Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане

VELICHKO MINEKOV Retrospective exhibition

20 November 2009 - 31 December 2009

Velichko Minekov's exhibition allows viewers to trace the development of an artist, the strengthening of his method, and the process of diversification of his artistic style His is an artistic career that goes back six decades, which, at the very outset, carried the strong promise of something new, revealing the artist’s potential for lasting and high quality presence on the Bulgariancontemporary art scene.

Velichko Minekov had the unique opportunity to communicate with three of the colossi of Bulgarian sculpture, namely Andrey Nikolov, Marko Markov, and Lubomir Dalchev. Influenced by the great Bulgarian masters of sculpture, he started contemplating embarking on a journey into the world of art. His very first works "Repose" (1957), "Thirst" (1958), "Motherhood" (1958) and "Fila" (1959) already attest to the young artist’s willingness to transform nature, to eliminate the accidental and unnecessary, to highlight the most prominent and sustainable features of the object being represented, thus conveying a feeling of monumentality of form and reinforcing the symbolic message of the image. 

As just another confirmation of thesimple truth that hardships break the weak, yet making the strong even stronger, in 1969 came the moment when an ideological attack was launched against works, without which both Velichko Minekov’s art and the natural and vital process of diversification of Bulgarian sculpture would have been hard to picture. Essentially, this was an attack on the artist's courage to ignore banal imagery and seek in his works "Icarus", "Shooting", "Movement" the building components for an innovative structure of the sculptural work. Regardless of that, Velichko Minekov invariably continued to apply the principles of expressiveness, flexibility and dynamism, guided by belief in the artist's inalienable right to oppose the existing canon. 

The decades to follow are full of moments or even months, sacrificed in the search of ways and means to overcome difficulties, develop skills, uncover secrets, get to know himself and the surrounding world better. The following works came to life as a result: "Expectation" (1967) and “Nestinarka” (1973), "Orpheus"(1969), “Rachenitsa" (1970), “Motherland” (1972) and "Earth and Man"(1977), which are characterized by sincerity and determination. The sculptor created monuments giving an account of both the drama and heroism of past events and his reflections and judgments on the present. Thus the ensemble “Serdica” (Sofia, 1977) the reliefs “Calvary” and "Pledge” (Town of Panagyurishte, 1978) and the monuments "Spartacus" (Town of Sandanski, 1979), 'Khan Asparuh” (Town of Dobrich, 1981) and "The Unification"(City of Plovdiv, 1985) came to life. The works created by the artist over the past 20 years differ from the aforementioned ones. They are a consequence of the years of accumulated wisdom and the artist’s exploration of expressive sculptural form, yet they are most of all the result of the distinctive presence of the artist’s personality. 

The “Velichko Minekov” exhibition features more than one hundred of the sculptor’s works, owned by the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the “Stanislav Dospevski” Art Gallery in the city of Pazardzhik and private collectors. 

HOUSING MODELS Experimentation and Everyday Life

19 October 2009 - 08 November 2009

SOFIA ARCHITECTURE WEEK is the largest international architecture forum in Bulgaria. Its second edition tol be held under the motto "Changing Urban Visions" is scheduled to run from October 30 through November 5.

The city we live in and the space we cross every day as we go through our everyday routines are of importance to us all. Therefore they need to be the subject of a large-scale discussion. And this is exactly what Sofia Architecture Week ’09 aims at, namely to encourage the citizens of Sofia to think about their city and enhance their everyday life, as well as to inspire architecture and urban planning professionals with fresh ideas and chances to meet some of their internationally-acclaimed counterparts.

Curators of the exhibition Oliver Elser (Germany) and Michael Rieper (Austria) present twelve housing projects, exploring the question of how experiments in architecture bearing upon everyday life might play out. In contrast to typical architectureexhibitions, it is not architects that are the focus of attention, but rather the dwellings and their inhabitants. 

The exhibit features a variety of housing models ranging from social housing in Chile, through Vienna’s biggest self-governing community and cultural building, the Sargfabrik, to high-end market-rate housing in Tokyo. 

Specially for the purpose of the exhibition social housing inhabitants have photographed their dwellings and their surrounding environment having added their comments to each photograph. 

Each project is presented by anarchitectural model, some of them being built in full size so as to allow visitors to go inside.
The exhibition also features the presentation of a study giving an account of everyday life in Bulgaria, comparing current living conditions in the latter with those abroad.

A public discussion entitled “Typology of Housing Models in the 21st century”, to be moderated by Peter Torniov will be held on October 20 /Tuesday/ at 6pm within the framework of the exhibition.


17 September 2009 - 25 October 2009

The exhibition was prompted by the artist’s sudden and untimely death. It is a tribute exhibition affording us yet another opportunity for an encounter with his work, which possesses enormous positive energy. 

Without being a retrospective, the exhibition covers various periods and tendencies in the artist’s work. Part of the exhibition is devoted to early works completed in the early 1970’s, which the artist was planning to present in a separate exhibition. The latter constitutes a project demonstration the artist’s approach to his work and his commitment to the creation of art. 

The exhibition is comprised of dozens of drawings dating to various periods of his career that had special value to the artist. Having been created every day and everywhere, those are not preliminary sketches or works meant for presentation at exhibitions, but rather works having a life of their own, indicating a separate trend in the artist’s life. 

The exhibition also features some of Edmond Demirdjian’s last works, retrieved from private collections and his studio. The exhibition highlight is the artist’s signature image, namely “the hanging turbots”.

An artist and a musician, Edmond Demirdjian goes down in the history of Bulgarian art as a prominent figure, having filled galleries and concert halls with his bright colours and explosive rhythms. He managed to create his own distinctive style, characterized by the fantastically colourful atmosphere his works exude. 

Curator: Maria Vassileva

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Edmond Demirdjian (1951-2009) graduated from the Academy of Arts, Sofia in 1978, majoring in mural painting, to become part of the art scene at home and abroad. He organized numerous solo exhibitions. He worked in the fields of drawing, collage, painting and graphic arts. In 1994 he was granted a US green card for extraordinary ability in the field of art. In the period between 1994 and 1998 he split his time between the USA and Bulgaria. In 1995 he was awarded the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship for painting. In 2006 he was granted the Sofia extraordinary merit award for exceptional achievement in the field of art and culture, as demonstrated by the “Unexhibited Works by Edmond” Exhibition at the 6 “Shipka” Gallery, Sofia. His career as an artist may be divided into several periods: 1978-1983, when he created figure compositions, interiors and still-life in a constructivist manner; 1983-1987, when he painted mainly grotesque figure compositions using tempera paints in expressionist style; following 1987, when his art started becoming more and more influenced by abstract expressionism. In 2008 he opened a gallery of his own, namely the "Edmond Studio and Salon" at the 21 “March 13” St in Sofia. www.edmondartist.com, http://edmonddemirdjian.blogspot.com

PETER DOCHEV 75th Anniversary of the Artist

14 September 2009 - 11 October 2009

Peter Dochev’s name is associated with the birth and development of industrial landscape in Bulgarian art during the second half of the twentieth century. The Sofia City Art Gallery exhibition commemorating the 75th anniversary of his birth aims to give a comprehensive idea of Peter Dochev’s work following his evolution as an artist. 

Peter Dochev entered the Bulgarian art scene in 1963 to become a permanent fixture on it. His work is characterized by the emphasis on solid form, no-frills composition and the fine nuancing of colour. Peter Dochev’s work during the 1960’s is best illustrated by works such as “On the Bus”, “Worker”, and “Metallurgical Workers”. Human figures are big, taking up most of the space on the canvas. Painting backgrounds are “clear”. They do not contain excessive or insignificant detail. Peter Dochev was not afraid of emptiness. He joined forces with it to attain higher emotional expressiveness. His 1970’s industrial landscapes are characterized by a “clear” background, concentration on details or form configurations. The artist tried his best to make art out of each element of the depressing reality of the Kremikovtsi Metallurgical Complex. Using purely artistic means, Peter Dochev stood his personal and artistic ground, acting like an objective observer. 

In the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s the artist created a great number of urban landscapes. There came a moment in Peter Dochev’s artistic development during the 1980’s, when the landscape left the bounds of nature. Colourful spots and relieves stand out from the black background in “Black Earth”, “Charred Earth”, “Terrain”, “Old Vineyards”, etc. Peter Dochev’s work during the 1990’s is characterized by the absence of specific imagery. During the 1990’s he started off with the comparision between relief, or pure forms to embrace the use of purely geometrical shapes like the circle and the square. 
In 2000 he started concentrating on the black colour to later pass on to gold as a sign of eternity. In his last artworks the artist attains a total synthesis, based on the geometry of the circle and the square. They are signs of the purity of forms, containing the concentrated emotion and extreme expressiveness of the gesture of creation.

Peter Dochev had an acute sense of highlighting the essential and significant. This facilitated his smooth and consistent progression from analysis to synthesis, from nature to an absolutely clear form bearing the meaning of a sign.

Peter Dochev was born in 1934 in the village of Lesidren, District of Lovech. In 1956 he finished the High School of Arts in Sofia as a disciple of the artist Ivan Hristov. Over the period 1957-1959 he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia with Prof. Iliya Petrov and Prof. Nenko Balkanski. Between 1960 and 1975 he was a chief artist at the Kremikovtsi Metallurgical Complex. In 1963 he started regularly participating in group exhibitions and in 1967 he became a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists. Over the period 1975-2005 he lived and worked in the village of Lesidren, District of Lovech. He died in Sofia in 2005.

DIALOGIES WITH TIME Paintings from the Sofia City Art Gallery collection dating from the mid-20th century through the beginning of the 21st century.

14 July 2009 - 06 September 2009

The exhibition, featuring more than 80 paintings by 46 Bulgarian artists, is a showcase of the Sofia City Art Gallery collection. Works included in the exhibition date from the mid-20th century through the beginning of the 21st century. They give an idea of the spirit of the time they were created in, as well as of the artistic trends and changes in Bulgarian art.

The exhibition features the works of prominent artists such as Ivan Nenov, Dechko Ouzounov, Vera Nedkova, Vasil Barakov, Stoyan Sotirov, Kiril Petrov, who studied in Munich, Paris, Vienna and whose artistic career started before World War II to be continued after the war ended. Their works, as well as those of applied artists having worked in the 1920’s, 1930’s and the early 1940’s provided the basis and inspiration for the generation of artists whose career started in the 1960’s, namely Svetlin Rousev, Ivan Kirkov, Yoan Leviev, Dimitur Kirov, Georgi Bozhilov, Genko Genkov, Georgi Baev, Alexander Petrov, Magda Abazova, Peter Dochev, Ivan Voukadinov, Lika Yanko. The latter generation brought painting back to prominence in the Bulgarian art scene leading the way for many decades through its works and truly distinctive artistic approaches. 

The trends set by the generations to follow are presented in the works of Nikolay Masterov, Ivan Dimov, Dimitur Bouyokliiski, Toma Trifonovski, Hristo Simeonov, Dimitur Kazakov-Nero, Yordan Katsamounski, Dinko Stoev, Sasho Stoitsov, Milko Bozhkov, Andrei Daniel, Svilen Blazhev, Ivaylo MIrchev, as well as in the early 21st century works of the youngest generation of artists represented by Mihaela Vlaseva, Ivan Kostolov, etc.

Earlier this year, namely in April, 2009, the exhibition was presented in the Russian Academy of Arts, Moscow as part of the “Sofia Days in Moscow” initiative. 

NIKOLAI DIULGEROV Multiple Artistic Identity. Roma - Torino - Sofia, 20082009

08 July 2009 - 30 September 2009

Nikolay Diulgerov /1901- 1982/ is among the representatives of Italian futurism. An architect, an artist, a designer and an urban ad designer, he was declared honorary citizen of the city of Turin, where he spent most of his artistic career. 

The „Nikolay Diulgerov. Multiple Artistic Identity” Exhibition was to take place in 2001 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth, while its present opening is meant to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Futurist Manifesto published in Paris by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Curator: Irina Genova, design of the exhibition and the catalogue: Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova.

Following the successful presentation of the „Nikolay Diulgerov. Multiple Artistic Identity” Exhibition in Rome in November and December, 2008 at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, National Academy of St Cecilia, as well as in Turin in May and June, 2009 at Castello del Valentino, today the central building of the Architecture faculty of the Politecnico di Torino, the exhibition has arrived in Sofia.

The exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of Nikolay Diulgerov's birth is a follow-up to the „Nikolay Diulgerov. Works from Collections in Bulgaria” Exbition presented at the Sofia City Art Gallery in 2000 in cooperation with the National Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of the city of Kiustendil in relation to the lectures delivered by Giorgio di Genova following an invitation of the New Bulgarian University.

The exhibition is presented in Sofia with kind support from the Sofia City Municipality. An exhibition catalogue is available. 
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The presentation of the „Nikolay Diulgerov. Multiple Artistic Identity” Exhibition in Rome and Turin and the designing of the exhibition's catalogue were made under the Communication Stratey Project of the Repuiblic of Bulgaria for the EU. Bulgarian partners having contributed to the exhibition's organization are as follows: the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Italy, the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Rome and the New Bulgarian University. 

BAZA Award for Contemporary Art Exhibition of the Nominee Artists Bora Petkova, Georgi Georgiev Jorrras, Vikenti Komitski, HR Stamenov, Kamen Stoyanov, Samuil Stoyanov

19 June 2009 - 05 July 2009

For a second year in a row the Institute of Contemporary Art-Sofia is in anticipation of the BAZA award for young author in the field of contemporary art. It falls within the already existing international network of artists from different countries of Central and Eastern Europe (YVAA) and has already gained recognition as one of the most prestigious awards. The contest is open for artists up to the age of 35 working in all media of contemporary art. The prize itself is a grant and a six month scholarship with the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York realized with the support of The Foundation for a Civil Society, New York.

The award aims at stimulating the professional start of the artists offering them more opportunities for participation, development, education and networking in their own countries as well as abroad. This also conforms with the policy of Sofia City Art Gallery to encourage and support projects of young authors and modern art. 

The first BAZA edition with the exhibition of the nominees for 2008 got the recognition of the critics as one of the most significant artistic events in our country. This year we are also to witness the first solo exhibition of last year award winner Rada Boukova. 

The exhibition of the nominees is an event in itself and is of great interest not only because it presents just one winner. According to the specific character of the contest the reduced number of participant nominees in itself allows for distinguishing a group of leading young artists in the country (the six nominees have been selected among 37 applicants). This also meets the expectations of the viewers for the quality of the exhibition. The presentation of each author includes works created especially for the occasion or already displayed in other solo or representative group exhibitions – paintings, drawings, videos, objects and installation. 

The members of the selection committee - Vassileva, Iara Boubnova, Stanislav Pamukchiev, Kiril Prashkov and Ventsislav Zankov. 

The winner is Samuil Stoyanov 


VIENNESE ACTIONISM. FROM PAINTING TO ACTION Works from the MUMOK collection (Museum for Modern Art Ludwig Foundation), Vienna

11 June 2009 - 05 July 2009

Cooperation between the Sofia City Art Gallery and one of Europe’s most interesting and active museums, namely the MUMOK in Vienna is a remarkable undertaking, which is a powerful indication of SCAG intentions and ambitions. The long-term cooperation project sets out to present several large-scale exhibitions following the development of modern art between the 1960’s and the present day.

“Viennese actionism” is the first exhibition in the said series. This is the most emblematic Austrian movement, which, though very short-lived (1960-1971), had a significant impact on the international development of avant-garde, making the notion of the latter a much more inclusive one. The movement fights against conservative values in both art and life, opposing the conventional genres of painting, sculpture and drawing by highlighting direct work in space with the human body, as well as with various liquids and objects. Actions by representatives of the movement violate a number of taboos in an attempt to gain more genuine experience of both physical and mental reality. Other means of expression, besides performances, are film and photography.

Artists Günter Brus, Otto Mühl, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler are the major representatives of Viennese Actionism and it is their work that the exhibition focuses on. It also features works by world-famous artists such as Jackson Pollock, Emilio Vedova and Yves Klein, who herald Viennese Actionism in their attempts to move away from conventional styles in painting. The exhibition also features works by Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci, VALIE EXPORT, Yoko Ono, Carolee Schneemann, whose actions are reminiscent of Viennese actionists’ critical tone with regard to social, political and artistic issues.

The exhibition features 61 works, including photographs, prints, videos, paintings. Exhibition catalogue in Bulgarian and English is also available.


06 June 2009 - 12 June 2009

The exposition is dedicated to the 50th anniversary since the creation of one of the most widely used typefaces known as Helvetica.

The result of the efforts of two typeface designers – Max Miedenger and Eduard Hoffmann – Helvetica turns into an aesthetic constant and bridges the abrupt transition from the lead press to the digital processing of the text in the sixties. The typeface is characterized by simplicity and minimalism, the drawing is compact, legible and expressive. That makes Helvetica an efficient instrument for graphic designers from the sixties of the 20th century to the present day. The stately delicacy of this typeface gives freedom in finding an adequate outward representation of different ideas.
Having found application in various areas of graphic design, advertising, book printing etc. Helvetica, with its simplicity, modern lines and proportions is still valid and widely used in different languages even today.

Among the items of the exhibition one can find original sketches recording the process of creating Helvetica. The exposition traces also the implementation of the typeface during different historical periods and offers evidence for its use in a variety of contexts.

Helvetica Forever: Story of a Typeface is a sequel to Lars Müller and Victor Malsy’s book with the same title. The exhibition comes to Bulgaria after being to the USA and Japan and is part of the events included in the Sofia Design Week festival organized by Magazine 1.

NEDKO SOLAKOV Curators Maria Vassileva and Iara Boubnova

07 May 2009 - 05 June 2009

This is Nedko Solakov’s first large exhibition in Bulgaria since 1988, as well as the first retrospective presentation of his work in his home country. One of the most interesting „story tellers” of contemporary art will „recount” his artistic biography specially for the Bulgarian public.

The SCAG exhibition is an attempt to give an idea of the artist’s dynamic and versatile work between 1981 and the present day. The oil paintings featured in the exhibition belong to various Bulgarian museums (the National Art Gallery, the art galleries of the cities of Plovdiv, Botevgrad, Sliven, Gabrovo, Dimitrovgrad, the House of Humour and Satire in the city of Gabrovo), as well as to private collections. They reveal the artistic style and approaches that brought Nedko Solakov critical acclaim and public recognition on the Bulgarian art scene in the early 1980’s through the mid-1980’s. The exhibition also features later works by the artist, where he starts incorporating various non-traditional elements in his work thus declaring his interest in a socially-oriented, provocative and interactive art. The public will be able to see objects created at an early stage of the artist’s career, pertaining to the development of conceptual art in Bulgaria in the late 1980’s.

The 1990’s see a significant, yet logical, change in Nedko Solakov’s art, which was triggered by frequent travels round the world, participation in numerous group exhibitions and biennials, delivery of lectures, participation in conferences and workshops. Gradually he became one of the leading figures in contemporary art. Many of his works belong to major museums and private collections showed to the public. Presentation of the work belonging to this stage of his career turned into a challenge for both the artist and the exhibition’s curators. Led by the desire to create as broad a picture of Nedko Solakov’s art as possible, the artist and the curators choose a specific mode of presentation, where original works are alternated with documentary material. The public will be able to get acquainted with the various ways of installing some of the artist’s most prominent works, to study in detail the artist’s notes accompanying them, to have a look at projects, invitations, etc. And what is most valuable about the exhibition – they will be able to read Nedko Solakov’s comments made exclusively for this very exhibition of his work. Among the works featured in the exhibition are: New Noah's Ark, 1991-2007, The Truth (The Earth is Plane, the World is Flat), 1992-2003, The Collector of Art, 1992-, This is me too..., 1996-2005, Discussion (Property), 2007, A Recent Story with Ghosts, a Pair of High-Heeled Shoes, (a couple of floods) and Some Other Mischievous Acts, 2008, etc. Presented in such a manner, the works turn into a single monumental work of art with a life of its own – a portrait of the artist and his development over the past three decades.

This “picture” of the artist’s art and life is framed by his work „A Life (Black & White)”, 1998-, presumably his most popular one, shown at numerous venues around the world and owned by various prestigious museums and collectors. In the space of a month two workers/painters will constantly repaint the walls of the exhibition space in black and white, day after day, following each other, thus leaving the exhibition space neither entirely white, nor entirely black, which is an excellent metaphor of the world we live in. 

Of all Bulgarian museums, the Sofia City Art Gallery is the one paying the greatest tribute to modern Bulgarian art, as revealed by its consistent policy setting the latter as a priority. Nedko Solakov’s exhibition is a logical result of the said policy crowning the efforts of the gallery team to present the best of late 20th and early 21st century Bulgarian art.

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Nedko Solakov (born in 1957 in the town of Cherven Briag, currently living in Sofia) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts – Sofia in 1981 and went on to work mainly in the filed of painting. He has been part of the world art scene ever since the early 1990’s contributing his trademark drawings, installations, videos, objects and interventions in specific spaces. 
Nedko Solakov has participated in La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (1993, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007), the Istanbul Biennial (1992, 1995, 2005), the São Paulo Biennial (1994), Manifesta 1 (Rotterdam, 1996), the Kwanju Biennial, South Korea (1997, 2002), the Lyon Biennial (2000), the Seville Biennial, Spain (2006), the Moscow Biennial (2007), Documenta 12, Kassel (2007), the Sydney Biennial (2008), the New Orleans Biennial (2008), etc. Over the last years he has had solo exhibitions hosted by: the Chiado Museum, Lisbon, the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, Kunsthaus, Zurich, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, etc. Over the period 2003-2005 three cultural institutions, namely the Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö, Sweden, the Casino Luxembourg - Forum d’art Contemporain, Luxembourg and O.K. Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz, Austria hosted a large retrospective exhibition entitled "Nedko Solakov. A 12 1/3 (and even more) Year Survey". In 2008-2009 the „Еmotions” project was presented in Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen and Mathildenhoehe, Darmstadt.
Nedko Solakov’s works are to be found in major museums throughout the world, namely: the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna; Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich; the Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana; the Tate Modern, London, S.M.A.K. Ghent, as well as in art foundations and private collections shown to the public: Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; the Dakis Joannou Collection, Athens; the Ella Fontanals Cisneros Collection, Miami, USA, etc.
In 2007 the artist received an “Honourable Mention to an artist exhibited in the central international exhibition”, 52 La Biennale di Venezia, Venice for his work „Discussion (Property)”.
Nedko Solakov is a co-founding member of the Institute of Contemporary Art-Sofia.

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