Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане

#comment #fiction #document

12 March 2019 - 14 April 2019

Olivier Bardin, Mariana Vassileva, Daniela Kostova, Cvetan Krastev,
 Kiril Kuzmanov, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Ivan Moudov, Adelina Popnedeleva,     Rassim, Kalin Serapionov, Nedko Solakov, Kamen Stoyanov, Krassimir Terziev

The exhibition comprises a selection of video art works from the collection of Sofia City Art Gallery commenting on contemporary social issues which have been valid for the Bulgarian society in the recent years.  

One of the contributions of Sofia City Art Gallery to the contemporary art in our country is the possession of over fifty videos, acquired between 2008 and 2018, which makes it the richest public collection of contemporary video art in Bulgaria. The aim of the exhibition is to explore the contents of this collection, as it in itself is a reflection of the themes on which the artists have worked from the 1990s to date. Despite the large variety, the critical view on the contemporaneity, which is also the connection between the exhibited works, has proved to be dominating.

Some of them are concerned with the so-called ‘institutional critique’ – one of the main means of expression in art, defining works of art which directly comment on the art institutions. Others are oriented towards politics, economy, culture, mentality, advertising, urban environment – everything that forms the notion of “modern life”. The principle of the selection was also guided by the presence of a narrative as it can be claimed that all works tell specific stories. Typically of video art, and unlike the cinema and television, for example, these stories can reproduce in a documentary manner real-life cases or contain artistic fictions. Moreover, artists do cross the line between these two sometimes. They may deliberately simulate documentality or provoke doubt about the reliability.

The exhibition is kindly supported by Goethe-Institut.


28 February 2019 - 07 April 2019


The exhibition is an outcome of years-long research of the work of Nikolay Raynov, one of the most prominent figures on the Bulgarian art scene during the first half of the twentieth century. He earned fame mostly through his literary and journalistic work. He also went down in history as the author of the first history of art in Bulgarian, and the author of one of the first monographs on Bulgarian art. He graduated from the School of Art and Industry, Sofia, in 1919. He defined himself throughout his whole life as an artist and decorator: he created a considerable body of work belonging to the genres of illustration and book design, also completing numerous decoration projects. Yet his signature works, recognized as his most unique and distinguishable, are his stylized paintings created during the 1920’s and 1930’s. These paintings set him apart as an extraordinary phenomenon of the Bulgarian art scene during this period making references to the philosophical system that provides the foundation for all of his work. Each of Nikolay Raynov’s works, from the most insignificant drawing through to his theoretical works, constitutes a fragment of this elaborate structure. Some of his decorative compositions are complemented by an explanation of the theme, yet all of them reveal Nikolay Raynov’s astonishing erudition and multifaceted interests spanning the fields of philosophy, religious history, ethnography, physics, botany, astrology, chemistry, etc.


The exhibition features more than 120 works by Nikolay Raynov divided into two groups. The exhibition is an attempt to look at the artist’s legacy from key vantage points through texts, decorative nature paintings, graphic compositions and illustrations. The exhibition presents early works of the artist from his time as an undergraduate student at the State School of Drawing (1909-1911); more mature works created during the 1920’s; engravings created during his visit to Paris (1925-1927), and decorative landscapes from the 1930’s, including landscapes with lacquer paints on foil, a technique unique to Raynov as far as the Bulgarian context is concerned. The exhibition also features nature drawings whose media include India ink, tempera, colored pencils, and watercolor. They reveal an unresearched aspect of Nikolay Raynov’s work related to the process of stylization.

Works included in the exhibition were provided by the National Gallery of Art, Plovdiv City Art Gallery, Dimitar Dobrovich Sliven City Art Gallery,  Vladimir Dimitrov the Master Kyustendil City Art Gallery, Museum at the National Academy of Arts, Svetlin Rusev Donation-Collection, city of Pleven, National Museum of Literature,  Archives State Agency, Nuance Gallery, Sofia, Philippopolis Gallery, Plovdiv, Bulgarian Art Collection Foundation, art collectors Boyan Radev, Vladimir Iliev, Ivo Dimitrov, Ventsislav Kadiev, Dimitar Indzhov, Fitsov Collection, and other individuals.

The exhibition includes screenings of the films Nikolay Raynov, 1984, writer: Alexander Beshkov, director: Mihail Soykov, and Nikolay Raynov, Tobacco Man, 1989, director: Hristo Valev, writer: Darin Kambov, both provided by the Bulgarian National Television.


Curators: Stanislava Nikolova, Galina Dekova

Exhibition design: Svetla Georgieva

Exhibition catalogue in Bulgarian and English is available.

Exhibition-related events at the Sofia City Art Gallery:

14 March: Lecture by Maria Miteva, Ph. D., senior assistant professor, Institute of Art Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Nikolay Raynov. On Applied Art.


21 March: Lecture by Prof. Svetlana Stoycheva, Ph. D., Krastyo Sarafov National Academy for Theater and Film Arts. Nikolay Raynov, Portrait of the Artist.


28.03. Lecture by Prof. Ivanka Raynova, Ph. D., Institute for the Study of Society and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Spiritual Aspect of Nikolay Raynov’s Study of Art and his Painting.


3 April, 2019: Jubilee Research Conference commemorating the 130th anniversary of Nikolay Raynov’s Birth organized by the Institute for Literature, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Events hosted by other institutions:

9 - 10 May, 2019: Philosophy, Art, Literature International Conference commemorating the 130th anniversary of Nikolay Raynov’s Birth and the 100th anniversary of Bogomil Raynov’s Birth  organized by the Bulgarian Philosophical Society, Institute for the Study of Society and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, etc. hosted by the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski


01 February 2019 - 03 March 2019

Borjana Ventzislavova captures the immersion in the game with the somewhat forgotten games from the recent past. The exhibition Real Games is motivated by the artist’s desire to bring to mind the experience and the memories of her generation of the entertainment outdoors with live games, sometimes with simple or self-made toys.


The five-channel video installation shows already grown-up children invited to continue the game of paper blowgun darts or the game of elastics. The protagonists are people of various walks of life invited to play a role by taking part in an enjoyable reenactment, remembering their childhood and the very game with its rules at the same time. In the situations provoked by Borjana Ventzislavova, the participants play while being themselves, in their role of working adults.


The games played in the video installation are linked to the memories of the generations that grew up in the 80s. Team games, in addition to requiring physical presence and contact, unlike the static screen experience, provoke jubilation and certain theatricality, highlighted in Borjana Ventzislavova’s videos by the appearance of the adult players.


The players in the situations staged in the video installation are children and adults, serious and incredulous at the same time, players in their own manner and their own life and playing in someone’s political ambition, who can always give their credit of trust to the game so that it will come off or the other way round, it will lose its magic and end. It is namely those various aspects and meta-levels of the “Games of Fate” that the artist covers in the exhibition Real Games through various types of media such as video, photography, text and objects.


Borjana Ventzislavova often considers the social transformations that concern individual groups of today’s society. Her characters are real people, whom the artist puts in a situation or an environment which reveals the discrepancies between personal expectations and reality, arising namely from the paradoxes of the modern world.


Curator: Vera Mlechevska




Vladimir Mishaykov, Georgi Petrov, Doychin Kotlarov, Linda Ruseva, Martina Staneva - Antonova, Sava Bobchev, Garo Ashikyan, Yana Georgieva

cinematographer: Petko Lungov

sound: Veselin Zografov, Stefan Pashaliyski

assistant producer: Elena Radeva




The exhibition is realised with the kind support of the Austrian Embassy in Sofia and the Arts and Culture division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria.



About Borjana Ventzislavova:


Borjana Ventzislavova is an interdisciplinary artist who works in the field of photography, film/video, installations, performance and media art. Her works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions and included in numerous media and film festivals. She has received a number of awards, recognitions and scholarships. In 2017, she was presented with Vienna’s Fine Arts Award, in 2013 – the Austrian state scholarship for fine arts, 2009 – start scholarship, 2006 – the award of the film festival in Cologne, awards for art from Sussman Stiftung, Otto Putscher fund, etc. She was a resident artist at Banff/Canada (Banff Centre), Athens (Snehta), London (ACF), Rome (BKA), Newcastle (ISIS Arts), Berkeley (CEC Artslink), Los Angeles (MAK Schindler), Chicago (BKA), and in 2019 she will be in New York. Her works have been included in a number of private and public collections.


Borjana lives and works in Vienna and Sofia. She gained her MA in Visual Media Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 2017 she was granted honorable Austrian citizenship for her achievements in the visual arts.


18 January 2019 - 28 February 2019

The backstory of Ivan Paskalev’s exhibition at 0GMS-cabinet started in Munich. Under the working title Prototype, he embarked on a new piece which marked a change in his work so far. The artist’s work from 2003 to date can be described as a continuous experiment with the generation and occurrence of the image, and also with the methods of its perception when the visual reality of our environment is juxtaposed to that projected from technological devices. He puts the visible and the invisible, the real and virtual on one level. Unlike many others, he does not make use of the latest technologies as an end in themselves, but is always tempted to walk the borderline between science and magic. In his earlier works, he studied for a long time the capacity of one type of monitors – he literally disassembled them and sabotaged their core function, their capacity to reproduce pictures. After that, with the parts of the disassembled monitors he created moving installations, which featured the functions of video and sculpture at the same time. With one of these works, he won the award for videoart at the second VIDEODOX biennial in Bavaria in 2017.

Ivan Paskalev’s images are not directly narrative. They oscillate between the abstraction and the objects from the contemporary visual environment. However, the narrative emerges between the meaning of what one sees and what one understands. The meaning of the visual fragments corresponds to that of the very form of expression. In Prototype, the new method of generation of pictures, just like the previous one, is almost impossible to be reproduced or documented. It depends entirely on the viewer’s attendance. In accordance with the area of 0GMS-cabinet, the exhibition is formed in a way that it comments on the ideas of the visible and the invisible, of concealing and revealing, of full and empty, of appearance and disappearance. The motion in the opening and closing of the four layers changes the image, or more precisely creates infinitely many images. The viewer, however, has to participate and model them by him or herself. Frankenstein will not jump out of the open cabinet, but it is possible that recognisable objects appear in the abstract forms. Everything depends on how the drawers are handled.

Ivan Paskalev was born in 1980 in Sofia. In 2011, he competed a degree in Fine Arts and Art History at LMU, Munich. From 2010 to 2013, he was a co-organising partner of VLKV, Vlaykova Club, Sofia. In 2014, he was a research associate in the Digital Visualisation Concepts project of Art Education Institute LMU and eUnivercity LMU, Munich. In 2011, he participated in the K-R-T creative residency in Krakow, Poland. In 2003, he joined the Volksmop Royal video art collective. In 2004, he participated in Double Feature at ZKMax, Munich; Bubu Nation project of Aiko Okamoto (2006-2008); Sofia Spionage, PLATFORM3, Munich (2009); Vice Photo Tour, Bulgaria (2009). In 2014, his solo exhibition WIN-WIN-DOWSE was held at DotDotCommaArt, Munich. Auf Papier, KARL PFEFFERLE gallery, Munich (2016). In 2017, won the award for videoart at the second VIDEODOX biennial in Bavaria, Galerie der Künstler BBK, Munich. In 2018, with his work futuro chaos he participated in an exhibition dedicate to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Futuro House by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, at Pinakothek der Moderne, Die Neue Sammlung, Munich. Prototype is Ivan Paskalev’s first official solo exhibition in Sofia.


13 November 2018 - 10 February 2019

         The Our Painting in New Directions exhibition presents one trend in the development of Bulgarian art during the first half of the 20th century. During the 1930’s and 1940’s, artists turned their attention to nature, reality and modern life. Certain genres (still life, landscape painting, portrait) gained considerable popularity, while style gravitated towards realist means of artistic expression. These processes took place on our art scene in unison with European trends that were introduced in Bulgaria mainly by Bulgarian artists who completed their studies abroad. Their works reveal various influences, one of which is the influence of the New Objectivity movement which arose in Weimar Germany. Yet New Objectivity was hardly a prominent well-established trend in Bulgarian art during the 1930’s and 1940’s. The German movement’s most distinguished representative in Bulgaria was Cyril Tsonev. New Objectivity was most frequently used as a stylistic solution as reveled in individual motifs and artworks by various artists who demonstrated their social involvement and interest in a new lifestyle associated with the modern city and the conditions and entertainment it offered. For this reason, it is mostly reflections of New Objectivity that artworks reveal, and since it made its way to an area on the periphery of the European art scene, these reflections are characterized by peculiar uniqueness.

            The exhibition was developed along four thematic lines, namely The New Life of Objects, The Modern City, The Landscape, Faces of the City. The exhibition features works by better known artists such as Cyril Tsonev, Boris Eliseev, Vera Nedkova, Vasil Barakov, as well as lesser-known ones like Asen Vasilev, Todorka Burova, Karl Yordanov, Asen Dochev. The exhibition presents more than a hundred artworks, two of which have not been shown or published before. It also features little known artworks.

Artworks included in the exhibition belong to the permanent collections of the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, other Bulgarian galleries, as well as to private collectors. Research consultant for the exhibition is Prof. Krasimira Koeva. An exhibition catalogue is available alongside a program featuring thematic lectures and meetings with curators providing  opportunities for more in-depth exploration of individual themes of the exhibition.

Curators: Neda Zhivkova, Lyuben Domozetski


06 November 2018 - 09 December 2018

The first Arnold Newman retrospective in Bulgaria will expose 55 original works. Arnold Newman (1918-2006) is widely renowned for pioneering and popularizing the environmental portrait. With his method of portraiture, he placed his sitters in surroundings representative of their professions, aiming to capture the essence of an individual’s life and work. Though this approach is commonplace today, his technique was highly unconventional in the 1930s when began shooting his subjects as such. He is also known for his carefully composed, abstract still lifes. He dedicates 70 years of his life to photography and seals the history of the century, creating an innovative approach to portraiture - "environmental portraiture", by taking the model out of the sterile world of the studio.His environmental approach to portraiture was influenced by symbolism and impressionism, and defined by the imperative of captivating the viewer no matter how well known the subject was. While he specialized in photographing artists, Newman captured the likeness of a vast range of figures, from athletes and actors to presidents and politicians. Among his many sitters, Newman’s impressive roster of subjects includes: Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, Audrey Hepburn, Igor Stravinsky, Salvador Dali, Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

 Newman was an important contributor to publications such as the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Life, Look, Holiday, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Town & Country, Scientific American, New York Times Magazine, and many others. In addition to numerous monographs, he contributed photographs to countless histories of photography, catalogues, articles and television programs throughout his career. Newman was the recipient of awards including the American Society of Media Photographers, The Lucie Award, The Royal Photographic Society Centenary Award as well as France’s “Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.” In 2005, Photo District News named Newman as one of the 25 most influential living photographers. In 2006, Newman was awarded The Gold Medal for Photography by The National Arts Club. He is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the country and the world. 

Masters of Photography – 10th Anniversary Edition is organised by MUSIZ Foundation, America for Bulgaria Foundation, in partnership with VIVACOM, Sofia City Art Gallery, supported by Sofia Municipality. The exhibition is in collaboration with The Arnold & Augusta Newman Foundation and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY.




25 September 2018 - 28 October 2018

In commemoration of the 120th anniversary of artist Alexander Dobrinov’s birth, the Sofia City Art Gallery is opening a retrospective exhibition of cartoons and caricatures drawn by the artist over the period 1915 - 1958.

Dobrinov created hundreds of political and socially conscious cartoons and compositions, leaving behind a voluminous legacy of incredible portraits of entire generations. Were it not for Dobrinov’s art, these images of poets, musicians, singers, authors, actors, art critics, philosophers, and politicians would have remained hidden behind their occupations and professional accomplishments.

In the 1930’s, art critic Emanuil Popdimitrov gave a foresightful account of Alexander Dobrinov’s past and current presence in Bulgarian art, writing: “Besides being satirical in character, Alexander Dobrinov’s cartoons have a purely aesthetic effect produced by the beauty of lines and the subtlety of watercolor. This is supplemented by the joy of likeness to the model. Because viewers of today take pleasure in solving the riddle, in recognizing the model, while admiring the artist’s ability to accomplish likeness regardless of the significant change in facial features presented by the drawing. This concerns viewers of today alone. Many of these cartoons will also be admired by those who will not be familiar with the models. And this is what the true art of portrait caricature is all about: to have a life of its own apart from the model. And this is how it is going to be for Alexander Dobrinov’s cartoons.“[1]

Today, there are fewer and fewer witnesses to the age presented by the artist. What we are left with are facts, events, archives, libraries, and the artist’s works dispersed among various newspapers, magazines, galleries, museums and private collections around Bulgaria, and throughout the world. This exhibition features more than 200 cartoons and portrait caricatures belonging to the permanent collections of the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the National Museum of Literature, and the artist’s family.

An exhibition catalogue is available presenting works from Bulgarian collections, as well as, for the first time ever, works belonging to the permanent collections of the Gallery of Fine Art in Ostrava and the Gallery of Modern Art in Hradec Králové, the Czech Republic.




21 September 2018 - 04 November 2018

The Eliezer Alcheh and "Aesthetics of Disgrace" project focuses on the past, more specifically on that segment of the past stretching between the dates of birth and death of artist Eliezer Alshekh, namely the time between the years of 1908 and 1983. Drawing on Ruzha Marinska’s study of the artist’s work, as well as on the knowledge acquired by Rumyana Konstantinova during the preparation of the large retrospective exhibition organized in 2008 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth at the National Art Gallery in Sofia, today, ten years later, the curators of the exhibition hosted by the Sofia City Art Gallery, namely Plamen V. Petrov, Ramona Dimova, Natasha Noeva, and Nikoleta Gologanova, offer their own perspective on the artist’s past. Memories of him, documents shedding light on his personal life and professional career, and the substantial body of his work are finally being transformed into history, which helps put things in perspective. The past is rendered into a story, which does not constitute a mere succession of dates and events, but rather a narrative that could not only be read through, but also lived through and made sense of.

Death projects its brutal and necessary separation on every nook and cranny of our lives“, wrote philosopher Jeanne Hersch in her essay From Exile to Farewell. Alshekh’s separation from Bulgaria happened in the distant year of 1928, when the Bulgarian national with Jewish blood running in his veins set off on a journey to Munich. In the decades to follow, he would live the life of a rover, a stranger until his last breath, whose work, overshadowed by labor camps, would be branded formalistic and disregarded because of that. Yes, Bulgaria and Eliezer Alshekh parted a good 90 years ago. Yet it is this separation that defines his notable and unique place in the history of Bulgarian art. The Eliezer Alcheh and "Aesthetics of Disgrace" exhibition tells the story of his earning this special recognition. The exhibition centerpiece is his 1960’s work Port by Night, a painting considered to be one of the peaks of his artistic career. The canvas will be shipped from Buenos Aires exclusively for the exhibition together with other works of the artist that have not been exhibited or published before. Featured among them are Alshekh’s first artistic attempts.

Also, the exhibition prompted the collation of a printed edition featuring the contents of the exhibition, including pictures of the artworks included and the entire volume of newly found documents providing evidence and facts about the artist that have not been published before, as well as already familiar papers by renowned Bulgarian researchers. To help shed light on the historical context of the artist’s personal life and professional career, the exhibition team asked prominent researchers such as Prof. Eugenia Kalinova, Ph. D., Rumyana Marinova-Hristidi, Ph. D., Assoc. Prof., and Alexander Sivilov, Ph. D., Assoc. Prof., to contribute research papers to the edition.

The exhibition features artworks belonging to the permanent collections of the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, Sofia, the Ruse City Art Gallery, Boris Denev Veliko Tarnovo City Art Gallery, Iliya Beshkov Pleven City Art Gallery, the Kazanlak City Art Gallery, Dimitar Dobrovich Sliven City Art Gallery, the Stara Zagora City Art Gallery, the Plovdiv City Art Gallery, the City of Vratsa Museum of Regional History. Also featured are paintings from numerous private collections.

The project is brought to life in official partnership with the Faculty of History of the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in the Republic of Bulgaria, and the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria Shalom.

The exhibition is organized with the patronage of His Excellency Alberto A. M. Trueba, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Argentine Republic to the Republic of Bulgaria

Exhibition of the nominated artists for the modern art Baza award:

17 July 2018 - 12 August 2018

The eleventh edition of the most prestigious competition for young artists in Bulgaria will be held in 2018. BAZA is part of the Young Visual Artists Awards international network (YVAA) in different countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It was established in 1990 and managed by International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York (by 2014) and by Residency Unlimited (RU), New York (since 2015). Bulgaria joined the network in 2008 upon the initiative of Maria Vassileva, and the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia was chosen as a partner to organize the award provides the competition management.

The exhibition of the nominated artists is traditionally held in the Sofia City Art Gallery. From 2018 the Edmond Demirdjian Foundation has joined the organisation of the award. When Bulgaria joined initially the YVAA Network, the award was a stipend and a six-month residence in New York; from 2015 the duration of the residence has been extended with two months. During the residence in New York, the BAZA laureate artist enjoys a rich programme of visits to galleries and institutions, professional and artistic meetings and presentations of the artist’s works. More information about the history and work of the Young Visual Artists Awards international network is available at the updated website https://www.yvaawards.org/.


For 2018 the BAZA jury members are: Boshko Boskovic (program director of Residency Unlimited, New York), Karina Kottova (curator), Vladiya Mihaylova (curator), Vera Mlechevska (curator), Stefka Tsaneva (curator). 

The BAZA award winners so far are: Rada Boukova (2008), Samuil Stoyanov (2009), Anton Terziev (2010), Vikenti Komitski (2011), Leda Ekimova (2012), Kiril Kuzmanov (2013), Zoran Georgiev (2014), Alexandra Chaushova (2015), Dimitar Shopov (2016) and Martina Vacheva (2017).

The BAZA award winner for 2018 is Martin Penev.

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