Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане

Competition for the BAZA Award

21 July 2015 - 30 August 2015

2015 marks the eight release of the BAZA Award for Contemporary Art Competition. The only one of its kind in Bulgaria, the award is aimed at artists aged 35 and under and grants a travel allowance and a month and a half residency in New York City. The competition is held in two rounds. Every year in spring a specialist jury shortlists four to eight young artists, who subsequently showcase their works in a general exhibition. On the opening day of the exhibition the jury sit yet again to select the winner of the award based on the artists’ exhibited works.

On the programme of the New York City residency, organized by the Foundation for a Civil Society, are meetings with curators, visits to galleries and art institutions, opportunities for cooperation with international artists as well as a chance for the artist to hold an exhibition and present their work. Enhanced professional contacts are also the result of BAZA’s being part of a network of similar awards competitions in about a dozen countries in Central and Eastern Europe (YVAA).

In Bulgaria BAZA goes back to the year 2008 when it was proposed by Maria Vassileva and set up by the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia. Upon completion of their residencies, award winners are granted a further opportunity of holding a solo exhibition at the ICA Gallery in Sofia. As a project partner the Sofia City Art Gallery offers its space and cooperation in organizing the nominees’ exhibition, whose curator is Daniela Radeva.

So far, winners of the BAZA Award have been: Rada Boukova (2008), Samuil Stoyanov (2009), Anton Terziev (2010), Vikenti Komitski (2011), Leda Ekimova (2012), Kiril Kuzmanov (2013) and Zoran Georgiev (2014).

The jury members for the 2015 competition are: Galina Dimitrova-Dimova (curator), Ivana Nencheva (artist), Vessela Nozharova (curator), Diana Popova (critic), Sasho Stoitzov (artist). For the past three years also sitting on the jury in the second round has been a US curator, holder of a Vilcek Foundation scholarship. This year this is Boshko Boskovic, an art historian and curator, Program Director of Residency Unlimited, New York.

Stela Vasileva was born in 1983 in Lovech. In 2006 she graduated in Mural Painting from the National Academy of Art. Between 2010 and 2015 she held six solo exhibitions. She is the winner of the Gaudenz B. Ruf Award for young artists (2010) and the First Prize for Fine Art in the National Competition for Young Artists, Critics and Curators of the St Cyril and St Methodius International Foundation (2009). Her work includes paintings, installations, objects and photography. She was a BAZA Award nominee in 2013. She lives in Sofia.

Vladislav Georgiev was born in 1979 in Sofia. In 2006 he graduated in Interior Design from the University of Applied Sciences in Rosenheim, Germany. He has experience in restoration and fashion design. He is the founder of the Nefela Bags fashion label. From 2008 to 2014 he organized eleven solo exhibitions in Sofia, Munich and Berlin. His work includes drawings, objects and installations. He lives in Sofia.


Kristina Irobalieva was born in 1982 in Sofia. In 2006 she graduated from the National School of Fine Arts at the Villa Arson, Nice. In 2007 and 2008 she specialized at the Geneva University of Art and Design. Her work includes paintings and installations. She has held three solo exhibitions in Paris and Geneva. She lives in Geneva.

Pavel Lefterov was born in1994 in Sofia. Since 2013 he has been a fine art student at the University of the Arts London – Wimbledon College of Arts. In 2010 he received the Academic Drawing Award of the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture. He was a BAZA Award nominee in 2012. His work includes predominantly paintings. He lives between London and Sofia.


Desislava Unger was born in 1980 in Sofia. In 2005 she graduated in Painting from NAA and in 2010 in Graphic Art from the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Between 2010 and 2014 she held eight solo exhibitions in Austria and Bulgaria. In 2005 and 2006 she received awards in the National Competition for Young Artists, Critics and Curators of the St Cyril and St Methodius International Foundation. Her work includes graphic art and drawings. She lives in Vienna.

Aleksandra Chaushova was born in 1985 in Sofia. In 2009 she graduated in Graphic Art from NAA. In 2012 she specialized in Painting at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf). Since 2012 she has been a PhD student of Art and Art Sciences at the Free University of Brussels. In 2010 she was a resident of the WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels. In 2015 she was nominated for the Faber-Castell International Drawing Award. Her work includes predominantly drawings and objects. She lives in Brussels.

The BAZA award winner for 2015 is Alexandra Chaushova 



17 June 2015 - 12 July 2015

The exhibition commemorates the 110th anniversary of the birth of renowned sculptor Vaska Emanuilova. Her aesthetical views and presence helped her shape her signature style and earn a prominent, well-deserved place in the history of Bulgarian sculpture. The major part of her artistic output comprises accomplishments in the nude body genre. Throughout her whole career as an artist, which spanned close to six decades, she would keep going back to this timeless theme – the human body at its most expressive, namely when in the nude. Vaska Emanuilova rediscovered it for herself, as well as for Bulgarian art through innovation. For her, the nude body is a storyline reflecting not only physical characteristics or formal attention to detail, but also something more profound, related to spirituality and life itself.

Works belonging to this genre created during various periods have been added to the SCAG collection through the years, thus building an intriguing collection. In 1999, the City Gallery presented the “Nude Body” exhibition, which featured numerous paintings and several sculptures.

The current exhibition features a substantial part of the artworks belonging to the “Nude Body” genre, stored at the SCAG “Sculpture” and “Graphic Arts” departments. The exhibition focuses on sculptures and drawings from the period between the 1930’s and the 1980’s, when Vaska Emanuilova created the bulk of her artwork. Also included in the exhibition are works by other Bulgarian artists, some of whom still show interest in the genre. The exhibition features more than 80 artworks from the SCAG collection belonging to the genres of sculpture, drawing, including pastel drawing, and watercolor painting. Viewers will see works by Lyubomir Dalchev, Mara Georgieva, Nikolay Shmirgela, Galin Malakchiev, Pavel Koychev, Thomas Kochev, Spartak Dermendzhiev, Pencho Dobrev, Emil Popov, Kiril Mateev, etc. The exhibition also features a presentation of drawings by Gredi Assa, Marco Behar, Svilen Blazhev, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, etc., both as an idiosyncratic counterpoint and a parallel, complementing storyline. Works featured in the exhibition reflect varying artistic approaches and styles, thus demonstrating the diversity of artistic expression in the domain of visual arts.

Caution: Wet Paint!

11 June 2015 - 30 August 2015

The exhibition presents the diverse trends in painting that have prevailed in the recent years in our country. It includes some of the latest works of 33 artists, whose average age is 30 years.

Such sizeable reviews of the current status of work types in contemporary art not only contribute to the research work of the museum, they also enable the public to receive a comprehensive view and impression of what happens in the art scene today.

During the last decade or so, several new generations of painter artists were introduced. Until today, there has not been organized a large and representative exhibition of their works that would reveal the changes in this kind of art.

Most of the artists are graduates of the National Academy of Arts, some studied painting in foreign countries as well. This affects to a certain extent the way they create their works in terms of style, message and general grasp of the substance of the painting. The exhibition enables us to identify the influences and the experience imparted by different artistic trends in Europe and around the globe, as well as to distinguish the individual style of the artists, regardless of their cultural background, professional experience, and education. The selected artists have versatile work methods and different interests in the variations of contemporary painting.

The exhibition displays abstract and figurative paintings, three-dimensional paintings, pictorial installations. The themes, concepts and stories cover the range from social issues through subjects concerning art itself to the intuitive recreation of thoughts or emotions by means of the pictorial material. In the presented works, the whole active visual surroundings is reflected - urban architecture, graffiti, moving and static ads, television, cinema, internet.

Part of the project is a bilingual color catalogue of 96 pages featuring the participants in the exhibition, and texts by the curators.

Mariana Vassileva. BALANCE

01 May 2015 - 31 May 2015

"Balance" is Mariana Vassileva’s first solo exhibition in Bulgaria. The artist has been living and working in Berlin for more than 20 years. This retrospective exhibition presents some of her most prominent works that have been specially selected for the space of the Sofia City Art Gallery.
Many of Mariana Vassileva’s art works reflect the two stages of her life related to living in two different countries, as well as to the acquisition of a foreign language and the adjustment to new cultural and social environment. The artist never severed her from her native country. This state of parallel existence provokesthe creation of unusual images and strong emotions. Childhood flashbacks come back to the artist’s new surroundings. Mariana's rigorous observation of life is accompanied by a romantic nostalgia for the past, resulting in artworks full of poetic sensitivity. Her art not only mirrors her own experiences and inner conflicts, but is also tied to social & political issues, as well as to philosophical questions.
She uses common tools of expression in an inimitable way. Vassileva is a poet and a fighter at the same time. It is this idiosyncratic combination of the two clashing approaches that configures the final shape of her art.
Mariana Vassileva uses various means of expression to present her ideas. In this exhibition many sculptures, objects, installations, and videos, which were created over the past ten year, are being presented.
* * *
Mariana Vassielva was born in 1964 in the town of Antonovo, Bulgaria. She received her schooling in the town of Strazhitsa. Over the period 1994-2000 she studied at the Berlin University of the Arts. She has lived and worked in Berlin ever since. Her work belongs to the genres of video, sculpture, drawing, and installation. She has had numerous solo exhibitions in Berlin, Essen, Augsburg, Auckland, Lyon, Sydney, Palma, Toronto, Bremen, San Juan, Montreal. She has participated in the biennial exhibitions in Busan, Moscow, Varna, Shumen, Sydney and Poznan, as well as in dozens of group exhibitions held around the world.


30 April 2015 - 31 May 2015





30 АПРИЛ  – 31 МАЙ 2015


Ясен Гюзелев е от малкото български илюстратори, чието творчество е ориентирано почти изцяло към чуждестранни издателства. Неговата професионална дейност започва в края на 80-те години още като студент в Националната художествена академия. През 1990 заминава за Италия, сътрудничи на различни издателства, рисува таро карти, започва илюстрации към „Пинокио“. Рисува „Пчелната царица“ от братя Грим, след това „Артур и Ескалибур“, „Рожденият ден на инфантата“, „Дама пика“, „Орфей и Евридика“, „Сократ“. И безспорната кулминация в досегашното му творчество – „Алиса в страната на чудесата“. Когато започва да работи върху Алиса достига до евристичната идея в ядрото на книгата да бъде една картина, от която всеки оформител може да взима различни сцени и фрагменти. След първата й реализация, осъществена от берлинското издателство „Auflau-Verlag“ (2000), следват седем издания на различни езици  - китайски (2002), английски (2003), испански (2007), български (2010), корейски (2011).

„Микеланжело“, „Дон Кихот“, „Кралят на златната река“, „Оливър Туист“, „Големите надежди“, „Баскервилското куче“ са следващите книги, илюстрирани от Ясен Гюзелев. Всички те са изпълнени с изключително прецизно и почти всяка е различна.


„Докато човек, особено съвременния човек се опитва непрекъснато как да свърши една работа по-бързо, аз вървя по обратния път –  търся само качеството, търся продукта който знам, че трябва да направя, независимо колко единици време ми струва. … Почти никога не използвам една и съща техника, едно към едно с предишния си проект. Всяка нова работа я виждам по различен начин и тя изисква ново намиране. Това не е самоцелно. Винаги ми се е струвало, че ако тръгна да работя рутинно, някак си ще стана безинтересен на себе си, а и на другите със сигурност.“ – споделя Ясен Гюзелев.




Този подход  и брилянтното рисуваческо умение са оценени от издателите и читателите. Книгите, илюстрирани от него се издават и на шведски, френски, португалски, гръцки, японски. Спечелил е „Luchs“, награда от радио Бремен и  „Die Zeit“ за „Пчелната царица“ и ’94 illustrators of the wear award, Болоня (1994); наградата на Buchkunst foundation, Германия (1997); „Luchs“, награда от радио Бремен и  „Die Zeit“ за „Алиса в страната на чудесата“ (2000); диплома от „Златният молив на Белград“ (2001); награда за книга на Независимите издатели, САЩ (2002); награди на Американския институт за графични изкуства (2002, 2003, 2004); „Luchs“, награда от радио Бремен и „ Die Zeit“ за „Дон Кихот“; Сребърен медал от Асоциацията на илюстраторите, Ню Йорк (2004); наградата на издателство „Хр.Г. Данов“ за „Алиса в страната на чудесата“ (2010).

Изложбата проследява творческия път на Ясен Гюзелев от изящните рисунки, правени през 1978 година в Художествената гимназия до последните, току що направени илюстрации към „Декамерон“ на Бокачо.


По време на изложбата очаквайте премиерата на „Алиса в огледалния свят“  и второто издание на „Алиса в страната на чудесата“.


19 March 2015 - 19 April 2015

This SCAG-hosted exhibition commemorates the 5th anniversary of the opening of the Zhejiang Art Museum in Hangzhou, the capital of the Zhejiang Province, China. The exhibition is a selection of 107 graphic artworks from the museum’s collection, which showcase contemporary Chinese graphic art. Targeted mainly at foreign viewers with limited knowledge of China’s modern history, the selection of exhibits highlights the development of graphic arts in Zhejiang between the mid-20th century and the present day.

Zhejiang graphic art stands out with its unique historical development and its specific style. Zhejiang, considered to be the cradle of modern Chinese graphic art, has had a sustainable influence on the development of art throughout the whole country. Done in various techniques – from traditional Chinese xylography through to complicated combinations of contemporary means of expression, the graphic artworks present a broad panorama of themes, personal views and public attitudes, thus revealing the specific aesthetics and worldview of art in China.

The exhibition is divided into three parts entitled “Mentality – Impression”, “Humans – Transition” and “Natural Environment – Lifestyle”, which complement each other to build up the figurative ‘Spirit – Individual – Environment’ connection and introduce the viewer to the culture, history and nature of the Zhejiang Province.  

Ever since it opened, the Zhejiang Art Museum has singled out the enrichment of its collection of local Chinese graphic artworks as a top priority. The exhibition’s title, “Inspiration From Lakes and Mountains” means to symbolically reveal the benefits of Zhejiang’s geographical location, as well as to make a reference to poetic images deeply ingrained in traditional Chinese culture that provided boundless room for interpretation to generations of artists.


12 March 2015 - 19 April 2015

Art is a two-way street. Artists’ works live on through the viewers’ thoughts and feelings. The latter provide a cozy home or an emotional environment for the works’ continuous growth.

Yet, more often than not, artists do not get any feedback. They never become aware of the thoughts their works have provoked, or the way the latter were received and interpreted by the public.

That is why we are inviting you to share your comments, analyses and feelings.

The best responses will be posted on the gallery’s website. Three of you will each get a Sofia City Art Gallery catalogue of your choice.

The visual image has specific features. One of them consists in the endless possibilities it offers. It is this endless space that provides room for a multitude of interpretations. We are curious about your opinions, which will enable us to provide a link between the public and the artists.

We hope that this will be a useful and pleasant experience for you.

The following are some sample questions you could use as reference points:

  • What is the first thing about the artwork that got your attention?
  • What is it that keeps you interested in it?
  • Do you trace any connection between the individual fragments of the artwork, or any connection between the parts within the series of artworks?
  • Does the artwork remind you of anything – another work, place, person, story, idea or memory?
  • What element of the artwork brings the memories or the associations?
  • What feelings does the artwork provoke?

The artworks included in the project belong to the Sofia City Art Gallery collection. They constitute some of the most recent contributions to the departments of Painting, Sculpture, Contemporary Art and Photography. There are works by: Albena Baeva, Andrei Daniel, Atanas Atanasov, Borijana Ventsislavova, Boryana Rossa, Vesa Vassileva, Vladislav Georgiev, Gredy Assa, Zoran Georgiev, Ivo Dimchev, Kamen Starchev, Lazar Lutakov, Nikolay Maistorov, Pavel Koichev, Svetozara Alexandrova, Stanimir Genov, Yana Dimitrova, Yassen Zgurovski.


27 January 2015 - 03 March 2015

ART FOR CHANGE 1985-2015

20 January 2015 - 05 March 2015

“Art for Change 1985-2015” is a project tracing the profound changes in Bulgaria’s society since the mid-1980s untill today, as well as artists’ awakened consciousness with regard to their mission as correctives of the social milieu.


By means of an exhibition and a publication, it exposes the process of opening up new opportunities and waking up to art’s potential to impact societal attitudes. The project aims also at restoring and recording this thread in current Bulgarian art while seeking out opportunities to promote and deepen art’s impact over society.


Over the years, Bulgaria’s intellectual elite, and artists in particular, have been blamed for keeping aloof from social processes and for failing to react to developments promptly, sharply and adequately enough. It has been alleged also that their passive stance is a hindrance to the country’s growth and development. Indeed this is the cliché that the project is trying to break by displaying works and documents, which trace crucial moments of the historic transition since the mid-1980s and vindicate artists’ role as an active element of social life. The publication will attempt, for the first time in this country’s recent history, to analyse the relationship between art and society, to seek out the root causes of integration or alienation, to probe deeply and get to the crux of those processes that are at the core of Bulgaria’s society and culture the way they are today.


The exhibition showcases works by contemporary Bulgarian artists, who from the mid 80-is till now have marked with their art profound moments of the transition period and present the artist as an active agent of the social change.




The book comprises 384 pages of analytical texts, interviews and more than 390 reproductions. Its purpose is to present the historical perspective while attempting also to provide insight into current realities through past experiences. The book includes texts my Maria Vassileva, Diana Popova, Boyan Manchev, Georgi 
Tenev, Alexander Kiossev and interviews with Svetlin Roussev, Nedko Solakov and Luchezar Boyadjiev in a bilingual format (Bulgarian and English).


Participating artists: Adelina Popndeleva, Alexander Valchev, Alla Georgieva, Atanas Neikov, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov, Boryana Rossa and ULTRAFUTURO, Daniela Oleg Liahova, Dimitar Solakov, Galentin Gatev, Ivo Bistrichki, Kalin Serapionov, Kiril Kuzmanov, Kiril Prashkov, Krassimir Terziev, Kristina Irobalieva, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Luben Kostov, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Nedko Solakov, Neno Belchev, Nikola Mihov, Nina Kovacheva, Petko Dourmana, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Samuil Stoyanov, Sasho Soitzov, Stanislav Pamukchiev, Stefan Lutakov, Stella Vasileva, Svetlin Roussev, Valentin Stefanoff, Vassil Simittchiev, Velislava Gecheva, Ventsislav Zankov, Zoran Georgiev.


Against the backdrop of the turbulent political events in Bulgaria of 2013 and 2014, of protests and the emergence of a matured civil society in Bulgaria, this project is striving to provide answers to such questions as “Where are the Bulgarian intellectuals?”, “What is their role in times of transition?”, “Do they demonstrate a stance of active social engagement?”, “Can art not just reflect but cause social change as well?”


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Vaska Emanuilova Gallery