14 December 2016 - 29 January 2017
07 December 2016 - 12 February 2017
.The exhibition constitutes the concluding phase of the ‘Visual Chronicles’ project aimed at the creation of an archive of art in Bulgaria during the mid- through the late 20th century in the shape of video interviews and through the memories of artists who lived in the abovementioned age.
Curators: Maria Vasileva, Daniela Radeva
ANCESTRAL MEMORY AND HERITAGE. FOUR GENERATIONS OF ARTISTS
02 November 2016 - 27 November 2016
This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the artist Vassil Yonchev. The “ANCESTRAL MEMORY AND HERITAGE” Exhibition is an attempt to survey the creative work of one of the biggest Bulgarian artistic families – the Yonchevs. A family which still lives on, and its members continue to demonstrate their worth in the fields of painting, graphic art, sculpture, illustration, graphic design, animation, book design, typeface, scenography, costume design, and cinematography. This is a visual story – a document – of the talent’s power.
In 1892, the family’s founder – Dimitar Vassilev Yonchev – was born in Plovdiv. His name is associated with laying the foundations of scenography and costume design in Plovdiv. Due to his dozens of designs elaborated for Plovdiv’s theatrical stage, some of which have been preserved even to this day, Dimitar Yonchev has won recognition as one of the most important names in the town’s theatrical life in the 1920s and the 1930s. Charismatic, talented and Bohemian in terms of spirit, he was the father of five children, to whom he passed on his passion for art. The doyen of the Bulgarian typeface school – Vassil Yonchev – was also amongst these inheritors. The “ANCESTRAL MEMORY AND HERITAGE” Exhibition reveals the history of this family – of its members, whose paths were to cross those of members of the Enev, the Dzhidrov, the Gogov, the Wendt and the Müller families.
The Exhibition shows paintings, graphic art, scenography sketches, costume and book designs, animation, and photography. This is a project that unites the creative work of four generations of artists – 25 professionals altogether. The audience has the opportunity to scrutinize designs of Dimitar Yonchev, Vassil Yonchev’s original illustrations for children’s books, paintings by Zdravko, Dimitar and Iliya Yonchev painted especially for this Exhibition, creative works of the grand master of the cinematographic scenography and an apprentice of Kiril Tsonev and Ivan Penkov – Konstantin Dzhidrov–Dzhidrata. And more: graphic works by the Müller family; Georg Wendt’s photographs, who has photographed the German designer and also a photograph – Karl Lagerfeld.
This Exhibition is the first of its kind, presenting four generations of artists who have left their mark on the history of the Bulgarian
SOFIA CITY ART GALLERY PLAMEN DEJANOFF BORIS KOSTADINOV EMANUEL LAYR GALLERY AUSTRIAN EMBASSY SOFIA
11 October 2016 - 11 November 2016
The exhibition has the unusual title: SOFIA CITY ART GALLERY, PLAMEN DEJANOFF, BORIS KOSTADINOV, EMANUEL LAYR GALLERY, AUSTRIAN EMBASSY SOFIA.
In this project the organizers of the exhibition are displayed in alphabetical order and this title reminds an "advertising campaign" with a specific textual "teaser".
The text is imprinted on a large banner - on the facade of the Sofia City Art Gallery. Furthermore, the artist puts numerous posters with the same content at different key locations in the city - galleries, bookstores, theaters, restaurants, cafes...
What are the aims of this campaign? It should disclose the idea of creating a Center for Contemporary Art in a wonderful old house in Arbanassi village.
The house was built in 1480 and is the first house in Bulgaria, which has its own bathroom. Its wood carvings are remarkable. They were at the heart of the exhibition “Foundation Requirements” at the 21er Haus museum in Vienna last year.
The exhibition SOFIA CITY ART GALLERY, PLAMEN DEJANOFF, BORIS KOSTADINOV, EMANUEL LAYR GALLERY, AUSTRIAN EMBASSY SOFIA asks questions to the general public about its understanding of the importance of contemporary art in the contemporary Bulgarian context and the private initiatives for its encouragement.
Curator Boris Kostadinov
27 September 2016 - 23 October 2016
This is Ziyatin Nuriev’s first retrospective exhibition. Over 35 years of creative work are presented, including both sculptures from his years as a student and some of his latest works.
Ziyatin Nuriev’s depth and innovativeness place him among the most talented Bulgarian sculptors. Already with his first participations in national exhibitions, his works were noticed and bought, almost with no exceptions, by the National Art Gallery, the Sofia City Gallery as well as leading galleries around the country. Initially he worked in basalt, one of the hardest materials, with a predilection for figure and portrait. After 1988, he synthesised the human figure achieving an almost abstract form in various materials – marble, bronze, wood, ceramics.
Ziyatin Nuriev’s oeuvre combines antiquity and modernity. Lessons from the Egyptian plastic thinking are enlivened by the author’s personal language. Conciseness, deep thought and lurking might are his fundamental features.
Ziyatin works and lives in Istanbul but his connection with Bulgaria has never been severed, the latest proof of which are his exhibitions in Varna (2014) and Plovdiv (2015).
Ziyatin Nuriev was born in the village of Most, district of Kurdjali. He graduated in sculpture from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia in 1982. Up until 1990, he worked in Bulgaria and then moved to Istanbul where he has been teaching sculpture at the Fine Arts Faculty of the Marmara University.
Major participations and exhibitions:
International Sculpture Symposium in Orońsko, Poland (1986); Granite Sculpture Symposium – island of Avșa, Turkey (1993); First Stone Sculpture Symposium – Yalova, Turkey (1995); International Sculpture Biennial – Toyamura, Japan (1997); Project Conversation with the Soul, Raku Gallery, Kyoto (2003); International Sculpture Symposium – Fuerteventura, the Canary Islands (2004, 2005); solo exhibition at the Simoncini Gallery – Luxemburg (2005); International Marble Sculpture Symposium – Saraylar, the island of Marmara, Turkey (2005); solo exhibition at the Akmerkez Gallery, Istanbul (2006), solo exhibition at the Ișik Gallery, Turkey (2014), solo exhibition at the Resonance Gallery, Plovdiv (2015).
THE AFTERNOON OF AN IDEOLOGY
16 September 2016 - 27 November 2016
The exhibition 'The Afternoon of an Ideology' presents a slice of Sofia City Art Gallery's collection as put together through the 'non-art' eyes of Georgi Gospodinov and Georgi Lozanov. Acting as art historians of sorts, they mined the gallery's store room seeking evidence of the communist period and also investigating how artists experienced that period. The concept the two curators put forward is two-fold: first, that artists used their own language to write microhistories of the period and, second, that artists participate in a 'double game': while they are representing reality, also reality is representing itself to them, becoming a work of art by both yielding to and resisting their will.
In pursuing their goal, Mr Gospodinov and Mr Lozanov discovered that aesthetic qualities were not the leading criteria for a work to qualify for the selection. By no means should this imply of course that such are absent – after all, the selection features pieces by some of Bulgaria's most prominent artists: Lyubomir Dalchev, Ivan Kirkov, Vaska Emanuilova, Pavel Koychev, Galin Malakchiev, Atanas Yaranov, Dimitar Kazakov, Milko Bozhkov, Lyuben Zidarov, Andrey Daniel, Nedko Solakov, Vihroni Popnedelev, Stanislav Pamukchiev, Tekla Alexieva, Vanko Urumov. All these are artists who had their own positions with respect to the communist period and to how art was made then... Viewers will follow how they thought through their work and will succumb to their creative attitudes.
The search for 'art clues' about the private person of the communist period produced four thematic fields, roughly represented as dyads: transport-city, window-contemplation, household-holiday and childhood-guilt.
The exhibition is part of The Other Eye, the long-term series the gallery has undertaken to present and socialise the abundance and variety of its art assembly as seen through the eyes of non-artist intellectuals.
The accompanying catalogue, in Bulgarian and English, features essays by the curators and plates of the selected artworks.
The project is made possible with support from the Ministry of Culture, Sofia Municipality's Kultura programme and Aurubis Bulgaria AD.
'The Afternoon of an Ideology' opens at 6 pm on 16 September and will be on view through 27 November 2016.
26 July 2016 - 14 August 2016
Back in 1997, an exhibition presenting Armenian Artists in Bulgaria was shown in the halls of the Sofia City Art Gallery (SCAG). It was the result of the research efforts of curators Adelina Filleva and Olympia Nikolova.
The retrospective exhibition of Bedig Bedrossian, currently on display at the gallery, is a natural continuation of the same initiative, as well as of the SCAG’s strategy to present visual stories about not-so-famous, marginalized and disremembered persons, whose oeuvre however is part and parcel of the overall artistic landscape of this country.
Guided by their researchers' creed that any art deprived of its creator’s personality is mute, the exhibition's curators Plamen Petrov and Ramona Dimova offer to the audience a visual story not just about the artist, by way of his secular and religious paintings, drawings, cartoons, and caricatures, but also about the man Bedig Bedrossian. This life story ranges from his literary attempts, written in both Romanian and Armenian, to the documentary narrative about his life course.
Last but not least, the Wharfs exhibition, even though revealing the individual creative world of an artist, whose creative period lasted from 1944 to 1989, provides actually an opportunity to give a new meaning to certain concepts that have left a profound mark on the historical narrative about our recent past. That is precisely why the exposition is not just the fulfilled mission of his heirs, nor is it the fruition of some sort of resurrection of a wandering artist from Armenia. It allows the audience to encounter works of art, in which their author materialized his own quests for justice and not for the objectivity surrounding him.
BEDIG BEDROSSIAN was born in 1912 in the village of Sredishte (Silistra Province) into a family of Armenian refugees. When he was just seven years old, his family settled in the city of Silistra, where he received his entire education. In 1930, he graduated from the city’s Romanian Secondary School for Boys. His friendship with the painter Todor Dobrudzhanski played an important role in the formation of the artist Bedig Bedrossian.
In 1941, Bedig Bedrossian painted the icons and the murals inside the dome of the ‘Surp Asdvadzadzin’ (Holy Mother of God) Armenian fane in Silistra, whose foundations date back to 1611, thus rendering it one of the oldest Armenian spiritual centers in this country.
Following the political changes, which swept across the country after September 1944, the artist worked actively in the field of film posters. At the same time, he did not remain indifferent to the typical visual agitation and propaganda posters of that era. Bedig Bedrossian’s first solo exhibition premiered at the city gallery of Silistra in the early 1950s. In 1967 he was awarded the Order of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Third class.
At the end of 1969, he travelled to Armenia, where he created a cycle of landscape paintings titled ‘Armenia’. The landscapes were shown in various collective and solo exhibitions. Many of his works, created while he was living in his family’s native land, were left behind there as a donation. Some of them are kept today at the National Gallery of Armenia in Yerevan. In 1980, at the initiative of the ‘Yerevan’ Cultural and Educational Organization in Bulgaria, the artist mounted a sizeable solo exhibition at the Central Military Club in Sofia.
Bedig Bedrossian passed away on June 20, 1989 in Silistra. His complete oeuvre includes over 600 artworks, consisting of oil paintings, drawings, caricatures, and sketches. The vast majority of those are well-preserved. Other works have been tracked down, restored and shown in various exhibitions.
Paintings and drawings by Bedig Bedrossian are in the possession of the city art galleries of Silistra, Tutrakan, Dobrich, Varna, Plovdiv, and Pazardzhik, the Sofia City Art Gallery, and the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund, while others are held in various public and private collections both in this country and abroad, including Germany, France, Russia, Romania, and Armenia.
The exhibition includes works of art from the art collections of the National Art Gallery of Sofia, the Art Gallery of Silistra, the ‘Boris Georgiev’ City Art Gallery of Varna, the City Art Gallery of Plovdiv, the ‘Stanislav Dospevski’ Art Gallery of Pazardzhik, the Art Gallery of Dobrich, the Art Gallery of Tutrakan, the Armenian church board of trustees at the ‘Surp Asdvadzadzin’ (Holy Mother of God) Armenian church in Silistra, the Armenian Cultural and Information Centre in Plovdiv, as well as from private art collections.
Exhibition of the BAZA Award for contemporary art nominees:
21 June 2016 - 17 July 2016
The exhibition of the nominees, as every year, is the final stage of the completion for awarding the most sustainable and popular award for young visual artists in Bulgaria. Its aim is to present the work of those, who are chosen to compete for residency at Residency Unlimited, New York.
According to the already well-known competition rules, the first stage is application with portfolios, and the nominees are presented in a joint exhibition. A winner is chosen on the day of its opening. The residency in New York, which is financed by Trust for Mutual Understanding, has duration of two months.
In the ninth release of the BAZA Award among the five authors nominated Stanimir Genov, Boryana Petkova, and Dimitar Shopov are nominated for the first time. Kalina Terzieva participates for the second time, and for Albena Baeva this is the third nomination.
At the exhibition will be presented their new works – painting, drawings, installations, objects, and performance.
On the day of the opening the audience will have the opportunity to see a performance, which is part of a project by Dimitar Shopov. It will be carried out on June 21 at 2 pm within the exhibition. The opening and the announcing of the winner is at 6 pm.
BAZA award winners so far are: Rada Bukova (2008), Samuil Stoyanov (2009), Anton Terziev (2010), Vikenti Komitski (2011), Leda Ekimova (2012), Kiril Kuzmanov (2013), Zoran Georgiev (2014), and Aleksandra Chaushova (2015).
The BAZA award winner for 2016 is Dimitar Shopov
BETWEEN THE MODERN AND THE CANON
07 June 2016 - 14 August 2016
The exhibition is dedicated to the 120th. anniversary of the birth of the great artist Tsanko Lavrenov (1896–1978). The initiator of the celebration was the Tsanko Lavrenov Foundation, while the project was realised by Sofia City Art Gallery, the Tsanko Lavrenov Foundation and the City Art Gallery – Plovdiv, under the patronage of Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia. This retrospective exposition includes artworks from the collections of state and municipal museums and galleries in the country, the largest being that of the Plovdiv City Art Gallery, with 65 paintings. The other collection of significant size is that of the Tsanko Lavrenov Foundation. Private collectors have also contributed. After the latest major exhibition at the National Gallery in 2002, this is the first comprehensive exhibition, which will, in a novel way, acquaint the audience with the oeuvre of one of the most interesting figures in Bulgarian art.
The exhibition includes over 300 artworks, whether paintings, drawings, graphic art, or applied art projects. It is a conceptually ambitious project aimed at presenting Tsanko Lavrenov’s art in its completeness and entirety—from his very early works to his final composition. Its realisation is achieved through a thorough examination of the personal archive of the artist, which is now available for publication for the first time. The rich documentary section is integrated with the pictorial material. The exhibition, based on a detailed study of Lavrenov’s biography, will reveal to the audience hitherto unknown aspects of the artist’s oeuvre. These include his first attempts at art dating back to his school years, and newly discovered works from his ‘modernist’ years with a focus on his formative period during his studies in Vienna (1920–1922). For the first time, Tsanko Lavrenov will also be presented in the context of the 1920s and 1930s, through his contacts with his close friends, the Plovdiv artists, such as Danail Dechev, Vitko Babakov, Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, Vasil Barakov, David Peretz, and Vladimir Rilski, whose works are also on display in the exhibition. Lavrenov’s artworks in the sphere of illustration and applied graphic art, unknown until now, are a veritable discovery. Visitors will also have the opportunity to once again remind themselves of familiar symbolic paintings, such as ‘The Old Plovdiv’ of 1930, which has not been displayed to the public for years. Other iconic exemplars include ‘Poet and Nature’, ‘Kurshum Inn in Plovdiv’, ‘Hilandar Monastery’, and ‘A Little Night Music in the Old Plovdiv’, among others.
‘Between the Modern and the Canon’ is an attempt to break the stereotypes in the concepts concerning the artist. Beyond the conservative image primarily associated with his paintings from the cycle, ‘The Old Plovdiv’, and the native theme, Tsanko Lavrenov is multifaceted in the various forms of his pursuit of the modern. Beyond the canon, which he created for himself in search of an original personal style, beyond the boundaries of the conception that modelled him, in search of an ‘art national in spirit’, he was always sensitive to the novel. His oeuvre, especially in the 1930s, represents a major contribution to the modern appearance of Bulgarian painting of the first half of the twentieth century.
The exhibition was organised by the National Art Gallery, the National History Museum, Sofia History Museum, the National Museum of Literature, Ancient Plovdiv Municipal Institute, Boris Georgiev Art Gallery – Varna, Hristo Tsokev Art Gallery – Gabrovo, Art Gallery – Kazanlak, Kiril Petrov Art Gallery – Montana, Iliya Petrov Art Gallery – Razgrad, Dimitar Dobrovich Art Gallery – Sliven, Art Gallery – Silistra, City Atanas Sharenkov Art Gallery – Haskovo, Faculty of Theology at Sofia University ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’, Art Gallery ‘Svetlin Rusev Donation Collection’ – Pleven, Allianz Bulgaria Collection, Dimitar Indjov Collection, and private collections.
After its showing in Sofia, the exhibition will be displayed at the Art Gallery – Plovdiv.
WHITE. WHITE. WHITE
12 May 2016 - 12 June 2016
The exhibition is among the events featured in the program of Sofia Paper Art Fest 2016. For the sixth consecutive year, the AMATERAS Foundation is presenting paper artworks at various galleries in Sofia. The motto of this year’s festival is “TRANSFORMATION IN PAPER”, which will be the common thread running through the various actions included in the event.
The SCAG exhibition presents paper artworks by Bulgarian and foreign artists whose efforts focused on the idea of the color white as a means of conveying visual effects, aesthetical suggestions and spiritual messages.
Paper is the favorite material of many artists who see its great potential for diversity of expression. Various techniques and treatment approaches reveal its potential for plasticity, change of volume and movement. Paper is tender, vulnerable and gentle, yet also rough, tough, hard. Multi-ply or transparent, of various texture, relief or shape, paper offers an endless variety of structures, spaces and states.
The color white which is a symbol of purity, spirituality and perfection is particularly expressive considering the specificity of paper. In contrast to the complicated and tense relations in today’s world, the exhibition introduces viewers to a world of gentle silence, an exquisite game, contemplation and spiritual realization.
Exhibition participants include Angiola Churchill, Margareta Mannervik, Jimmy Pulli, Ayako Abe-Miller, Daniela Todorova, Yoshio Hasegawa, Valentin Balev, Yuko Nishimura, Ina Damyanova, Ragnhildur Stefansdottir, Renata Girlero and Atanas Mihalchev.
The exhibition program also features a lecture by Galina Gerasimova on 19 May, a video lecture about the magic of the BUDO theater, and a performance on 25 May.
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