Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане

GEORGI MASHEV 120th years since the birth of the artist

12 July 2007 - 31 July 2007

The exhibition organized to mark the 120th anniversary since Georgi Mashev’s birth includes 49 works of art from different artistic periods. The main part of the collection belongs to Stanislav Dospevski City Art Gallery of Pazardjik and consists of 34 paintings and 11 drawings. Sofia City Art Gallery participates with four works from its fund.

A versatile personality and a learned artist, Georgi Mashev expresses his artistic activity into two basic but presumably opposing ways. On the one hand he is a master of portrait where his psychological insight combines with a subtle observation and a precise vivid drawing. On the other hand he’s got paintings on fantastic and fairy-tale subjects where his unleashed imagination leads him to symbolic generalizations and emotional revelations. Another part of Mashev’s works worth considering are his historic compositions which present realistic and vivid characters rich in dignity and grandeur. His keen social attitude becomes apparent in the artist’s satirical works. 

A contemporary of the symbolic influences in our art and the infatuation with secession and impressionism, Georgi Mashev doesn’t remain indifferent to the aesthetic quests of our artists in the first half of the 20th century. Yet his mature works find their plastic support mainly in the precise realistic drawing which allows for an earthly rendering even of his fantastic pieces. 

Georgi Mashev was born on 1st January, 1887 in the town of Pazardjik. Until the eighth grade he studied in his home town and in 1906 he finished First Male Secondary School in Sofia. In the autumn of the same year he started attending the general Department of the School of Drawing (the present National Art Academy) under Prof. Petko Klisourov. For a short period of time he studied at the Petersburg Art Academy and then between 1909-1910 in the Special Department of Painting in Brussels under Prof. Edmond Richard. In 1912 he graduated from the Department of Painting of the School of Drawing under the professors Ivan Murkvichka, Stefan Ivanov and Ivan Angelov. He worked as a teacher in Second Male Secondary School in Sofia and then in Tsaribrod. In September 1915 Georgi Mashev organized his first solo exhibition in Sofia, which went off with great success. Right after Bulgaria got involved in WWI he was appointed military artist of the Cavalry division. In 1916-1917 he took part in the exhibition of Bulgarian artists in Berlin. After the end of WWI he worked as a teacher in Pazardjik where in 1920 he opened his second solo exhibition and took part in the exhibition of the Society of South-Bulgarian Artists. Between 1932-1945 Mashev organized solo exhibitions in Sofia, Plovdiv, Pazardjik and in 1945-1946 he took part in the general exhibitions of the Pazardjik artists. He died on 10th August, 1946.

Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov ON THE TRACKS OF THE BRIGHT FUTURE

12 July 2007 - 31 July 2007

Boris Misirkov and Georgi Bogdanov (together with: Dimitar Bojilov – interviews; Sandra Klincheva – Styling; Tsveti Hristova –make-up and hair-style) develop the On the Tracks of the Bright Future sequence inspired by the topic Cliché as Identity presented at the Visual Seminar*. The two authors are trying to find out those common grounds that create the image of the contemporary Bulgarian. They do not probe into any particular subjects but rather resort to the dreams as the most favourable territory which will enable them to identify the target group of people. These are 17-19 year-old youngsters, mainly students in the high grades, who are at the threshold of real life but are not yet active participants in it.

The conversations with the interviewees are based on the questions: ‘What would you like to become in the future?’ and ‘How do you imagine yourself in 20-30 years’ time?’ and the photographs present a visualization of some of these ideas about the future.

Boris Misirkov and Georgi Bogdanov give flesh and blood to dreams and offer a chance for those who dream to see their own forecasts come true. From the numerous interviews they have picked up only those answers which are indicative of the general trends and yet transcend the boundaries of the conventional. From here on the team builds up the images using some cinema techniques in creating a non-commercial product. The fantasies of the participants intertwine with the imagination of the authors to create something which is on the verge of reality and fiction. In the last phase of the project the characters face their own dreams while Boris Misisrkov and Georgi Bogdanov record their reactions. Are they going to like themselves or reconsider their own ideals? Are they going to stick to the cliché notion of prosperity or try to detach from it? To what extent does the visual cliché determine the mentality of whole strata and generations? These are only some of the questions Boris Misirkov and Georgi Bogdanov pose to the public.

*The Visual Seminar project was carried out in the period 2003-2006 as an initiative of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia in co-operation with the Centre for Advanced Studies – Sofia. It was supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation within the framework of the relations programme.

Krassimir Terziev. Background Action

10 July 2007 - 31 July 2007

Background Action is a spatial narrative that reconstructs a journey into film making and the imposition of war in a globalized mode of film production industry.
It was a three month long journey taken by 300 Bulgarian men, hired by Warner Bros as “specialised extras” for the filming of the battlescenes of the motion picture Troy (2004).
The Bulgarians were hired to represent ancient warriors from the Greek and Trojan tribes in the epic war, described by Homer in the Iliad, that was to be brought to life again by the movie Troy.
And as in the Iliad, where the entire Book 2 is dedicated to the narration of the alias of the Achaean and Trojan armies hired from all the lands in Homeric world, the 300 Bulgarians were hired along with 1000 Mexican extras to stage that war. The only difference is that they had to battle both sides depending on the filming plans of the day.
Most of them made the journey with the idea to see how the movies are made, to see Mexico and to meet the great movie-stars. Some of them hoped they might be picked up and developed in the movie-business.
In fact the trip to the movie-world turned out to be a constant shift of the way they perceived their roles.
The extras were totally confused by the technique of film-making. From Mexico itself, they only saw a piece of a few square kilometers of desert where the film-set was built
and where they spent 12 to 14 hours a day under the scorching sun. The stars were severely guarded, if they were ever there.
What was left as a memorable experience were the battle scenes that went completely out of control and became very real, with injuries and real blood on top of the emulated make-up, running horses and showers of arrows.
So that by the end of the filming, Warner Brother’s simplistic vision whereby the extras could be misrecognised as Greeks and Trojans became reality, and they became that ancient warriors in order to survive the actual fights. Just like the warriors from Iliad they brought home their trophies and ransoms in the shape of photos and video recordings. 
These are the images in focus in the installation “Background Action”. They stand on a shaking ground between touristic photographs, and documents of hyperreal events and environments.
Epic scenes, coming from an ancient world, recreated by perfectly designed sets and costumes are suddenly ruptured by objects, gestures and practices from the everyday world.
The combination of these trophy-images with the personal stories of the extras, maps of the production activities and metaphoric figures creates a narrative that questions selfidentification
in a war staged by globalized film industry that far exceeds the boundaries of the motion picture.


08 June 2007 - 05 July 2007

The exhibition presents seventy one works of art from the Museum of Naïve Art in Jagodina and some private collections. It includes thirty five artists of different artistic inclinations and generations who best represent the essence of the naïve and marginal art in Serbia.

Naïve art is one of the authentic segments of the Serbian cultural heritage and represents a unique part of the contemporary artistic life of the country. It digresses from the academic painting as well as from the amateur lack of skill. Both the naïve and marginal art emphasize on the content and inner feeling taken up by the instinct and the flight of the spirit. It relies on the strong personality and its drive to find its own way of depicting the surrounding reality.

The strength of the means of expression with the naïve painters is to be found in the total lack of restraint and disregard for pre-taught patterns. Fighting the technical inexperience and looking for their own ways of expression, these artists arrive at some personal solutions and at a frivolous artistic play between the spirit and the imagination.

The Museum of Naïve Art in Jagodina was founded in 1960 at the time when this particular art was at its height around the world. Today it acts like an active centre of the naïve and marginal art being in possession of an international collection of over 2500 works and implementing some serious projects. So far the museum has organized over 400 group and solo exhibitions in the country and abroad. It also organizes a Biennale and an En plein air of naïve and marginal art. Works of art from the rich collection of The Museum of Naïve Art in Jagodina have participated in some of the most prestigious exhibitions among which one has to mention the exhibitions in Paris, London, Melbourne, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Bucharest and many towns in Holland, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Belorussia , Italy.

A catalogue of the exhibition has been published in Serbian, French and English. 

The author of the exhibition and the text in the catalogue is Ms. Nina Krustic, Director of the Naïve Art Museum in Jagodina.
The exhibition is organized by:
Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria
Embassy of Serbia in Bulgaria
Sofia Art Gallery
Museum of Naive Art, Jagodina, Serbia

GNTHER UECKER Mistreated Man 14 Pacified Implements

05 June 2007 - 05 July 2007

“My subject is life and death”, “my failure is my art”, says the internationally well known artist and recipient of several awards, Guenther Uecker (born in 1930) about his works. His work “Mistreated Man: 14 Pacified Implements” that Uecker created in his workshop in Düsseldorf, commissioned by the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IfA), also lives through this contradiction. 

In many of the works Uecker shows a kind of inner portrait of his visions of life and suffering, processes experiences, registers feelings and tries to reveal, in his sensitive setting of signs, basic human drives: aggression, injury, destruction, setting against them gestures of reconciliation. Uecker reacts to the “injury of human being by human being” in the language of form typical of him – with slats of wood, linen cloths, stones, ash, sand, pages of writing and of course nails (Uecker became famous as the “man of nails”). The actual background of these works created in 1992/93 was the violence against foreigners in Germany that continues even today. As Uecker says, “Thus my protest, my statement is an expression of my agitation, a portrait of an artist, so to speak.” 

The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), Deutschland and Goethe-Institute Bulgaria.


18 April 2007 - 27 May 2007

The State Institute of Culture under the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria presents the exhibition which is dedicated to the the accession of Bulgaria to the European Union and the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. It has been organized with the support of Sofia Art Gallery and the Embassies of Albania, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, Hungary, Finland, France, Holland and Sweden in Sofia. Bulgaria is presented with some works from the collection of the Foreign Ministry.

The goal of the exhibition is to give “flesh and blood” to the pursuit of united Europe of unity and diversity through a collection of artistic works from different periods, styles, authors’ nationalities and subjects.

Each household is arranged by its owners and reflects the specifics of their culture, national identity, aesthetics and emotional disposition. Taken out of their “domestic” environment – the diplomatic missions and residences and placed in a completely new and uncommon setting, the collected works of art enter into a different dialogue with each other and gain different semantics and meaning. 

The europe.art exhibition aims at provoking a willingness for a dialogue between cultures and gives yet another evidence for the universal aesthetic attitudes during the twentieth century on a continent whose name is a synonym of civilization and a common spiritual territory. 

The exhibition presents 57 works of art (created in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries) by 40 authors. Among them are: Alvar Aalto, Margit Anna, Siim-Tanel Annus, Karel Appel, Cevdet Batur, Andre Volten, Helena Gibson, Dimitar Kazakov-Neron, Fatbardh Kalvari, Vassilis Katsivelakis, Dimitar Kirov, Patrick Collins, Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Yordan Krachmarov, Francs Masereel, Anna Madden, Mica Popovic, Kiril Prashkov, Samuil Stoyanov, William Wyllie etc., porcelain from Sevres and Nimphenburg.

In the full colour bilingual (English and Bulgarian) catalogue all works are reproduced and accompanied by biographical and supplementary notes. 

State Institute of Culture
Under the Minister of Foreign Affairs
2 Alexander Zhendov Str.
Sofia 1040
tel. 948-20-12
fax 948-20-13
culturalinstitute@mfa.government.bg http://sic.mfa.government.bg


13 April 2007 - 27 May 2007

The exhibition includes mainly works from the Sofia Art Gallery fund presenting the journeys of Bulgarian artists around the world. The period covered ranges from the beginning of the 20th century to the present days. The selection includes more than sixty names from different generations and artistic schools. The concept of the exhibition is to show the Bulgarian artistic stage in its openness to the world as well as the achievements of our painters.

The world wonderings of the Bulgarian artists started right at the end of the 19th and the very beginning of the 20th century with the development of secular painting in our country. The first professional Bulgarian artists studied abroad for lack of an Art school in our country and their journeys were bound to their education. This tradition was preserved and carried further on into the years to follow. In the late 20ies and the 30ies of the 20th century Bulgarian artists gained enough confidence and began travelling around the European countries to set up their own solo exhibitions, take part in international events or simply get acquainted with different cultures. Most of them recreated their impressions from the unfamiliar places in their works. In the course of the years the geography of these journeys broadened. Particularly in the second half of the 20th century the Bulgarian artist had the opportunity to get to know more distant and exotic places and used to travel to all continents. The “map” of the exhibition includes landscapes from France and Germany, through Greece and Morocco to Russia and China. 

Among the most outstanding names presented are: Vladimir Dimitrov – Maistora (the Master), Sirak Skitnik, Nikola Tanev, Dechko Uzunov, Petko Abadzhiev, Preslav Kurshovski, Mario Zhekov, Eliezer Alsheh, Naiiden Petkov, Andrei Daniel, Gredi Assa and many others.

Most of the pictures belong to Sofia Art Gallery. We have also included works possessed by the National Art Gallery, the Georgi Velchev Art Museum as well as by a number of authors.

The exhibition is accompanied by a colourful bilingual catalogue (in Bulgarian and English).

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the State Institute of Culture under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Art Gallery and the SS. Cyril and Methodius National Library.

Team: Maria Vassileva (idea, selection), Adelina Fileva (logistic), Daniela Radeva (assistant), Svetla Georgieva (photography), Marin Marinov (registrar), Ilinka Chergarova (conservation), Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova (design)

IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME A project of Vera Mlechevska and Svetlana Kuyumdjieva

15 March 2007 - 08 April 2007

The project has been inspired by the profound nostalgia for the near past as a highly relevant issue. For some people this phenomenon seems absurd and void of any logic while for others it is unfortunately a certain “Belle époque”.

The authors invited to take part in the project belong to a generation which happened to be quite mature at the time of the political changes and has preserved a relatively positive memory of this period. According to the curators this is the generation which can give the most adequate interpretation and commentary from the present day point of view. 

Memory has the leading part in this project, yet not to re-establish or restore but to interpret the inexplicable and life-saving nostalgia in the light of the contemporary concepts. 

The infinite jealousy of the past and its constant evocation has come to the point of being able to spoil the value of the present. Nostalgia is a close relative of the longing for various utopias regardless of whether they refer to the past or the future. As a rule of thumb the past always seems more attractive than the non-promising unknown of the future and human memory is quite selective. 

The curators now provoke the participants’ creative thought as well as that of the viewers by asking questions such as: 
How is it possible to build a common past on the basis of a fragmented personal memory?
Has something in the past been lost that we cannot in any way make up for at present?
Doesn’t the formal termination of a utopia give birth to the idea and the strong craving for a next one?
Where do denial and oblivion lead us to – relief or anxiety?

The possible visual answers to these questions have been gathered into the works of: Alexander Petkov, Vesselina Sarieva / Georgi Lazarov, Georgi Bogdanov / Boris Missirkov, Iva Vacheva, Ivan Kostolov, Ivan Moudov, Kamen Stoyanov, Kosta Tonev, Orlin Nedelchev, Samouil Stoyanov and Svetozara Aleksandrova.

The exhibition includes paintings, video and photo installations, drawings and objects created exclusively for the project. 


In Search Of Lost Time has been sponsored by the Fund for Support of Debut Projects in co-operation with the National Culture Fund, the Bulgarian branch of Pro Helvetia Arts Council of Switzerland, Goethe Institute – Sofia, the Culture Bg Fund and with the support of Sofia Art Gallery, the Bulgarian Photographic Association and SIBANK.

LEONARDO DA VINCI SCIENTIST AND INVENTOR under the patronage of the honorable Mr. Simeon II Saxe-Coburg-Gotha

12 January 2007 - 25 March 2007


Mr. Boiko Borisov, Mayor of Sofia
Sofia Art Gallery
St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation
Institute fuer Kulturaustausch, Tuebingen, Germany

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest figures known to man. His fame throughout the most diverse social classes in all parts of the world is considerable. He is described as a “universal genius” – an attribute which has been ascribed to only a tiny minority of other outstanding individuals in the entire history of mankind. Nevertheless, when members of the public are asked specifically what Leonardo achieved, the chain of association quickly breaks down after the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. Yet, as distinct from his artistic legacy, his inventive and scientific work is unimaginably rich and diverse. The exhibition presents Leonardo da Vinci as an inventive genius and scientist far ahead of his time. Even today, 550 years after his birth, not all his ideas and discoveries are fully understood or correctly interpreted.

“Lionardo,” named “da Vinci,” the illegitimate son of a notary and a farmer’s daughter, was born on April 15, 1452 in the small village of Vinci, 50 kilometers to the west of Florence. At the time, Italy had become the centre of a new intellectual movement – the Renaissance. Man and the human mind emerged from the darkness of mediaeval mysticism and superstition into the light of human reason which, as the humanists thought, had been lost since the era of the Ancient World. During Leonardo’s 67 years on earth, normal life was changed forever by revolutionary events.

With the discovery of the New World and sea routes to the Orient, new opportunities for trade arose. Vasco da Gama sailed around the bottom of Africa and discovered the route from Europe to India, while Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci opened up vast new continents to seafarers and mercenaries. In addition to Venice and Milan, Florence in particular was developed by the Medici family into the centre of money dealing and became the most prosperous city in Italy. The period of feudalism was now past, never to return. With the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg, literature and art were now accessible to all. Man was convinced that he could create perfection by using his intelligence. The time and place were thus ideal for the blossoming of this inventive genius.

The advances in natural sciences and the technical revivals of the time made a mark on the mind of the young Leonardo which stayed with him for the rest of his life. He devised a new image of the world, which he saw as a huge machine, driven by the mechanisms of intellectual understanding. In this connection, one of his propositions was “to build machines with which whole worlds can be moved.” He based his theory on the principle that work could be carried out more rapidly and easily by the observance of uniformity and precision.

To this end, he analyzed natural phenomena so that, from the experience thus gained, access to the great machinery of nature – “limitless reason” – would be opened up to him. Man would become the measure of all things, the focal point of all behavior and thought. His famous drawing of the Vitruvian Man of 1490 in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice illustrates this new attitude of mind to superb effect. The proportions of the human body are the axioms of the scientific approach to physics. For Leonardo, even mechanics were determined by the human anatomy.

From his studies of anatomy and the flight of birds, Leonardo realized that everything is connected to everything else in the nature of mechanics. He identified mechanical processes as a reproducible sequence of movements based on precise mathematical and natural events. According to the laws he drew up, when a man moves an arm, as when a bird beats a wing, he is nothing other than a machine. Leonardo understood everything on the basis of this concept of nature, from stage technique to architecture and from weapons to automatons and clockwork mechanisms. Today, his inventions which, at the time, generally failed to progress beyond drawings, are impressive for their modernity, something not recognized by his contemporaries. 

The exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci – Inventor and Scientist,” a visual presentation of Leonardo’s ideas, is intended to enable visitors to “grasp” these in the truest sense of the word, to compose questions and to find corresponding answers. 

To this end, the exhibits, some 150 in number, are augmented with interactive multimedia computer units. These provide visitors with access to over 8,000 illustrations and a mass of information, enabling them to call up explanations of the ideas and thinking of the universal genius, his school and his time. A similar purpose is served by numerous working models which have been specially made to Leonardo’s drawings since the beginning of the 20th century. They range from basic everyday articles like a bicycle propelled by a link chain to war machines of exotic appearance, such as his proposal for a chariot with sickles, as well as incredibly forward-looking studies for an automobile and an instrument for accurate time-keeping. Visitors may touch these models and make them work and, in so doing, learn about, and come to understand, the “anatomy of machines.”

Over 100 hand-colored facsimiles, produced in a limited edition for the exhibition, afford a deep insight into the wealth of Leonardo’s inventions which, thanks to his dynamic imagination, have lost none of their relevance or fascination even today. On the contrary, in 1993, students at the Technical University of Stockholm discovered from a computer simulation that Leonardo’s boldest plan to build a stone bridge 340 meters long over the “Golden Horn” from Istanbul to Pera (Galata) could actually have been built if the Sultan had commissioned the work to proceed.

The exhibition also builds a bridge, a bridge which spans the time gap between Leonardo’s mechanical marvels of the Renaissance period and their significance for our present-day civilization, which is again undergoing radical changes. The process of digitalization will affect our world to such an extent that its consequences will probably only be fully understood by our descendants in 500 years’ time. We can, however, gauge the extent of this change – looking back in the mirror of time – from the exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci – Inventor and Scientist.”
With the support of: M-tel, Alpha Bank, Schenker, Newspaper 24 Hours, Trud Newspaper, New Television


21 December 2006 - 21 December 2006


Mr. Boiko Borisov, Mayor of Sofia
Sofia Municipality
Department of Culture and Education
Sofia Art Gallery

have the pleasure to invite you at the inauguration of the reopened

Vaska Emanouilova Gallery 

December 21, 2006, Thursday, 6.30 pm

Vaska Emanouilova Gallery – branch of the Sofia Art Gallery
15, Yanko Sakazov Blvd. (on the back of Park Oboriste), Sofia 1527, phone: 944 11 75

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