Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане


04 November 2011 - 27 November 2011

Within the tradition of Bulgarian art, the name of Mihalis Garudis has been associated with hyperrealism in painting.
This exhibition features about 40 artworks. It has the touch of a retrospective exhibition, as it has on display works belonging to various periods, allowing the viewer to follow the artist’s development as regards his approach to meaning, form and visual quality. 

Works featured in the exhibition can be divided into several groups according to theme. 
The first group comprises early still lifes – compositions, where the representation of objects is placed within a specific meaningful context. At the beginning of his career as an artist, the artist makes sense of the objects represented on his canvases through philosophical contemplation.
The next group comprises works interpreting the themes of antiquity, heritage, the destructive force of time, and the creative force of the act of striving for freedom. They exude epic monumentality. 

The third group of paintings has a recurrent sea motif. For more than three decades, the sea has been an endless source of interpretation for Mihalis Garudis. It is his major theme, also dominating the exhibition in question. In this group of paintings the artist seeks to spot the traces of time, imprinted on what is washed away by the sea, in mankind’s collective memory, in the comparison between the fleeting and the eternal. 
The fourth group of works is closely related to the Mediterranean spirit. Over the last years, the artist has created a large number of paintings, featuring the olive tree as a central motif. Undoubtedly, the olive is associated with Greece, yet Garudis interprets it, adopting a cosmopolitan perspective, too. As depicted in his canvases, the olive fosters exotic contemplation, bringing about peace and calm. 

All the paintings featured in the exhibition carry the mark of the artist’s signature style. They are characterized by command of form, exquisite line, meaningful composition. Even deformation is subjected to further aestheticizing. For Mihalis Garudis the meaning of art is manifested in the objective, tangible essence of things, the reality, seen through the symbolical layers of virtuosically represented particularity. Among the artist’s signature approaches is the comparison between what exists in reality and what is represented. The nails, ropes, trees, rusty metal fragments, assembled into a collage, complement the meticulously represented objects, prompting the viewer to reach out and touch them. Typically, his paintings are organized around the conflict between real and represented, two-dimensional and three-dimensional, which provokes an optical game. 
Mihalis Garudis does not act as a story teller in his tangible-metaphorical paintings. He pays meticulous attention to form, comparing what is represented to the real object, the past to the present, timelessness to transience, letting philosophical contemplation prevail over extreme expression. 

The works featured in the exhibition are the ownership of the Sofia City Art Gallery, theNational Art Gallery, the Razgrad Art Gallery, the Strazhitsa Art Gallery, and private collectors. 

Mihalis Garudis was born in1940 in the town of Didymóteicho, Greece. He studied painting in Prof. Iliya Petrov’s class at the Academy of Arts, Sofia, graduating in 1965. He has lived and worked in Thessaloniki, Greece since 1986. He works in the fields of monumental arts, painting, collage. His works are the ownership of a number of museums and private collectors in Bulgaria and abroad.

KONTAKT COLLECTION Works from the Kontakt Art collection Curators Maria Vassileva, Walter Seidl

22 October 2011 - 27 November 2011

The exhibition presents a significant part of Vienna’s “Kontakt” collection, which aims to collect some of the most important works, created in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, as well as to draw parallels between the various conceptual artistic practices, having developed since the 1960’s. 

“Kontakt” was founded at the end of 2004 as an association, represented by: BCR, Česká spořitelna, Erste Bank Croatia, Erste Bank Hungary, ERSTE Foundation, Erste Group, Slovenská sporiteľňa. 

Contemporary artworks from countries with similar historical fate are presented in Bulgaria for the first time. The exhibition follows the development of video, performance, conceptual photography, object, installation, and action in Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Bulgaria. The exhibition also features works by leading Austrian artists, as it was through Vienna that contact with the West was being made for many years. 

The collection poses a variety of questions concerning both more distant and more recenthistory. It touches upon sensitive issues such as the darkest aspects of the communist past or the damages done by the war in former Yugoslavia. Yet, the red thread tying the works is the search and establishment of identity of one’s own – starting with making sense of modernist legacy, passing through inner opposition to the political status quo, to go on to introduce gender issues. The question “What is art?” (the title of a work by Raša Todosijević) acquires profound dimensions when viewed in light of the artists’ capacity to sense, analyze, comment upon and trigger situations, events and changes.

Artists: Paweł Althamer, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Geta Brătescu, Carola Dertnig, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Gorgona, Ion Grigorescu, Marina Grinić, IRWIN, Sanja Iveković, Šejla Kamerić, Julije Knifer, Július Koller, Jiri Kovanda, Edward Krasiński, Katalin Ladik, Natalia LL, Kazimir Malevich, Vlado Martek, Dalibor Martinis, Ivan Moudov, OHO, Roman Ondák, Tanja Ostojić, Neša Paripović, Boryana Rossa, Kateřina Šeda, Aina Šmid, Mladen Stilinović, Raša Todosijević, Peter Weibel, Artur Żmijewski

An exhibition catalogue is available in Bulgarian and English.

Two lectures will take place in the frames of the exhibition: VALIE EXPORT, artist, Vienna and Bojana Pejic, curator, Belgrade/Berlin.


21 September 2011 - 30 October 2011

This year marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of Nikola Petrov - one of most remarkable and valuable talents, having contributed to the history of Bulgarian art with his innovative approach. Nikola Petrov’s paintings belong to the category of artworks that are still relevant in the present day, also looking ahead into the future. His extraordinary gift and skill, his short life and untimely death – he died when he was only 35 – turned him into a legend enveloped in mysticism. This mysticism stems from his remarkable life story. It is an intense, over-eventful story. Qualitative changes, having occurred within short time periods, are easy to spot in various artworks of his.

This artistic dynamics started very early, namely in his student years. He was only 22, when became a founding member of the “Modern Art” Association in 1903. In the same year he received a state grant and visited Rome. From this point on, he would participate every year in various events held in Sofia, Belgrade, Liège, London, Zagreb, Munich, Venice, Rome, Berlin. In addition to the multitude of drawings, watercolor and oil paintings, Nikola Petrov also illustrated works by Pencho Slaveykov and Todor Vlaykov, and created the mural composition “Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary” in the northern altar of the “Alexander Nevski” Cathedral. His painting “Lions’ Bridge in the City of Sofia”, featured at an international exhibition in Rome in 1911, was bought by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome. In the same year his painting “St. Sofia Church” was the first one of his paintings to be bought by the Bulgarian state.

His life story and artistic career will always feel incomplete because of what failed to be created by a remarkable talent within a life cut short. A talent and a life that could have given many a new direction in Bulgarian art, had they had more time on this earth.

The exhibition features works belonging to the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the National Academy of Arts, the Sofia History Museum, the “Nikola Petrov” Vidin City Art Gallery, the Plovdiv City Art Gallery, the “Ivan Funev” Vratsa City Art Gallery, the Stara Zagora City Art Gallery, the National Museum of Military History, the National Museum of Literature, the “Svetlin Rousev” Studio-Collection, Sofia, the “Svetlin Rousev” Art Gallery-Donation, City of Pleven, the “Indzhov” Collection, the “Zhivko Chubriev” Collection and other private collections.

An exhibition catalogue is available, published with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the “Culture” Directorate of the Sofia City Municipal Council.

TOUCHING THE SHADOW CuratorKrasimir Iliev

15 September 2011 - 09 October 2011

The exhibition is an attempt to touch upon the issue of darkness and shadow, as seen in works, created within a nearly hundred-year period, by thirty Bulgarian artists belonging to various generations, namely Ivan Murkvichka, Nikola Petrov, Vladimir Dimitrov – the Master, Ivan Milev, Zhorzh Papazov, Nikola Tanev, Bencho Obreshkov, Iliya Beshkov, Vasil Ivanov, Genko Genkov, Nikola Daskalov, Georgi Baev, Atanas Patsev, Nikola Terziev, Peter Dochev, Ivan Georgiev – the Rembrandt, Tomas Kochev, Stoyan Tsanev, Angel Stanev, Dimitur Lalev, Dimitur Koulev, Milko Bozhkov, Stanislav Pamoukchiev, Yulia Stankova, Krasimir Iliev, Ziyatin Nouriev, Dimitur Iliev, Nadezhda Karapencheva, Antonia Angelova and Mina Angelova.

For them darkness and shadow have various meanings: the are masters of passions; a nurturing environment that engenders form; ghosts, prophesying doom, yet also the enchanting poetry of darkness, its designated time for ecstatic prayer, opening ajar the gate between life and death. The shadow may be a delicate weapon of female coquettishness. It may dance together with the light and be its counterpoint. The shadow is concentrated spirituality, and in order for form to be eternal, it has to contain a shadow. The shadow of a human is not only his/her essence, but also his/her entirety. Darkness is the fabric of the devil, yet also the haven of beauty. Darkness is the sadness of being aware of human imperfection. Darkness is a womb, yet also a snare for humans. It weaves its thread, entangling light in its attempt to devour it, but not its creator.

Works selected for the exhibition also present light and darkness in a continuum whose extremities are the Christian view of the fight between the two and the Chinese idea of their indivisibility and mutual complementation. It is obvious that in the course of time, especially after the 1970’s, black does not simply take over larger and larger territories in Bulgarian art, but frequently loses its negative meaning, even turning into the essential image-representing device. Consciously or not, this process draws it closer to this part of Far Eastern art, which is rooted in the Zen view of representation, namely the sudden reaching of this darkness-extracted shattering moment, that was prompted by enlightenment.


08 September 2011 - 09 October 2011

The exhibition seeks to reconsider Édouard Manet’s famous painting “The Luncheon on the Grass” – a theme that was subject to various interpretations long before Manet approached it, while his own painting inspired the creation of numerous replicas in the decades to follow. 

“The Luncheon on the Grass” prompted Roumen Skorchev to recapitulate his years-long life and artistic experience, to reconstruct well-established notions, to provide his own interpretation of aesthetical and moral values. In his variations on the theme, complete with his signature dynamic stroke of the brush and intense colors, he creates an intense sensation of the anxiety of the modern day and age, while searching for various perspectives on timeless questions and unresolved conflicts of human life. Going beyond the subject of Manet’s painting, the artist turns the theme into a field of his visual revelations, as well as into an intimate spiritual space of his own.
The Sofia City Art Gallery-hosted exhibition features exclusively new, previously un-exhibited works, created over the last few years. Roumen Scorchev presents his interpretations of the theme in 20 paintings and a selection of the numerous sketches and studies preceding them.

A richly illustrated exhibition catalogue is available*.

Academician Roumen Skorchev was born in 1932 in the town of Turgoviste. He earned a major in park construction and engineering in 1957, and in 1964 he graduated from the Academy Arts, where he has been holding a professorship ever since 1984. He has won more than 40 awards home and abroad. He has illustrated a large number of books for both children and adults. He was awarded a fellowship by the Japanese Kokucai Koryu Kikin Foundation. Works of his are featured in the Japanese two-volume edition presenting 300 leading graphic artists of the 20th century. In 1970 he was awarded a gold medal at the International Florence Biennial, the awarded work having been added to the Uffizi Gallery collection. Paintings of his present Bulgaria at the Albertina Museum, Vienna, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, the Netherlands, and many other museums and private collections around the world.


12 July 2011 - 28 August 2011

The exhibition features works by Otto Horeishi, Josef Oberbauer, Ivan Murkvichka, Tsanko Lavrenov, Sirak Skitnik, Ivan Milev, Detchko Ouzounov, Ivan Penkov, Ivan Lazarov, Ari Kaluchev, Boris Denev, Vladimir Loukarov, Nikola Kozhouharov, Atanas Mihov, Pencho Georgiev, Mario Zhekov, Boris Mihaylov, Ivan Hristov, Simeon Velkov, Ivan Getsov, Naoum Hadzhimladenov, Peter Morozov, Yordan Kyuvliev, Marin Georgiev – Oustagenov, Georgi Hadzhidimitrov, Vladimir Rilski, Slavi Genev, Nayden Petkov, Zdravko Alexandrov, Vasil Marinov,`Radi Nedelchev, Dimitur Andreev, Veselin Paroushev, Maxim Tsankov, Georgi Nikolov, Vladimir Peshev, Boycho Grigorov, Lika Yanko, Andrey Daniel, Cyril Gerasimov, Dimitur Stefanov, created over various periods between the late 19th and the late 20th centuries to take us back in time and remind us about the significant role these holy places that monasteries and churches are, have played for our spirituality, morals, and the virtues of the Christian Orthodox faith throughout more than a thousand years of history. 

The exhibition aims to reveal how and the extent to which Orthodox Christianity and secular art are related, while raising numerous questions of various nature, which require comprehensive, in-depth answers. Why would only individual artists or groups of artists be inspired by Orthodox Christianity, by churches and monasteries, by biblical stories? How, when and why did we come to ignore our Christian heritage and the individuals related to it, as well as its unique art, literary and philosophical works?

The exhibition features a selection of more than 120 works belonging to the genres of oil painting, water color painting and sculpture, created by different generations of artists. Their simultaneous presentation helps trace yet another trend in Bulgarian art. For some artists, interest in churches and monasteries was related to a comprehensive study of the past, as they believed that it to be the source of our native heritage, providing the basis for modern art. Others demonstrated interest in church painting either sporadically, or permanently, an interest also reflected in their secular works. Still others, came in touch with the spirit of Orthodox Christianity by mere accident. Yet, all their paths crossed in the temple, in the act of creating artworks telling stories about churches and monasteries where Bulgarian cultural heritage and national spirit were created and preserved. These are works that we classify as secular, which give off an authentic light of their own within the context of the exhibition. They give us yet another chance to get near the Christian truth, as they appeal to people’s sense and sensibility. 

The exhibition comprises part of the ancillary events for the 22nd International Congress of Byzantine Studies. An exhibition catalogue is available.

Exhibition curator: Adelina Fileva

Exhibition of the BAZA Award for contemporary art nominees: Albena Baeva, Georgi Dimitrov, Mina Minov, Peter Mintchev, Stefania Batoeva, Vikenti Komitski

09 June 2011 - 10 July 2011

The American Foundation for a Civil Society manages the Young Visual Artists Awards international network (YVAA). This international fellowship award program has so far been launched in ten European countries, which annually award an artist a travel fellowship to 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 under the auspices of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia. The annual exhibition of nominated works is hosted by the Sofia City Art Gallery, which takes exclusive responsibility for the exhibition’s organization, thus continuing the tradition of presenting young artists within the “Meeting Point” program. The BAZA award comprises a six-week travel fellowship to New York and a solo exhibition at the gallery of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia. The first three BAZA award winners are: Rada Boukova (2008), Samuil Stoyanov (2009) and Anton Terziev (2010). 

BAZA award applicants traditionally present a portfolio of completed projects and works presented at otherexhibitions, yet a decisive factor in choosing the winner is the quality of the work presented at the nominees’ exhibition. Nominees may participate in the exhibition with a showcase of projects completed in the past, yet, it is often the case that the exhibition triggers the development of new projects, specially completed for the event. More than 120 artists have applied for the award so far, 21 of whom have been nominated.

In 2011 the BAZA Award will be presented for the fourth time. The works featured in the exhibition belong to the genres of painting, interactive and spatial installations, objects, video, photography. 

Members of the 2011 jury are as follows: Iara Boubnova, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Svetoslav Kokalov and Daniela Radeva.

The BAZA award winner for 2011 is Vikenti Komitski

STARS OF LOBSERVEUR French Industrial Design

01 June 2011 - 26 June 2011

The exhibition presents 33 of the most innovative achievements of industrial design for the past year. Each of the exhibits was awarded the prestigious Les Étoiles de l’Observeur (Stars of the Observer) award of the French Agency for the Promotion of Industrial Design (APID).

APID has been promoting the importance of design in any aspect of human life ever since its foundation in 1983, launching in 1999 the annual "Observeur du design" (design observer) exhibition, which aims to single out the best examples of everyday object design covering a wide range of objects - from vehicles, passing on to furniture and interior design, through to children’s toys and very simple everyday objects, such as toothbrushes. 
To be awarded the "star of the observer", an object must be innovative, comfortable, inexpensive and universally accessible, yet also original, environmentally friendly and of good quality. It should also provide a response to modern needs, bringing a modern take on traditional know-how. 

The exhibition, which is featured within the Sofia Design Week Festival, commemorates the 20th anniversary of launching the French Cultural Institute in Bulgaria.

THE CHOICE 43 art historians - 43 works

28 May 2011 - 28 August 2011

The project curator Dr. Maria Vasileva has invited 43 prominent Bulgarian art and cultural historians belonging to different generations and fields of work (lecturers, researchers, museum curators, directors of art galleries, museums and nongovernmental organizations, art critics, curators and freelance researchers) to each choose an artwork from the Sofia City Art Gallery collection regardless of historical period, genre or media, an artwork they like and consider to be important, justifying their choice in a text comprising a single page. 
The project aims to look into the factors that single out an artwork as valuable and important for the development of Bulgarian art from today’s perspective; to establish whether selection criteria have changed as compared to the ones applied in decades past; whether the best textbook examples of artworks have stood the test of time; whether the language of art criticism has changed; what is the personal stance of the most prominent Bulgarian art historians. The point is to look closely at an artwork and analyze it both in view of its specific features and the features it shares with other works belonging to the same historical period.
It has been more than 20 years since radical political changes in Bulgarian society took place, yet the reconsideration of the official history of Bulgarian art has been made at a very slow pace. Permanent museum exhibitions have remained the same as they were in the 1980’s, representative exhibits featuring, out of sheer habit, the same old familiar names. 
Within this context, the “The Choice” exhibition is an attempt to analyze and reconsider the situation. The project reveals significant changes in the Bulgarian art scene, where alongside examples of classical and modern painting, sculpture and graphic arts, there stand convincing works of contemporary art employing a variety of means of artistic expression. Alongside the collection’s masterpieces there appear somewhat forgotten names, as well as some totally unfamiliar ones; alongside classical artists there stand young artists, who provoke the interest of the public and critics.
The project comprises part of the Sofia City Art Gallery’s efforts to view the history of Bulgarian art from various angles. It is also yet another experiment involving nontraditional methods of handling the museum collection. As it was done before, the principle of selecting the artworks is on a conceptual level, connecting classical and modern painting, sculpture and graphic arts with video, photography, objects, installations, etc., lead by the ambition to reveal what is it that “speaks” most convincingly to the viewer today, and keeps his/her attention, regardless of the point in time and the media related to the artwork’s creation.
The exhibition aims to make the profession of art and cultural historians more visible. Bringing together professionals from different fields is conducive to a more diversified and in-depth dialogue between them. It is through the combination of all the activities performed by writing, researching and curating experts that what we call art history is being built.
An exhibition catalogue is also available (in Bulgarian and English).

14 May 2011 - 14 May 2011

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Vaska Emanuilova Gallery