venue, while provoking a different kind of perception of it – both from a visual and a cognitive standpoint. 

Flavio Bonetti documented those “anomalies” in the environment. He further developed his project by adding other objects (a living dog and a living cat, a children’s bicycle, a clothesline, shoes), which add to the home-like atmosphere of the museum, while lending the latter a surreal and ambiguous touch at the same time. There is interaction between everyday life and the exhibits featured in the scientific collection.

In this sense, the artist puts questions concerning fundamental issues of cognition. Photography is not an instrument for “recording” the reality of the museum collection, but a place for arranging various options and uncertain memories, suggested by the artist, who, at the same time, sticks to the original atmosphere of the museum with all of its formal characteristics. Adding traces of human presence to the “mummified” atmosphere of the museum, Flavio Bonetti brings up thoughts about home, everyday life, the small things in life, our weaknesses. As the Italian critic Roberta Valtorta states in her review of “Natural History”: “This, in the end, is photography: a way of attributing an effect of reality to a given situation, be it possible or impossible – if there is such a thing as an impossible situation. And what is reality, that reassuring term we often use to understand and justify things, remains a mystery.”

Before its presentation in Bulgaria the “Natural History” cycle was on display at the Monica De Cardenas Gallery, Milan and the ABBT Projects Gallery, Zurich.


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Flavio Bonetti was born in 1956 in Brescia, Italy. He lives and works in Milan. He works in the fields of video and photography. He received the First Prize for his film Normale at the preview of independent film in Bellaria, and his film Geogrаphy was featured in the selection of the 1999 Turin Film Festival. Bonetti frequently creates still lifes and landscapes in his photographs, which feature both natural and cultural objects. He holds that “with the development of civilization people project their notion of rational order on nature, thus constantly changing the status of natural scenery from “natural” to “unnatural”.
His works have been on display at the following prestigious art forums and venues: Not Only Possible, But Also Necessary: Optimism In the Age of Global War, 10th International Istanbul Biennial; Memories in Motion, Munich; Fair Play 2007, Video and Films, Play Gallery, Berlin; Natural History, ABBT Projects, Zurich; Artgames. Analogies Between Art and Games, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen; The Ecstasy of Things, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Villa Ghirlanda, Cinisello Balsamo, Milan; The Italian Look. Italian Fashion Photography from 1951 to Today, Rotonda della Besana, Milan, National Museum of XXI Century Arts, Rome.

With the kind cooperation of the Italian Cultural Institute, Sofia 
and the Monica De Cardenas Gallery, Milan







The Other Eye Luchezar Boyadjiev: Artist in the Storage

30 March 2010 - 16 May 2010


The Other Eye (initiated by Maria Vassileva) is a series of exhibitions where the museum invites in turn an artist, an architect, a writer, an art critic, a fashion designer, a musician, a doctor, a politician and/or a theoretician to conceive and curate an exhibition using the museum collection. We want to offer to our audience alternative views that will not be solely based on knowledge about art history, style, genre or practice. A view instigating a dynamic dialogue with art works featured in the collection, while providing new opportunities for analysis and interpretation of the artistic heritage that is our mission to preserve and promote.

Our first invitation went out to the artist Luchezar Boyadjiev. He accepted under the condition that he will work complying only with his artistic views, talent, imagination, spatial thinking, perception of visual form and ability to tell a story through art works; intuition, psyche, views on art and its place in the world and people’s lives; to work in a way that suits his concept of collegial ethics or lack thereof; his views on the art museum and the latter’s life through the works collected there; his perception of the art audience as well as to work only with similar notions and principles of his choosing...

According to Luchezar Boyadjiev the most important thing about this exhibition is that everything in it is personal. He invites the viewers to think of his exhibition as of an installation of ready-made objects that the artist found in the storage of the museum.

Naturally when he “dares” to freely interpret works from the SCAG collection while treating them as components for his installation, the artist is relying on his art history education as well. Luchezar Boyadjiev is searching to deconstruct the clichés of Bulgarian art history by reconstructing the misleading randomness he witnessed in the way artworks are stored in the museum’s storage. In this he is using his own perspective: “To put it briefly, if you ever happened to wonder whether there is anything that connects artists and their works throughout art history other than the fact that they all make art, this project and this installation will help you realize that artists are connected by the very same things that connect everything and all people around the world in this life – from the pub to the bed, from the paint color of the living room to the ideal for female beauty in the 1930’s or the 1990’s; from career aspirations and sucking up to the powers of the day to the torments and revelations experienced by the spirit of the artist, the saint, the wrestler, the shop owner or the neighborhood key maker”. 

Luchezar Boyadjiev is searching for connections between the artworks in a way that „may turn out to be not only ahistorical, but also disturbing” hoping that the dialogue between the various works in the exhibition will be more vital than expected. The artist is convinced that his approach will kick start the collection on a life that is more active and humane, a kind of life that is more artistic, challenging and innovative. He hopes that the viewers will get satisfaction, knowledge and possibly inspiration that will encourage them to think of their museums as part of their own lives and world.

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Luchezar Boyadjiev was born on October 12, 1957 in Sofia, Bulgaria. In 1980 he graduated the National Art Academy, Sofia, majoring in Art History. He is a co-founding member of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia (1995). In 1992 he was the curator of Bulgarian participation in the 3rd International Biennial in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Over the last years he has had solo exhibitions with: Feinkost Gallery, Berlin (2007); the Experimental Art Foundation (EAF), Adelaide, Australia (2006); and within the Arte Fiera, Bologna, Italy (2004). His more recent group exhibitions are: “Common History and its Private Stories”, MUSA (Museum auf Abruf), Vienna, Austria; “Wealth of Nations”, within “Cinema City” Film and Media Festival, Novi Sad, Serbia; “Liquid Frontiers”, Europe XXL/Lille 3000, Tri Postal, Lille, France; “Bad Times/Good Times”, Futura - Center for Contemporary Art, Prague, the Czech Republic (2009); “Art, Price and Value”, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy; “Wonder”, 2nd Biennial in Singapore; “The Jerusalem Show”, Al-Ma’mal Foundation, the Old City of Jerusalem; “Eurasia”, MART, Rovereto, Italy; “Lucky Number Seven”, 7th SITE Biennial, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA; “Land of Human Rights: At the Limits of the Thinkable”, , Graz, Austria; “Brave New World…”, IFA Gallery, Berlin/Stuttgart, Germany (2008); 3rd Prague Biennial, Prague, the Czech Republic; “Attitude 2007”, CAMK, Kumamoto, Japan; “Footnotes: on Geopolitics, Markets and Amnesia”, 2nd Biennial, Moscow, Russia (2007).

He has had residencies with the Getty Foundation (USA), KulturKontakt (Austria), the Municipality of Paris (France), the Sharjah Biennial (UAE), etc., while working in New York, Philadelphia, Vienna, Paris, Sharjah, Worpswede (Germany), Novi Sad, and Seoul among others. Over the years he has been presenting widely as well as participating in numerous conferences, discussions and workshops.

Luchezar Boyadjiev is one of the most prominent Bulgarian artists on the international art scene. His works deal with urban issues, construction of audiences as well as with personal interpretation of social and political processes. 







TOUCH OF LIGHT THOMAS KOCHEV

24 March 2010 - 02 May 2010


The exhibition commemorates the 70th anniversary of Thomas Kochev’s birth – an artist who acquired a prominent place in the tradition of Bulgarian sculpture. Without being a retrospective, the exhibition features thirty wood, ceramic and bronze sculptures, as well as a substantial number of drawings thus presenting the rare opportunity to get a comprehensive idea of the artist’s work.
Thomas Kochev entered the Bulgarian art scene in 1971, remaining an active presence on it until his death in 1997. His sculptures represent an organic whole of sense of material, exquisite form and artistic freedom of thought. Immersed in a world of their own, they convey the idea of enlightenment and spiritual heightening. Wood, which is Thomas Kochev’s preferred material, lends the images the sensual and intimate feel of living matter with all of its warmness and vulnerability. 

Drawings comprise a significant part of the exhibition, as they give a comprehensive idea of the sculptor’s artistic visions. Artistic, spontaneous, characterized by a graceful and temperamental outline, they precede, follow and summarize the evolution of his sculptural work.

The delicate dialogue with Greek antiquity or medieval wood engraving, with the classics or the primal energy of the material comprise an organic alloy of a personal style based on substantial experience and deep thought, of a unique artistic language, which, untouched by changing influences, tendencies and tastes, brings aesthetical values to the level of spiritual ones.

Works featured in the exhibition belong to the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the “Iliya Beshkov” Pleven City Art Gallery, the Silistra City Art Gallery, Svetlin Rousev atelier-collection, and other private collections.

Curator: Svetla Georgieva

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Thomas Stavrov Kochev was born on April 1, 1940 in Banitsa, Greece. In 1948 his family emigrated first to Yugoslavia, then to the Czech Republic and Romania. In 1968 he majored in sculpture in the City of Cluj, Romania. Until 1970 he worked as a scenographer at the Hungarian opera in the City of Cluj. In 1971 he moved together with his family to Bulgaria, remaining in the capital city of Sofia till the end of his life. He died in 1997.
In the period between 1971 and 1990 he participated in all general art exhibitions held in Bulgaria, as well as in sculpture symposia in the City of Bourgas, the village of Yasna Polyana, the District of Bourgas, Hungary, Romania, the 1984 Paris Autumn Salon. In 1975 and 1985 he had solo exhibitions in Sofia. 
A posthumous exhibition of his works was held at the SiBank Gallery in 2008. He won the annual Union of Bulgarian Artists award for sculpture in 1983 and 1989. Tomas Kochev designed monuments to be found in the Bulgarian towns of Chirpan and Troyan and in the village of Vaklino in North-Eastern Bulgaria.
Works of his belong to the collections of the National Art Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the Varna City Art Gallery, the Pleven City Art Gallery, the Smolyan City Art gallery, the Botevgrad City Art Gallery, the Silistra City Art Gallery, Hugo Vuten’s collection and various private collections in Bulgaria and abroad.







Bronka Gyurova and Her Circle Curators Roumyana Konstantinova and Slava Ivanova

26 January 2010 - 28 February 2010


The exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of woman artist Bronka Gyurova. She belonged to the generation of Bulgarian portrait and landscape artists who were most prolific during the 1930’s and the 1940’s. For various reasons she became detached from her home country, yet she is indisputably a part of the history of Bulgarian art. 

The exhibition features paintings and drawings belonging to various periods of Bronka Gyurova’s career as an artist, as well as works, such as paintings, drawings and sculptures by fellow artists, namely Alexander Zhendov, Boris Angeloushev, Kiril Tsonev, Stoyan Sotirov, Rada Poptosheva, Mara Tsontcheva, Vera Nedkova, Vera Loukova, Mara Georgieva, Vaska Emanouilova, Bencho Obreshkov, Donka Konstantinova, Stoyan Venev. Each of the artists belonging to that circle had a role to play in the development of Bulgarian art. They all shared a desire for innovation and experimentation in artistic expression, as well as willingness to measure up to the contemporary European art scene.

The choice of works by artists belonging to Bronka Gyurova’s “circle” is based on the artist’s original autobiography and diary, kindly provided by Mrs. Deyana Alsheh, as well as on the curators’ research of the tendencies and trends in Bulgarian art during the 1930’s and the 1940’s.

The works featured in the exhibition belong to the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the “Svetlin Rousev” Atelier Collection, private collections, as well as to the family of Bronka Gyurova and Elieser Alsheh in Buenos Aires. A substantial part of the works featured in the exhibition will be on display for the first time in Bulgaria.

The exhibition also features plenty of documentary material, namely photos, letters, catalogues, archive material. Bronka Gyurova’s unpublished manuscripts are exceptionally valuable, as they provide yet another glimpse of the Bulgarian artist’s life and work. 


Bronka Gyurova was born on January 1, 1910 in the town of Shoumen. Over the period 1928 - 1932 she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia in Prof. Dimitur Gyudzhenov’s painting class. In 1937 she specialized in “Illustration” with Prof. Minne in Brussels, Belgium. She organized her first solo exhibition in 1943 in Sofia. Over the period 1933 – 1949 she participated in all general exhibitions held in Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as in group exhibitions held in Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia. She was a member of the “Association of Women Artists” /1932/, the “Association of Independent Artists” /1935 /, the “’Contemporary Art’ Association” /1936/ and the “Association of New Artists” /1938/. In 1952 she settled in Buenos Aires, Argentina, together with her husband, Elieser Alsheh, and her daughter, Deyana. She died on June 5, 1995 in Buenos Aires.





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