The Other Eye Project OUT OF TIME Curator BOYAN MANCHEV
01 March 2011 - 03 April 2011
“The Other Eye” is a series of exhibitions, where non-art historians and non-curators are invited to work with the Sofia City Art Gallery museum collection. The project aims to look beyond traditional interpretations of history and, possibly, “unearth” somewhat forgotten works, and also trace new links connecting the latter.
After artist Luchezar Boyadjiev, the Sofia City Art Gallery invited philosopher Boyan Manchev. He chose to name his exhibition “Out of Time” based on the conclusion that, contrary to his expectations, big tales from history, ideological canons, and the representation of monumental historical events are far from constituting either a large part of the collection, or its structurally defining center. Rather on the contrary – the representation of various aspects of people’s private world obviously prevails, there being, conditionally speaking, an “idyllic” thread running through the works, which unifies all those aspects through the representation of elements of everyday living, which are not directly related to either big moments in history and monumental events, or to essential existential and metaphysical issues such as life, death, birth, violence, suffering, etc.
Time seems to be the central issue in the empirical conclusions stated above: it is the possible organizing principle serving as the basis of the thematic nuclei described above. The said principle appears to be particularly productive for three reasons at the least: the issue of time is considered in view of the “ontology of the present”, and does therefore constitute the focus of a great number of political, economic and philosophical debates; time is also the meta-notion of the museum and the archive in general, and of the SCAG collection in particular. In other words, concentration on the issue of time would allow us to view the whole collection through the prism of the exhibition (which is one of the aims of this project); last, but not least, time is the most enigmatic object of painting – how is time represented in painting, how does it become the object and possibly the subject of representation? The curator hypothesizes that a specific notion of time, and a specific experience of it determines the very structure of interpretation of specific issues and the approaches to their modulation.
Why then out of time? How is time featured in painting – not historical, event-and-fact-laden, symbolically organized and ideologically oriented time, but time itself (the time of life and of the world) without any of its “surplus values”? The “idyllic” or pseudo-idyllic imagery, which attracts the curator’s interest, carries a specific image of time or experience thereof. Action and the passing of time related to it seem to have frozen in the idyll of the moment. It is this empty, indefinite, nobody’s, out of time, that Boyan Manchev is interested in.
Artists whose works have been featured in the exhibition include: Vera Nedkova, Vera Loukova, Lika Yanko, Sami Bidjerano-Sabin, Kiril Tsonev, Iliya Petrov, Naoum Hadjimladenov, Ivan Nenov, Bencho Obreshkov, Dechko Ouzounov, Georgi Bawev, Nadezhda Kouteva, Nikolai Maistorov, Vihroni Popnedelev, Edmond Demirdjian, Samouil (Suli) Seferov, Dimiter Voinov, Dariya Vassilyanska, Nadezhda Deleva, Andrei Daniel, Zina Yourdanova, Luben Kostov, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Milko Pavlov, Sasho Stoitzov, Nina Kovacheva, Ivan Moudov, Boryana Rossa, Nikola Mihov, etc.
Meet Lubomir Yanev Curator Diana Popova
28 February 2011 - 25 March 2011
The exhibition commemorates the 60th anniversary of Lubomir Yanev’s birth (1951-2004). It presents various stages and trends in his artistic career through graphics, drawings, illustrations and three-dimensional objects.
Having majored in “Illustration” at the National Academy of Arts, Sofia in 1975, Lubomir Yanev participated in dozens of exhibitions home and abroad. His works are characterized by exquisite use of line, mastery of various graphic techniques, a specific real/fantasy world, represented in his compositions and even in his portraits. He experimented with three-dimensional shapes, using graphics as their basis. The said graphics develop into space, constructing volumes, while etching metal plates turn into casings for a wooden cross, for example, acquiring a new symbolic meaning.
Whether it was Lubomir Yanev’s retreat in the village of Staro Stefanovo, District of Lovech in the last two decades of his life, or the major social commotions that took place during the period of transition, including in the sphere of culture, but the work of this remarkable artist came to be ignored by both the public and Bulgarian art historians.
„You have either accomplished something, or have erased yourself. Fame comes by itself. You may sink into oblivion for two centuries and then be discovered” – the artist said in an interview for the Factor Newspaper in 2001.
The exhibition, which rediscovers Lubomir Yanev’s work to present it to the modern public, features works belonging to the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the Lovech City Art Gallery, as well as private collectors. It was made possible with active cooperation from the artist’s son, Boris Yanev, as well as from Kostadin Kostadinov, Eketerina Getova, friends and students of Lubomir Yanev’s in Sofia and Lovech.
Lubomir Yanev – Meshkov was born on May 21, 1951 in Sofia. In 1975 he graduated from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia with an “Illustration” major. In 1986 he moved to the village of Staro Stefanovo, District of Lovech, where he worked till the end of his life. He died on April 11, 2004. He participated in all-artist exhibitions and international graphic art biennials home and abroad, thematic exhibitions and actions in Sofia and Plovdiv, representative exhibitions presenting Bulgarian art in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. He also had solo exhibitions in the Bulgarian cities of Sofia, Silistra, and Lovech, as well as in Poland and Germany. Awards: Illustration Diploma – Sofia (1978), 3rd place in a graphic arts contest – Sofia (1980), 1st place in a graphic arts contest – All-Artist Exhibition, City of Shoumen (1981), drawing award – Nuremberg, Germany (1985), drawing award – Rijeka, Yugoslavia (1986), etc. Works of his are to be found in the National Art Gallery, Sofia, the Sofia City Art Gallery, other museums, galleries and private collections home and abroad.
NIKOLAY BOYADJIEV. 1904 - 1963
21 January 2011 - 20 February 2011
This is the first exhibition of Nikolay Boyadjev’s work since his death in 1963. The works featured in the exhibition, namely 23 oil on canvas paintings and more than 40 drawings, reveal the various stages of his development as an artist. A large part of the works featured in the exhibition is the ownership of the artist’s family and private collectors. The Sofia City Art gallery exhibition aims to get the public acquainted with this relatively unknown artist. Nikolay Boyadjev is one of these Bulgarian artists, who have sank into oblivion in the course of time, for one reason or the other. The rediscovery of his art today gives rise to various questions, while also affording opportunities for future research into Bulgarian art-related issues.
Born in 1904 in the city of Svishtov, Nikolay Boyadjiev graduated from the National Academy of Arts with a major in painting in 1930, having studied in Prof. Boris Mitov’s class. He spent many years of his professional career as an art teacher at the City of Shoumen High School. He worked in the fields of portrait, landscape, and nude painting. In 1951 Nikolay Boyadjiev became a senior assistant professor at the Painting Department of the Fine Arts Faculty of the National Academy of Arts. In 1958 the artist was expelled from the Union of Bulgarian Artists, because of his refusal to work on “prescribed” themes of political character. In 1961 the artist was promoted from the position of a senior assistant professor to the position of a lecturer. In the years to follow, Nikolay Boyadjiev was denied participation in national All-Artist Exhibitions. He died on October 12, 1963.
During his teaching career at the National Academy of Arts he provided instruction to prominent artists such as: Svetlin Roussev, Christo Yavasheff, Dora Boneva, Ivan Kuanev, Nikola Ghiuzelev, Alexander Stanev, Atanas Yaranov, Georgi Bozhilov, Dimo Zaimov, Doncho Vulchev, Ivan B. Ivanov, Valentin Starchev, Gencho Denchev, Peter Chouklev, Galin Malakcheiv, Ivan Kolev and many others.
Institutions participating in the exhibition: Sofia City Art Gallery, National Academy of Arts Museum, Shoumen City Art Gallery, “Svetlin Roussev” Studio-Collection, Sofia, private collectoion.
An exhibition catalogue is available, released by the Sofia City Art Gallery with kind support from Academician Svetlin Roussev.
The Sofia City Art Gallery would like to kindly thank: Vili Boyadzjiev, Svetlin Roussev, Ivan Kanev, Ivan B. Ivanov, Ivan Parparov, Mihail Zaimov, Georgi Toromanov, Mariela Tabakova and Christina Petrova.
Exhibition curator: Milena Balcheva.
Exhibition team: Adelina Fileva, Maria Vassileva, Svetlin Roussev, Ilinka Chergarova, Stefan Stefanov, Peter Dimov, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova.
THE STUDIO. MUSES AND MODELS
01 December 2010 - 20 February 2011
The “The Studio. Muses and Models” exhibition comprises part of a succession of thematic exhibitions organized by SCAG experts in the past several years. Following the “Self-portrait. Conspicuous Images and Hidden Meaning” and “Points of Intersection. Portraits of Artists by Other Artists” exhibitions, the latter project offers yet another glimpse at the artist’s inner world.
The exhibition focuses on the studio, the artist’s sacred personal space, which most often remains hidden from the eyes of outsiders. Based on a timeline of the history of Bulgarian art between the 1920’s and the present day, the exhibition is a study of artists’ attention to the studio. The exhibition features a wide circle of artists, presenting the works of familiar, as well as less familiar Bulgarian artists. The time period covered by the study allows the viewer to trace the approaches of different generations of artists.
Besides paintings, the exhibition features documentary material in the shape of photographs of various studios. The unique dialogue between the artworks and the archive and contemporary photographs offers different perspectives on the studio, thus allowing the viewer a variety of opportunities to have a glimpse at the artist’s inner world.
The works selected for the exhibition revolve around several sub-themes, namely studio – interior; studio – still-life; and the artist and the model in the studio. The exhibition features more than 130 paintings and about 60 photographs, including works by Olga Bradistilova, Elisaveta Konsoulova-Vazova, Andrey Nikolov, Asen Peykov, Vera Nedkova, Dechko Ouzounov, Nenko Balkanski, Pencho Balkanski, Ivan Penkov, Slavka Deneva, Georgi Pavlov, Atanas Yaranov, Naiden Petkov, Yordan Katsamounski, Georgi Bozhilov, Dimitur Kirov, Dolores Dilova, Nikolay Yanakiev, Lyuben Zidarov, Vasilka Moneva, Marko Monev, Roumen Skorchev, Svetlin Rousev, Sirma Sarafova, Andrey Daniel, Gredi Assa, Stanislav Pamoukchiev, Edmond Demerdzhian, Ivaylo Mirchev, Minko Yovchev, Alexander Petkov, Nina Rouseva, Atanas Atanasov, Violeta Tanova, Marina Marinova and many others.
The artworks are the property of the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the Plovdiv City Art Gallery, the Pleven City Art Gallery, the “Svetlin Rousev” Collection-Donation in the city of Pleven, the Bourgas City Art Gallery, the Rouse City Art Gallery, the Sliven City Art Gallery, the Stara Zagora City Art Gallery, the Dobrich City Art Gallery, the Pazardzhik City Art Gallery, the “Old Plovdiv” municipal institute, the Kazanluk City Art Gallery, the Kyustendil City Art Gallery, the “Angel Simeonov” Collection, the Union of Bulgarian Artists and private collectors. The photographs featured in the exhibition are the property of the “Archives” State Agency, the Research Archive of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Lom City Museum of History and private individuals.
A catalogue for the exhibition is available on CD-ROM.
The exhibition is curated by Milena Balcheva.
The project was made possible through the joint efforts of Adelina Fileva, Maria Vasileva, Daniela Choulova- Markova, Nadezhda Oleg-Lyahova, Ilinka Chergarova, Marin Marinov, Peter Dimov, Stefan Stefanov.
XXL GROUP REMINISCENCES OF THE 1990S
12 October 2010 - 21 November 2010
Svilen Stefanov, Houben Tcherkelov, Kosio Minchev, Georgi Tushev, Ivan Kiuranov, RASSIM, Genadi Gatev, Georgi Rouzhev, Peter Raychev, Anatoliy Osmolovski, David D’Agostino, Boris Serginov, Rosen Toshev, Krassimir Dobrev, Dimitar Yaranov
The exhibition features selected works by artists from the XXL Gallery circle. The said gallery existed during the 1990’s in Sofia. In artistic circles the group has traditionally been associated with intentionally provocative artworks, actions and exhibition concepts. The group’s main strategy is to dare the public to notice and respond to art, adopting a critical stance on anything traditional, as well as on politics, social morals and popular culture.
„…What distinguishes these artists from other artists is their clear willingness to promote social radicalism in art, focusing on burning social issues, mutating morals, political perversions and even the status quo-loving stance of quasi-commitment, adopted by certain artistic circles. There is willingness to encourage new moral action aiming to change social imagination, yet not in a prescriptive manner, but rather by attempting to activate the process of autocommunication in each and every viewer tempted by modern art…”, as Svilen Stefanov puts it with reference to the said group.
The Sofia City Art Gallery-hosted exhibition includes videos, photographs, paintings, installations and objects created by members of the circle and featured in XXL Gallery exhibitions over the group’s most productive period, namely between 1994 and 2003.
This exhibition is based on a series of defining events from XXL’s history, while in November the “Academia” Gallery will be hosting the sequel to the exhibition, which will feature new works by the same artists, who have been working in Bulgaria and the USA over the last years.
The XXL manifesto was written in January, 1995 and was first published in the “Koultura” newspaper to be supplemented and republished later in the “Literatouren Vestnik” newspaper. In 1996 the group founded the XXL Gallery and the “Contemporary Art” Foundation, both of which went on to exist until 2003 at 2 “Macedonia” Sq. in Sofia.
Some of the most popular exhibitions initiated by the XXL circle are: “Kosio, Houben, Tushev” (1997), “Dimensions of Violence” (1998), “Gangstart” (1998), “Antifeminism, Antimachismo“ (2000), “Let kick the culture” (2000), ”Bulgarian Landscape As a Methaphor” (2001), as well as the exhibition cycle ”New Radical Practices” (1997 through 2001).
Regardless of the fact that the gallery closed down after the "Anti-Saxe. New Political Art" exhibition in 2003 and the larger part of the artists belonging to the group emigrated, they never lost touch, and kept working till the present day in various genres and various placesround the world.