Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане


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.


Lika and Genko

05 October 2010 - 21 November 2010

Lika Yanko (1928-2001) and Genko Genkov (1923-2006) are two Bulgarian artists who ventured into the art scene at a time of dramatic changes. Two artists, who, in an age of incessant compromising, never gave up their beliefs, both of them finding their own truth in art in their own individual ways. Genko – expressively and exultantly and Lika – in a relaxed in-depth manner.

During the 1950’s Lika and Genko stayed close to one another in terms of style, creating landscapes, whose colours and form do not stick to the prescriptive norm of socialist realism. Later, during the 1960’s, they gradually start heading in opposite directions, Lika’s white canvases standing in contrast with Genko’s explosions of colour. All of this culminates in his almost abstract landscapes and her mythological-cum-poetic compositions. Side by side display of their works allows the viewer to trace the intrinsic similarity between them. Lika relies on linearity to transform the medieval Christian Orthodox style of icon-painting, while Genko ferociously interprets its iconic colourfulness. 

The “Lika and Genko” exhibition is an attempt to reveal the main directions in two artists’ journeys to their own selves. The choices they made as human beings and artists prove that getting to the end of the road to divinity invariably involves passing through the gate of freedom. 

The exhibition was organized in cooperation with theNational Art Gallery, the Varna City Art Gallery, the Sliven City Art Gallery, the Kurdzhali City Art Gallery and private collectors.

Curator: Krassimir Iliev

AQUARIUM Works from the Contemporary Art Collection of the Sofia City Art Gallery

29 September 2010 - 22 October 2010

This is the first joint project of the Sofia City Art Gallery (SCAG) and the University of Sofia in the common effort to promote contemporary art and encourage communication with it. The artworks featured in the exhibition leave SCAG storerooms to find opportunities for a dialogue in a lively dynamic environment.

The exhibition views the aquarium as a replica of the world, a cultivated space, where life exists with its joys and dramas. The idea of the aquarium was suggested by exhibition venues themselves, which look like aquariums with their glass display cases. The aquarium does also refer to the seat of learning as an incubator of life processes.

The exhibition features works from the SCAGcollection by some of the most prominent contemporary Bulgarian artists, including Sasho Stoitsov, Mariela Gemisheva, Krassimir Terziev, Mihaela Vlasseva, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Ivan Kostolov, Rassim, Ivan Moudov, etc. The exhibition features paintings, photographs, objects and installations.

The works selected for the exhibition explore the interaction between humans and their surrounding environment. In this case this is a specific city in a specific country in a specific time frame, namely Sofia, Bulgaria at the turn of the century. What is happening to the contemporary human here and now? Has his/her idea of the world and ways of communicating with other people changed? Can we spot the changes having occurred in the world relying on the works of contemporary artists?

The exhibition presents the most popular trends in contemporary art with original works demonstrating social commitment.

The Sofia City Art Gallery works with young artists and art critics, developing special programs aiming to integrate the latter into the contemporary art scene. Therefore, cooperation with the “St. Kliment of Ohrid” University of Sofia provides a good opportunity to attract new audiences.

Project curator: Maria Vassileva, chief SCAG curator. 


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. 


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.

- - - - - 
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

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