Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане

LES YEUX OUVERTS OPEN EYES Benetton celebrate their 40th anniversary with a photo exhibition

17 October 2006 - 03 November 2006


The current exposition is dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the trademark and includes its most famous advertising messages. 
There are presented more than a hundred photos which trace the major events in the history of the trademark – archival photographs, models who have posed for Benetton, social campaigns with the World Food Organization and one of the most outrageous advertising projects.

Atanas Jekov (1926-2006) Painting

12 October 2006 - 03 November 2006


The exhibition is dedicated to the artist’s 80th birthday and traces his long creative career with 70 paintings from different periods. 

Atanas Jekov is an artist with a style of his own. His feeling of color and form stayed with him throughout the years in his continual and unwavering quest for expression all of which made him a striking figure in Bulgarian art. His works are inspired by a reality that he experienced and combine analytical insight and in-depth expressive emotion. 

The eminent landscapist Atanas Jekov achieved expressiveness, force and depth in still-life and portrait too. His controlled talent of a painter combined with the temperamental sense of color and made his paintings an emotional confession to a rich and harmonious reality that vibrates with life, light and passion. 

It is mainly oil landscapes that were selected for the exhibition at the Sofia Art Gallery. The paintings reveal the discoveries and the artistic and human messages of the artist who passed away a short time ago. 


Atanas Jekov was born on 26 August 1926 in the town of Karnobat. He graduated in painting from the Art Academy in Sofia as a pupil of Prof. Iliya Petrov and Prof. Panayot Panayotov (1947–1953). Member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists (1953). Director of the Sofia City Art Gallery (1965–1972). Tutor at the Painting Department of the Art Academy (1972–1986).
His works were displayed in over 45 general art exhibitions and collective exhibitions, international exhibitions and pleinairs: Youth Festival in Bucharest (1953); Paris, Galerie Cherpantier (1963); Berlin (1967); Tokyo (1970); Szeczin (1972); Eisleben, Germany (1979) and other. He had more than 25 one-man exhibitions in and outside Bulgaria.
He organized an art gallery in his native town, Karnobat (1972) and donated 56 miniature paintings and graphic drawings to his native place in 1982 and 1996.
Awards for painting: the Award of the Union of Bulgarian Artists (1965); General Art Exhibition – Smolyan (1968); Honorary Sign of Szeczin (1972); Order Cyril and Methodius, first class (1967), and other.
His works are possessions of the National Art Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, ministries, museums and art galleries in and outside Bulgaria – in Poland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Greece, Japan and elsewhere.
He died in 2006 in Sofia.

Andrey Yanev Silent Light. A Journey to the Holy Mountain Atos

11 October 2006 - 03 November 2006

The idea behind the creation of Silent Light exhibition originated after Andrey Yanev’s journey to the Holy Mount of Athos as part of the New Bulgarian University project Mount Athos in Bulgarian Culture and Literature.

Andrey Yanev has symbolically divided the exposition into two parts. The water-colours present realistic landscapes which introduce the viewers to the geographic contours of the Holy Mount. The accent of Silent Light exhibition has been put on painting. Through it the author tries to convey in colour and images the spirit, the atmosphere and the power of the divine presence on Athos.

The current exhibition gives us the unique opportunity to experience the emotional and spiritual impact of Mount Athos. Let us “listen” to the silent light which pervades the artist’s canvasses and makes us look deep inside ourselves.

Andrei Yanev was born in Bourgas. He graduated from the National Art Academy in Mural Painting under Prof. Mito Ganovski. He also specialized in Artistic Enamel under Prof. Talaschuk at Vera Mihova Arts Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists.
Between 1992-2006 he has held over 25 one-man exhibitions in the country and abroad. He has taken part in a number of general exhibitions, contests and plenary exhibitions.
Works of his are to be found at the National Art Gallery in Sofia, SINAIDE GHI foundation in Rome, Italy and the art galleries of Balchik, Kavarna, Vratsa and others.



Jaap de Ruig - THE POWER OF IMPERFECTION With the kindness support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy Sofia and Mondriaan Foundation

20 September 2006 - 08 October 2006


Halfway his study at the Minerva Academy of Art in the north of Holland, Jaap de Ruig thought: ‘To hell with art.’ One morning he simply got up and left home, heading south. He ended up on a farm in France and stayed there for several years.

Later on he started to travel as a documentary photographer, together with his wife the Dutch writer Mariet Meester (www.marietmeester.nl). For nearly ten years they did not have a fixed adresss. Especially their journeys to Rumania, where they lived with the most impoverished gypsies, left deep marks on them.

In 1992 Jaap de Ruig decided to return to visual art, to be able to reflect on what he had seen while travelling. As he, during his time in France, had become very acqainted with the life of domestic animals, it was obvious that he would use the life and behaviour of animals as a metaphor for human behaviour.

Since 1998 video has become his main medium. During the year 2000 Jaap de Ruig gave himself the opportunity of making one small videofilm every week. He experimented in total freedom, not only challenging his ideas about life and art, but also the medium video itself. After one year 52 WEEKS had become a sequences of nearly two hours. In 2002 he finished a series of twenty-one new videos with the title We are Poetry.

Work of Jaap de Ruig has been shown on ARTE-tv (broadcasted in 34 countries), at the Film- and Videofestival of Kassel (Germany), and at the Museum Reina Sofia in Madrid (Spain), during Cine y casi cine. In November 2002 he was awarded the Premio New Art 2002 in Barcelona during the art festival New Art. He received the award for a series of ten videofilms with the title 10 Fingers. The work has become part of thecollection of the museum for contemporary art in Barcelona, the MACBA.

Screening Europe Tour - From October 2003 until October 2004 Jaap de Ruig and Mariët Meester made a big European tour. In about twenty-five art spaces in Eastern- and Western Europe Jaap de Ruig showed a selection of his videos.
The Power of Imperfection is a solo-exhibition with nine video-installations. Having started in Berlin (Dec.‘05 / Jan.‘06), the exhibition will slowly travel around Europe during the years 2006 and 2007. After Berlijn will follow Groningen, Riga, Tallinn, Skopje, Sofia, Barcelone, Milan and Lisbon.

The protagonists in the work of Jaap de Ruig are mainly animals or symbolized animals. We, as human beings, have a natural tendency to identify ourselves with an animal we are looking at. By using animal life De Ruig creates detours or metaphors to ask questions or make statements about human existence. Humour and aesthetics play a role in making unacceptable sides of life acceptable. Video-installations will dominate the exhibition in the Sofia Art Gallery.

The struggle, 1998
In a circle of light man and animal roll around and over each other, throwing each other to the left and to the right. The representative of humankind and the representative of nature fight endlessly. There will be no winner. The installation is about the struggle between man and nature, the struggle between man and man, and the struggle between man and his own inner nature.

Man, 1999
A spluttering little guy on the palm of a hand. Five maggots stuck together with crazy-glue and a small head made of cardboard. The end of one of the maggots functions as a protruding penis. It is a kind of Rorschachtest. What do you see on this video? Five bugs with a piece of cardboard? Or a vulnerable humanoid with the elasticity and motor skills of a baby? Are you an over-sentimental-not realistic-animal-rights-campaigner, or are you so numb that you find it just ‘amusing’? In fact you see living creatures trying to free themselves. And do you realize that the hand of their creator can close around them at any moment and crush them?

Caressing a dead animal, 1998/2006 - text
In his early twenties the artist lived on a farm. A crucial period in his life which helped him to overcome a severe depression. Thinking of that time he wrote down a list of chores he remembered well. Hundred and sixty sentences that start off beautiful small movies in his head. But in someone else’s head the play-back of these movies might be distorted. Words can only be a medium for transmitting images, when the reader has had similar experiences. ‘Caressing a dead animal? Horrible! You don’t do that.’ ‘Cutting away the chestnuts of a horse? What kind of nutty things are they?’

Nosotros y nosotros (we and we), 2003
In ‘nosotros and nosotros’ we see the left hand of the artist sliding carelessly through the water as if it is a fish. A whole shoal of fish appears. Suddenly right hand enters the water and catch some of the fish. Again the artist uses the life and behavior of animals as a metaphor for human existence. Man is like a snake biting its own tail. Fate depends heavily on random luck.

The power of imperfection, 2004
Hundreds of birds fly over a mountainous landscape. When some of the birds pass by at a closer distance, we realize they are made up by a hand. We realize too that those birds are doing something impossible; they are flying while having only one wing. ‘The power of imperfection’ deals with the incredible capacity of human beings to overcome handicaps, lack of material welfare and social disorder.

I want to be brave, 2004
A snail, made up by the two hands of the artist, climbs a tree. When the animal is out of sight it suddenly falls to the ground. But it courageously climbs up again.
‘I want to be brave’ implicates the desire to be courageous until death, as well as the impossibility and uselessness of the same.

The burden, 2005
‘The burden’ is an installation with two video-beamers. One beamer shows high on a wall a white open window. We see the artist standing behind it. He lifts a stone from the window-sill and drops it. Then a second beamer, which is pointed to the floor, takes over. In a circle of light the stone hits the floor. Uttering a loud grin, the stone wiggles and then comes to a standstill. The stone seems to contain the head of the artist.
‘The burden’ or should we say ‘Getting rid of the burden’ deals with the endless process in a human life of getting rid of mental imprints from his youth.

Merry-go-round, 2005
In ‘Merry-go-round’ dead geese are hanging on a swing. The geese are made up by a hand of the artist.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT Curators: Maria Vassileva and Daniela Radeva

16 September 2006 - 07 October 2006


Important Announcement is an exhibition showing works of contemporary Bulgarian art based on the use of text. The text first appeared in art in the late 60ies of the 20th century and is still actively implemented as a contextual and visual element even today. It is an essential part or an important emphasis in a number of works which highlight the historical development of Bulgarian art during the past fifteen years.

The exhibition presents 33 authors from several generations: Adelina Popnedeleva, Alla Georgieva, Boryana Dragoeva (Boryana Rossa), Valentin Stefanoff, Ventsislav Zankov, Veronika Tsekova, Georgi Rouzhev, Georgi Toushev, Dimitar Traichev, Elena Panayotova, Ivan Kiuranov, Ilian lalev, Ioan Kirilov, Kalin Plugchiev, Kalin Serapionov, Kiril Prashkov, Krasimir Dobrev, Krasimir Terziev, Kosta Tonev, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Maria Zafirkova, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Nedko Solakov, Nikolai Chakarov, Nina Kovacheva, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Samuil Stoyanov, Sasho Stoitsov, Silvia Lazarova, Stefan Nikolaev, Houben Cherkelov, Yuri Staikov. The common thing about their works is that they all incorporate the text into the image, the difference being in the ways it is used and the means of expression: painting, drawing, textile, object, photography, video, installation etc. The exhibits have been created during the last fifteen years and reveal the stages the use of the text has gone through as well as the various ways it has been applied in visual arts. 

For some of the works this is the first time they have been publicly displayed in Bulgaria. Some lost or destroyed works have been specially restored for the exhibition while others have been created for this particular occasion. The same space hosts considerable works of art like Nedko Solakov’s Announcement, which took part in the Venice Biennial in 1999, Georgi Rouzhev’s Self-portrait over the German Anarchist’s Manifest Concerning the East-European Issues, Istanbul, 1992, Kiril Prashkov’s Speaking Cobblestones, which was shown at the In the Gorges of the Balkans exhibition in Kassel, 2003 and others. New works exploiting the text have been created by young artists Kosta Tonev, Samouil Stoyanov and Yuri Staikov.

A special catalogue including 150 works by 35 artists created between 1987 and 2006 has been printed for the occasion. The edition contains exhaustive information about all published works and represents an important document on the history of Bulgarian contemporary art.

The exhibition and the catalogue have been made possible through the kind support and co-operation of the Debut Projects in the Field of Contemporary Art Fund, Interspace Media Art Centre, Petko Churchuliev Art Gallery, Dimitrovgrad, Xella Bulgaria Ltd., Obitech, Sign Café. 

Roumen Gasharov Painting

14 September 2006 - 12 October 2006


Roumen Gasharov is related to some of the most interesting processes that have taken place in Bulgarian arts in the last several decades. The present exhibition is dedicated to his 70th anniversary and encompasses paintings from all periods of his creative career. 

With his canvases, whose major topic is man and his daily routine, Gasharov is constantly challenging the audience and the critics. The ordinary artifacts of everyday life acquire the nature of a tool the author employs to create the modern folklore of an urban type. This ‘tangible’ arsenal Gasharov fits into his oil paintings and collages due to his inherent feeling for the grotesque and the ironic. Pieces of embroidery and lace, fluttering angels and showy shooting galleries, leaflets and newspaper pieces all combine to give rise to the Bulgarian type of pop-art. The markedly naive manner the artist employs has developed into a subtle artistic style. The lyricism his personages invoke, contrary to the expectations, stem from the banal, the kitsch and all that is very close to the manner of the daily routine. The freshness in Gasharov’s canvases comes from the artist’s subtle understanding of man, his feeling for the human soul and his ability to recreate in a concise manner the specific moments of the mass culture that have revealed most vividly throughout the years man and man’s daily life. The artist’s credo: „I love simple beauty and ordinary things”, goes hand in hand with the graceful culture of artistic expression. 

Of special interest is the cycle of paintings on topics from Sofia – landscapes, compositions with figures, etc. The author recreates the spirit of the time, imprinting the urban atmosphere in a not too remote past. 

The pictures are the ownership of the Sofia Art Gallery, The National Art Gallery, House of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo, the National Palace of Culture, the Art Galleries in Sliven, Veliko Tarnovo and Smolyan, and the author himself. 

CENTRAL New Art from New Europe

30 June 2006 - 22 July 2006


Twenty four artists from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, Hungary and the Czech Republic are presented in an unusual traveling exhibition. Paintings, videos, objects, installations and prints are gathered into a collection to show the new face of Europe. 

At a time when Europe is witnessing the birth of its new history, the recourse to the creative sources of different countries is an opportunity for extending the dialogue. The sponsors of the exhibition – Siemens and HVB Bank Biochim together with Gallery Hilger, Viena – are interested in talented people in all European countries regardless of whether these countries are members of the European Union or not. The creative energy transgresses any political, economic and geographic boundaries. It is in the unification of this creativity that the partners of Siemens and HVB Bank Biochim see the opportunity for an active dialogue between neighbouring countries and the reconsidering of values, which is one of the challenges we all have to face. The common language of art is going to help people grasp the meaning behind the idea of “united Europe”.

The project CENTRAL. New Art from New Europe gives the chance to young authors from several European countries to present their works to a diverse audience. The exhibition is constantly evolving, renewing and adapting itself to the particular surroundings. So far it has been shown in different cities of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia.

The end of the exhibition is going to be celebrated with a concert of scholarship students from the “International Summer Academy Prague – Vienna – Budapest”, which is an educational institution for young musicians at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts. 

RUMEN SKORCHEV painting and drawing

07 June 2006 - 09 July 2006


Rumen Skorchev is among the artists whose name is of great significance for the contemporary Bulgarian graphics and illustration. Having graduated in Landscape Architecture from the University of Forestry in 1957 and then Illustration from the Sofia Art Academy in 1964, Rumen Skorchev made an immediate breakthrough into the artistic life of Bulgaria. Several generations have grown up with his book illustrations, which makes him well-known and loved by the Bulgarian public. The artist is equally popular outside the country. Since 1969 he has taken part in numerous international biennials and representative expositions of illustrations, graphics, drawings and paintings.

The current exhibition at Sofia Art Gallery comprises of paintings and drawings created during the last years. The exposition allows for the representation of Skorchev’s concept through the expressive means of painting.

The drawings are characterized by the spontaneity of the creative process. Executed in ecstatic plastic lines, they convey dynamics showing supreme mastery of form.

In his paintings Rumen Skorchev poses the question of tradition and succession. He dwells on some eternal issues of humanity as well as mythological and historic subjects interpreted in a symbolic way through association and metaphor. His paintings combine bright colours, contrast and a semantically loaded composition. Furthermore, they exemplify the transition of the author from graphics to painting and the continuity of his creative explorations. On the whole the exposition shows the transformations in Rumen Skorchev’s plastic concept along the way from graphics to painting through the colourful vivacity and the multi-varied line of the drawing.

Curator of the exhibition: Daniela Chulova

Pavlin Kotsev painting

01 June 2006 - 22 June 2006


“ …… Pavlin Kotsev paints from life. 
His colours are rich and the form is solidly shaped… 
His interests are directed towards the spiritual atmosphere inherent in each of his works.” 
Prof. Dr. Valentin Angelov

The current exposition includes paintings created over the past few years. The exhibition is dedicated to the author’s 70th birthday anniversary.

Pavlin Kotsev is one of the most eminent representatives of contemporary Bulgarian realism. Drawing from his poetic inspiration, he has been praising the beauty of his native village of Tipchenitsa for years on end. It has virtually become a never exhausting source of subject matter for the painter.

Being in love with people, the earth, the sea and the sky, Pavlin Kotsev tries to embody them in his paintings as a symbol of the throbbing life. The painter lets the viewers into his rich artistic world. His paintings evoke hidden feelings making people gasp at the beauty and glory of nature and remember their spiritual identity.

Pavlin Kotsev was born on 13th July 1936 in the village of Tipchenitsa near Montana. He graduated in graphic art from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia under Professor Vesselin Staikov and Professor Evtim Tomov. In 1974 he specialized in Paris. He visited Venice and Florence. In 1982 he continued his education in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. The painter has had 14 one-man exhibitions so far. Works of his are among the possessions of the National Art Gallery, Sofia Art Gallery, almost every art gallery around the country, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, Alois Englander’s collection, Vienna, private collections in France, Belgium, Germany, Cyprus etc. He lives and works in Sofia.

MEETING POINT Borjana Ventzislavova. It Was Always Dark Outside

31 May 2006 - 02 July 2006


"It Was Always Dark Outside" - a project which presents a social problem through the means of art - a project about women who have become victims of human traffic from East Europe - a global industry based on human bodies -a theme neglected for a long time by the official authorities in our country -without a real or at least an adequate reaction from the society - on the contrary - rather a conflict with the stereotypes of (post-)patriarchic way of thinking - woman as a scapegoat of her own... light-mindedness?

Why is such a project to be presented in Bulgaria - just because a lot of the victims come from here but it is quite less known about them in their native country - whereas the region has become popular with that kind of commodity in west Europe where the project itself has been created.

The idea originating as a diploma work by Borjana Ventzislavova at the university of applied arts, Vienna - the author initiates a research which results as a multimedia installation - the conversations, meetings and affiliation with the women distressed provoke a number of interviews, photographies and video representing the real life - the one which goes on behind fresh make up, velvet curtains, red lanterns...

Jana Kostova
Curator of the project

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