Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане

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

Tristan Jeanne-Vals. Phnix

25 May 2006 - 02 July 2006


In October 2000 the myth of the Phoenix, loaded with the cultural diversity of different epochs and being a solar symbol, an emblem of resurrection and a synonym of transformation, became the subject of a three day discussion conference at the University of Caen, Lower Normandy. The building itself, having been destroyed during the bomb raids over the town in 1944, was reconstructed and officially opened in 1957 with a bronze sculpture representing the legendary bird. Willing to elaborate on the topic, the Regional Council of Lower Normandy asked Tristan Jeanne Vales to give it visual interpretation. The author presented his idea of transformation and the eternal rebirth and revival of spirit and matter in 32 large-scale black-and-white photographs, which are the subject of the current exhibition.
Grouped in four cycles, the works touch upon the idea of the Phoenix as a conversation with time, a communication with the subtle yet powerful movements of nature and an intricate game between the transient and the eternal.

The Traces and Time series, shot mainly in Iceland and Normandy, represent a poetic “listening to” the natural forms. Fascinated by the water and stone playing and the moving forms of clouds and ice, the photographer conveys the feeling of flooding foaming nature which is constantly revitalizing. Counterpoint to the above, the Oxymoron and Take Off series lead to an anthropomorphic interpretation of the universe. In the first one, which was co-authored by Izabelle Le Guern, Tristan Jeanne-Vales interweaves some personal symbols to achieve an exciting male-female diffusion, a unity of incompatibilities and a harmony of oppositions. In the Take Off series the author pays tribute to the flaming bird through the gracious body of the dancer Blanca Lee looking for ritual in movement which brings him to the idea of flying.

The exhibition of Tristan Jeanne-Vales is part of the events held concurrently with the Bulgaria – a Land of Europe festival in France. From May 2nd to June 9th, more than thirty towns in Normandy and Paris itself will be the venue of dozens of exhibitions, concerts, literary readings and theatrical workshops aiming at presenting Bulgarian contemporary culture to the French audience. 

The events to take place in Sofia are organized by the Balkan Transit association, the French Association for Artistic Activities and the Regional Council of Lower Normandy with the substantial support of the French Cultural Institute in Sofia.

Tristan Jeanne-Vales was born in 1954. He has been working as a photographer since 1978. Photographer of the National Centre for Dramatic Arts in Normandy since 1980. His photographs on modern dancing can be seen in most books on that topic and are often published in the French and international press. He is an active contributor to a lot of printed press editions, mostly La Liberasion and Le Monde. For some years now the subject of his photographs has been the traditional folk music of different European countries and since 2003 – the music on the Balkans.

Nicolas Manev Painting

11 May 2006 - 03 June 2006


Nikola Manev is one of the Bulgarian artists whose work is associated with one of the greatest European cultural meccas. Born in the town of Chirpan (August 28th, 1940) and a graduate from the Art School in Sofia, he began his artistic training at Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1962, where he graduated in painting under Professor Maurice Brianchon. An early recognition of his talent came as he won first prize at the Chenavard Art Competition. His life became an inseparable element of the rhythm of the European cultural stage. In 1981 he became a member of the Managerial Board of Autumn Salon, Paris. He was living and working at his studio in Ile Saint- Louis which became his refuge after all his adventurous journeys around the world (Arizona, Colorado, Tunisia, Geneva, London, Düsseldorf, Taiti, Frankfurt etc.). He has to his record more than 2500 works, most of which are in private or state-owned collections and in the museums of more than 25 countries.

His painting can hardly be defined in a simple way or described in strict terms. It is a fantasy, a fairy tale come from ancient times, deeply associative and multilayered like the time we are living in. Manev’s canvasses are charged with the hypnotic magnetism of the weird earth formations of Bulgarian nature ( the Thracian Plain, the town of Melnik, the Rocks of Belogradchik) and the exquisite colour of “impressionistic” Paris. In the course of years he has created a plastic language of his own which shows an author’s interpretation of the abstract and the figurative in painting. He has created compositions which destroy form only to compose it again by means of light reflections affecting with the power of the subconscious. 

Nikola Manev embodies the personality of the cosmopolitan artist whose belonging to both the Bulgarian and the French culture manages to convince us that we are all members of the big family of the European cultural history. 

The current exhibition at Sofia Art Gallery comprises more than 50 works from different periods, some of them shown for the first time.

Georgi Popov - John. Painting, drawings, illustrations Exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the artist

28 April 2006 - 28 May 2006


Georgi Popov – John /1906 – 1960/ is one of those Bulgarian artists whose creative development is associated with the artistic processes around Europe. He lived and worked during the first half of the 20th century. Unfortunately his name is not among the most popular ones in Bulgarian fine art and his diverse work has not been adequately promoted and thoroughly examined.

Who was Georgi Popov – John? He was an interesting person, a well-known Bulgarian bohemian and a man with plenty of artistic interests. He used to work in the field of the portrait painting, the landscape, the nude, the still life and the figural composition. He was also productive in monumental decoration, applied graphics and scenography. Moreover he was a brilliant master of the written word and wrote a series of articles dedicated to different cultural events and artistic issues.

Throughout his creative life John Popov went through several stages. His stay in the French capital in the years between 1930 – 1935 and 1937 – 1939 proved to be of extreme benefit to him. At that particular time he became part and parcel of the French artistic life. He got closely acquainted with French art and the representatives of surrealism, futurism and cubism as well as with the pictorial language of the Prague school of art. Despite all the influences, though, John Popov preserved his unique artistic expression.
Between 1947 – 1948 the artist lived and worked in Sweden where he created mainly illustrations. That period is also noted for his water-colours which stand out for their extraordinary intensity.

From the late 40ies until 1960 John Popov worked entirely in pastel. He explored the topic of “Fishermen” in a cycle of preparatory sketches and pictures. At that time he was attracted by the still-life genre. 

The exhibition at Sofia Art Gallery includes about 55 works – paintings and drawings and six books of illustrations. The pieces are owned by Sofia Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, Yambol Art Gallery, Bourgas Art Gallery, the National Art Academy, Atelier-Collection Svetlin Roussev, Cyril and Methodius National Library and private collectors.
The goal of the exposition is to present John Popov as a person and a man of art by showing all that has been preserved so far thus reminding us of the artist’s place in our cultural history. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a colourful catalogue.

Curator is Roumyana Konstantinova.


20 April 2006 - 26 May 2006


This is an exhibition which shows works dedicated to the city of Sofia. What they express is the authors’ reactions to the dynamic changes going on in the city over the past ten years. In line with the great social disturbances of a “society in transition” the face of the city is changing every day, every hour, every minute.

The artists express their attitude towards what is happening. Sometimes they are critical or nostalgic, sometimes ironic or exaggerating. The means of expression, i.e. photography, painting, video, net art, installations etc., signpost the expanded territory of our art over the past 15 years. What the works share in common is the willingness for a dialogue concerning the present and the future of the city we live in. 

Sofia Art Gallery possesses a rich collection of works dedicated to the capital dating from the beginning of the 20th century to the late 80ies. They show how the nostalgically romantic vision gradually transforms and makes room for the urban utopias. It is curious enough to trace how the artists see the city of Sofia at present. Their visual commentaries, though inspired by reality in this particular case, often sound unrealistic like fairy tales. And fairy tales can often be scary. Thereby comes the name of the exhibition “URBAN LEGENDS”. Let the viewers themselves decide where the borderline between reality and the author’s fantasy is. Yet let’s not forget that fairy tales always have a happy ending.

Participants: Luchezar Boyadjiev, Kalina Dimitrova, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Kiril Prashkov, Kalin Serapionov, Samuil Stoyanov, Krassimir Terziev, Kosta Tonev, Veronika Tsekova and Dimitar Yaranov.

Exhibition curator – Maria Vassileva.

Dessislava Mincheva Painting

15 April 2006 - 05 May 2006


Dessislava Mincheva is among the most prominent representatives of Bulgarian fine art. Her creative impulse is permanently directed towards the field of painting and drawing. The artist has made herself known through the genre of the portrait, composition, still life and landscape. 

The current exposition at Sofia Art Gallery includes about 60 works created over the last year for the needs of this particular exhibition. The main focus is on compositions of female figures where the plasticity of form and the movement of the model are emphasized. 

Regardless of whether she works on canvass or paper, in oils or pastel Dessislava Mincheva always tries to strike a balance between line and colour with line usually being dominant. The artist prefers bigger formats which give her the opportunity to reconcile essentially monochromatic yet nuance rich colourful harmonies with constructive drawing elements and striking linear accents.


Dessislava Mincheva was born in 1956 in the city of Sofia. In 1981 she graduated from the National Academy of Arts specializing in painting under Academician Svetlin Roussev. Since 1985 the artist has had more than 23 one-man exhibitions in the country and abroad. Alongside that she has also taken part in numerous Bulgarian and international expositions. In 2002 she received a gold medal for drawing from the Agazzi Foundation, Italy.

Dessislava Mincheva is a Professor in drawing and painting at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia. 

virus virus ! Bertran Berrenger, Ltitia Carton, Baptiste Debombourg, Gerome Nox, Anne-Marie Rognon, Lionel Sabatt

05 April 2006 - 16 April 2006


Virus, virus! Doesn’t that sound like а samba tune? Swaying and dancing rhythmically. It is spreading like the virus of the day carried by the chicken, ducks, swans and all those migrant birds that set off from China, stop in Turkey, fly over Romania, Africa and France to reach the North and then fly back. Less lethal but equally pervasive like those small bombs called H5N1 which we don’t know how to stop and which are transported by air and disperse like pollen. We are living in the “information” age. Information that allows for a great amount of disinformation. Ever so permeating. This is it – virus.

Virus as the notorious “emigration flood” so frequently discussed. Virus as the American funds, those big sums of money which travel from one end of the world to the other disregarding any rule or regulation. Virus as the companies which delocalize. Virus as the one that attacks our e-mails. Virus as everything that slips away, oozes and soaks into “the underground” or above in the open, rushes by then disappears and moves on.

Our exhibition is organized around this notion which is central to our lives and the idea of movement, unstableness, permeation and constant branching. It is not meant to be displayed in a closed space or in a single or several museum halls where the works of art are the subject of contemplation but rather in a pattern similar to The Garden of Forking Paths Borges is talking about or even – and why not? – to Heidegger’s Roads to Nowhere. A light and hazardous exhibition wandering like Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasie which is concurrently displayed at two places and splits up between two cities – Bucharest and Sofia – and two countries spreading across newspapers, magazines, the radio, television, the Internet. An exhibition which unlike the usual linear discourse presents itself open and multiplied. 

Leonor Nuridsany
Curator of the exhibition

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