Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане

Exhibition opening: October 3, 2007, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

03 October 2007 - 04 November 2007

“In search of history” is an exhibition of portraits, photographs and documents of Ms. Vaska Emanouilova, which is the first event in the exhibition programme of the “Vaska Emanouilova” Gallery.

In the exhibition are presented portraits of the sculpress by Stoyan Venev, Nenko Balkanski, Karl Yordanov, Alexander Stamenov, Lyuba Palikareva, Svetlin Rousev, etc., as well as photographs from various periods of her life that have never been on exhibit before. The portrait itself is viewed as a special record of time providing information not only about the diversity of artistic styles, but also about the topics and issues that artists consider to be of importance in the time they live in.

The documentary material provides the connection between definite phases, interests and artistic means the sculptress went through highlighting the most prominent features of her art, namely her pronounced interest in portraits during the 1930’s, her social convictions demonstrated in her sculptures of the 1940’s and the 1950’s, her interest in the naked body demonstared in both her sculptures and paintings, the compositional closeness employed in sculpting social, mythological and erotic figures, etc. 

The presentation of Vaska Emanouilova’s artistic biography with portraits, photographs, sculptures and paintings provides insight into various stages of the Bulgarian art tradition. The sculptress starts her career as a member of the Soiety of the New, then she becomes a member of the Society of Independent Artists, whose ideas were reformatory, she also participates in some of the first female artist exhibitions, in most of the Union of Bulgarian Artists exhibitions and also in exhibitions abroad. The exhibition is a chronological account of the said events telling the life story of the artist while focusing on details such as the artist’s working environment, her fellow artists, the atmosphere of conversations and meetings. All those details help reconstruct historical events and provide insight into the artist’s individual search for a specific aesthetic approach.

Finding history through details is provocative, as it aims to inspire various research approaches, as well as to trigger various initiatives related to the collection, systematising and archival processing of documentary material, which would expand and supplement the collection of the sculptress’s works left by her to the Sofia City Art Gallery in 1985. Thus the history of Vaska Emanouilova’s public collection, which starts in 1984 with the opening of the permanent exhibition on “Shesti Septemvri” Str., reaches a stage when it is necessary to find a new venue for the exhibition, and continues with the serach for new times, contexts and stories to describe the works of the sculptress. This would in turn help give an idea of the development of a whole period of the history of Bulgarian art, a period that has contributed to the formation of our tradition and heritage. 

„In search of history” is an open-ended exhibition from the standpoint of researcher curiosity, as well as from the perspective of history itself, as the “Vaska Emanouilova” Gallery will keep contributing to history pursuing an exhibition policy that promotes the works of young artists under the “Meeting point” initiative. 

DYNAMICS IN THE DIALOGUE The first exhibition 30 years later

27 September 2007 - 20 January 2008

After being founded by the mayor of the capital General Vladimir Vazov in 1928 Sofia Art Gallery went through many stages. It became a separate museum in 1952 but got its own space in the building at №1 Gourko Str. only 21 years later in 1973. 

The gallery opened its doors in 1977. At that time the necessary architectural reconstructions took place and the exhibition halls and storage rooms were completed. The first exposition of the museum was also in the process of preparation. Turning a small gathering of pictures into a considerable collection had taken a long time. In the mid-seventies it already amounted to 2607 works distributed into three departments – Paintings, Graphic and Sculpture. These works have remained the founding pillar of the museum. The 1977 exhibition included some emblematic works for the history of Bulgarian art from the period between the 20ies and the 80ies of the 20th century. In the course of several years it was only this exposition that was being renewed and enriched.

Recreating the spirit of the “first one” and celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of its inauguration has the ambition to go beyond being just one of the regular exhibitions in the history of Sofia Art Gallery. We hope that it will become a territory where different generations can conduct a dialogue. We will be glad if it further contributes to an adequate analysis of the development of Bulgarian art. 

In his speech at the inauguration ceremony on 1st November, 1977 the then current director Atanas Neikov said: ‘The gallery is not going to condemn to a “museum confinement” the works of art it possesses provided that it renews its exposition, constantly enriches its fund, searches for problematic works and recognizes the new phenomena in the vigorous development of our art.’ Unfortunately this outspoken confidence in the development of the museum has been confirmed only to some extent. Since the 80ies the funds have been complemented only by donations and the important process of buying works of art significant for the development of Bulgarian art has been interrupted. It is only this current 2007 that some changes have occurred, which make us believe that what has been missed for the last 18 years will be made up for. 

Adelina Fileva


30 August 2007 - 30 September 2007

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)

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Vaska Emanuilova Gallery