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
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?”
TO BE CONTINUED...
05 November 2014 - 31 December 2014
Gaudenz B. Ruf is a Swiss national, diplomat and passionate admirer of art. As Switzerland's ambassador to Bulgaria from 1995 to 2000, he sets up in his residence numerous exhibitions. He supports the development of the country, and the place of contemporary Bulgarian art in this process. At the same time Ruf demonstrates genuine insight. The names presented by him are among today’s Bulgarian artists who in the beginning of the 90ies and today establish the profile of this art.
After the completion of his diplomatic career in 2005, Gaudenz B. Ruf strengthens his commitment to the benefit of new Bulgarian art. He sets up an art award for which everybody may apply, as it is bestowed by a highly qualified independent international panel. This is the first award for art in Bulgaria of this kind. The prize (Gaudenz B. Ruf Award for new Bulgarian Art) stimulates the entire cultural community. It exists from 2007 to 2011. In this period a total of 560 candidates compete for it, 79 of whom are nominated for the award. The works of the nominees are presented at annual exhibitions and published in catalogs.
Since then, Ruf’s financial and time commitment to support contemporary Bulgarian art remains invariably big although the formula of support changes. Instead of an evaluation of completed works, now the focus is on the creation of new works. From 2012 onwards the Gaudenz B. Ruf Award provides support for the
implementation of art works by Bulgarian artists and for events, which present contemporary art in Bulgaria and abroad.
For his merits Gaudenz B. Ruf was awarded on September 12th, 2013 with the Order of “St. St. Cyril and Methodius" / first degree. This is the highest award bestowed by the Republic of Bulgaria for merit in the field of science, culture and education.
During the entire period of emotional and professional commitment to Bulgarian art Gaudenz B. Ruf buys works for his private collection (in two phases – in the 90ies and from 2005). Today it numbers over 100 works.
The current exhibition displays a representative part of this collection. Among the authors are: Bora Petkova, Borjana Ventzislavova, Bozhidar Boyadzhiev, Dan Tenev, Desislava Unger, Elena Panayotova, Emil Mirazchiev, Ivan Kostolov, Kalin Serapionov, Kamen Stoyanov, Kiril Prashkov, Kolio Karamfilov, Kosta Tonev, Leda Ekimova, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Lyuben Genov, Monica Romenska, Nadia Genova, Nedko Solakov, Nestor Kovachev, Nina Kovacheva, Petar Tsanev, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Rada Bukova, Samuil Stoyanov, Sasho Stoitzov, Simeon Simeonov, Slav Nedev, Stella Vasileva, Valentin Stefanoff, Vasil Popov.
And the consecutive huge gesture of Gaudenz B. Ruf to Bulgarian culture - 24 of the displayed works and series of works will remain in Bulgaria as a donation to the Sofia City Art Gallery and its fund Contemporary Art and Photography.
The Visual Artists of The National Theatre of Bulgaria
16 September 2014 - 30 November 2014
“The Visual Artists of The National Theatre of Bulgaria | 1904 – 1954” is a joint project of Sofia Art Gallery and the National Theatre in relation to the 110th anniversary since its foundation. The exhibition includes unknown works (sketches, photographs, costumes, etc.) from the National Theatre’s archive and artistic works from the funds of Sofia Art Gallery, the Archaeological Museum and the Sofia Library.
The exposition consists of the creations of 63 artists that have worked on the stage of the National Theatre as decorators, costume artists, hatters and architects in the period of 1904–1954. The exhibition is a summary of the material heritage of the Bulgarian artists that survived at the archive of today’s “Ivan Vazov” National Theatre. This archive reveals the different nuances of the artistic mastery of art painters such as Anton Mitov, Ivan Milev, Sirak Skitnik, Ivan Penkov, Pencho Georgiev, Preslav Karshovski, Tsanko Lavrenov, Dechko Uzunov, Georgi Popov (John), of the colossus of the Bulgarian scenography Aleksander Milenkov, of the authors Venera Naslednikova and Asen Popov. This is an archive that gives us the chance to look into the work of dozens of names, which has been neglected by the researchers of art history with their “evaluations” for high and low, significant and petty – names as Andromaha Argirova, Milka Okeanova, Pelagia Vidinska, Maria Berova (Henning), Minion Milenkova, Ani Hadzhimisheva, Raina Rakarova, Strashimir Machev, Ivan Krilov, Todor Pelovski, etc.
The exhibition underlines also one of the world cultural events during this year – 450 years since the birth of the great British play-writer William Shakespeare.
The exposition will be accompanied by a number of cultural events such as lectures, concerts, scientific conference, theater productions, etc.
A thoroughly illustrated catalogue is prepared together with the exhibition, implemented with the financial support of the Sofia Municipality and the Ministry of Culture. Part of the research work during the project is implemented with the help of the program “Student Practices”, in which students from the National Academy of Art and New Bulgarian University participate.
The exhibition team would like to thank the State Agency “Archives”, National Museum for Bulgarian Fine Art, National Library “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”, National Academy of Art, Union of the Bulgarian Artists, Sofia Library, etc.
Exhibition of the BAZA Award for contemporary art nominees
12 June 2014 - 06 July 2014
The Award for contemporary art BAZA is unique for Bulgaria. It is a grant for travel and residency in New York City for one and a half months. Each year one Bulgarian artist aged under 35 becomes the BAZA winner. He or she is chosen after a two-stage competition.
THE COLLECTION. NEW ACQUISITIONS 2012-2013
05 June 2014 - 31 August 2014
Sofia City Art Gallery presents the most recent acquisitions in its Painting, Graphics, Sculpture and Contemporary Art and Photography collections, received in the past two years, either as donations or as purchases, with the financial support of the Sofia Municipality.
The enrichment of the collections is a matter of historical responsibility. The gallery’s policy is to try and fill some of the gaps with respect to the classics of Bulgarian painting, graphics and sculpture. Among the best known names in the current selection are: Assen Belkovski, Preslav Karshovski, Tsvetana Karshovska, Vaska Balareva, Ivan Georgiev-Rembrandt, Todor Panayotov, Snezhana Popgencheva, Vladimir Ivanov, Nadezhda Kouteva, Svilen Blazhev, Angel Stanev, Nina Kovacheva, Valentin Stefanoff.
A priority is the rediscovery of forgotten authors or of little known Bulgarian artists living and working abroad: Nikolay Boyadzhiev, Evgenia Vodenitcharova, Alexander Georgiev, Dimitar Batoev, Krasimira Drenska, Mariana Vassileva, etc.
Special attention is given to the young generations of artists: Ivan Moudov, Kamen Starchev, Peter Mintchev, Ivo Bistrichki, Kamen Stoyanov, Kaliya Kalacheva, Minko Yovchev, Leda Starcheva, Miná Minov, Leda Ekimova, Maximilian Pramatarov, Samuil Stoyanov, Lyben Petrov.
2012 saw the beginning of the long-term partnership between the Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, a branch of Sofia City Art Gallery and Societe General Expressbank. The financial support received has made possible the acquisition of works by some young artists: Mihail Novakov, Vitto Valentinov, Georgi Georgiev-Jojo, Boris Pramatarov, Iskra Blagoeva, HR-Stamenov and others.
In 2013 Sofia Art Gallery launched a long-term project in support of contemporary Bulgarian photography. In partnership with photographers Nikola Mihov and Ivaylo Stoyanov the museum collection expanded with more than 40 works by Dimitri Stefanov, Elena Geroska, Eugenia Maximova, Babak Salari, Georgi Kozhuharov, Vassil Iliev, Yasena Popova, Milen Radev, Ivaylo Stoyanov, Nikola Mihov. The collection includes all free photography forms with a focus on works created after the year 2000. A website, Bulgarian Photography Now, has been launched too. It showcases selected works of Bulgarian photographers as well as projects of foreign artists who have worked in Bulgaria. http://www.bulgarianphotographynow.com
14 May 2014 - 01 June 2014
The sudden premature passing of the great Bulgarian artist Kolio Karamfilov prompted us to organize an exhibition in his memory, and thus recall the power of his art.
The exhibition features artworks belonging to various genres and periods of his career as an artist, which allow just a glimpse at his endless talent.
Kolio Karamfilov (1963-2014) was born in the city of Plovdiv, where he studied scenography at the School for Theater Design, from which he graduated in 1982. Starting in 1983, he participated in numerous general and group exhibitions. He co-created the “Modern Classic” tandem together with Dimitar Mitovski, coming up with several actions and exhibitions over the period 1989-92. He was a co-founding member of the “Rab” (“Edge”) avant-garde group, having participated in all events organized by the latter in the period 1990-1993. In 1995 he also became a co-founding member of the “Disco’95“ group. He worked in the fields of graphic arts, illustration, painting, sculpture and scenography. He won numerous awards.
Kolio Karamfilov is a universe which had to offer way more than one or more artworks. He was present in our lives through his many talents – the ability to paint, to play the guitar and sing along, to speak in an inimitably enchanting manner.
Yet his approach to art is minimalist at best. He attempted to create a visual language based on easily recognizable and readable codes. He relied on the recurrent use of some of his favorite signs, namely the house, the hand, the wing, the heart, the head, lending the wisdom of lessons learned to all of them.
This exhibition would not have been possible without the support of Kolio’s family, friends and collectors, namely Rosen Karamfilov, Ina Damyanova, Stefan Bozhkov, Radost Kotseva (U.P.A.R.K. gallery), Pavlina Marinova and Emil Pungerov (L’Union gallery), Rositsa Ivanova, Nikolay Nedelchev, Elena Yoncheva and Plamen Todorov, Emil Ivanov, Simeon Djurov, Dimitar Todoranov, Dimitar Rusev, Atanas Hranov, the Popnedelev family – Adelina and Vihroni, Krassimir Dobrev.
Curators: Maria Vassileva, Stanislava Nikolova, Stefan Bojkov.
29 April 2014 - 25 May 2014
Greddy Assa puts out an exhibition of forty-nine large format canvases created between 2010 and 2014. Sixtieth anniversary, yet only a retrospective of feelings. The selection of paintings includes portraits whose elusive protagonists defy analysis, leaving a scent and the sound of a tune instead; there are also drawings where the artist juggles with anatomical reference points, yet most of the paintings have sprung out of mirages, memories of momentary experiences, associations brought by places or events. They legitimize the fleeting, the ever elusive, which happens in dreams during half-sleep; maybe the longing for this ever elusive thing, the feeling, … flavored with irony, mixed up with childish faith in the miracle that is this close to happening. That is why the desert, which harbors the prospect of any mirage, which is a constantly changing scene of the imaginary, charged with the potential for transformation, was chosen as a muse and a tool.
“The desert — a hidden breath, a place of countless dangers, yet also of endless aestheticism, inspiring me as an artist, a discoverer of unexpected beauty… It starts from sand banks, pushes away every last one of the already sparse bare rocks, reminds of the Moon’s surface, standing so close with its many faces. Her stripes, like the convulsions of the soul, harbor a sense of weightlessness. Having attracted the company of countless sand dunes, looking like reclining nymphs — I am asking myself whether I do exist? I feel otherworldly silence among the heaps of sand, triggering in me the feeling of the unknown and irreversible. Loneliness and dehydration of imagination.
… It makes me feel like a grain of sand, one of many, yet a grain with a world of its own, a world full of freedom, hope, inspiration… And regardless of the occasional feeling that I do not exist outside the desert, I can see hope in the fact that I have been able to make this journey through the desert in my thoughts, that my momentary melancholy is entirely gone, that maybe temperature inversion has made me hope that what I get to see tomorrow will take me by surprise yet again…
All that is left for me to do is keep walking…”
APOCALYPSE NOW OR FOREVER
20 March 2014 - 20 April 2014
Nikolay Maistorov is one of the most prominent representatives of contemporary Bulgarian art, standing out with his highly distinctive memorable style. His artwork is characterized by sharpness, expressiveness, and strong emotion, captivating the viewer in a way that leaves no room for indifference.
This SCAG exhibition, which was inspired by the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse of John the Apostle, focuses on “the things which must shortly come to pass“. The cycle “Apocalypse Now or Forever“ features more than 100 paintings, graphic artworks and drawings, created over the period 1993-2013, which have been displayed in chronological order. Each chronological period features 22 artworks, which corresponds to the number of chapters in the “Apocalypse“, to the exception of the graphic cycle created in 2000, which features 23 lithographs, two of which are based on the chapter “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse“. The oldest thematic cycle, created over the period 1993-1994, is characterized by brighter contrasting colors, compared to the canvases created in 2011 through 2013. The preparatory drawings drafted in 2010 for the final cycle of paintings (2011-2013) are particularly interesting, as they reveal a somewhat unknown aspect of the artist’s work. It is in this type of works that the artist’s strong emotion is revealed, as well as his attempt to capture his “visions“ and lend maximum expressiveness to the latter.
The exhibition reveals the different stages in the artist’s creative process, presenting each cycle in its entirety. The viewer can see the transformation of an idea, started in a drawing, developed into a lithograph to be brought into fruition in a painting. Each technique is characterized by a specific expressiveness of its own. The swift, anxious lines characteristic of the pencil drawings, the specific thickness of charcoal lines, the mellowness of egg tempera, the clear details and powerful message of the lithographs, as well as the expressive contrasting of colors in the artist’s paintings reveal his artistic leanings and his willingness to find the best way of expressing his ideas.
Nikolay Maistorov was born in 1943 in Sofia.
In 1969 he graduated from the “Nikolay Pavlovich” Higher Institute of Visual Arts, majoring in Painting under Prof. Nenko Balkanski.
He has been an active member of the national art scene, working mainly in the fields of painting and graphic arts. He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists.
His teaching career started in 1972. In 1997-1998 he became the founder and manager of “Atelier 19“ in Sofia. He is a lecturer at the New Bulgarian University, where he was awarded honorary professorship in October, 2013.
He has had numerous solo exhibitions, including: “Paintings From a Drawer“, “Loran“ Gallery, Sofia, 2013; “Graphic cycle of lithographs “Don Quixote“ Cervantes/Unamuno“, “Loran“ Gallery, Sofia, 2012; Graphic cycle of lithographs “The Song of Songs“. Solomon, “Prolet“ Gallery, City of Burgas, 2012; “Drawings based on Pablo Neruda’s 100 Love Sonnets“, “Vazrazhdane“ Gallery, City of Plovdiv, 2012; “Creation” based on the The Book of Genesis – Holy Bible, The Old Testament, 6 “Shiplka“ St. Gallery, Union of Bulgarian Artists, Sofia, 2009; Exhibition of Paintings, National Art Gallery, Sofia, 2003; Exhibition of Graphic Artworks, “Vazrazhdane“ Gallery, City of Plovdiv, 2002; Exhibition of Paintings, Sofia City Art Gallery, 1998; Exhibition of Paintings, CBK GSA galerie Hilversum, the Netherlands, 2011; Exhibition of Graphic Artworks, Cité des Arts, Paris, France, 1998; Exhibition of Graphic Artworks, Düsseldorf City Theater, Germany, 1992, etc..
The artist has won numerous awards, including: the “Zahari Zograf” National Painting Award (2005); The “Golden Quill“ annual culture award of “Classic FM” Radio (2003); an award of the “SS Cyril and Methodius“ Foundation presented at the 11th International Graphic Arts Biennial “Varna `01“ (2001); honorary certificate awarded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria for outstanding contribution to Bulgarian culture (1998); Painting award presented at the International Painting Triennial “Sofia 96“; The Grand Prize of the Union of Bulgarian Artists for outstanding exhibition (1996); Graphic Art Award presented at the International Humor and Satire Biennial, City of Gabrovo (1987); The “Vladimir Dimitrov – the Master” Grand Prize for Painting, Union of Bulgarian Artists (1986); Critics’ Choice Award for Painting, Union of Bulgarian Artists (1984).
04 February 2014 - 09 March 2014
Whether it is a hobby, a passion, or a business, collection of artworks typically remains hidden behind personal motives and preferences, keeping away from, or simply failing to gain wide publicity.
The SCAG exhibition grants the viewer access to this personal territory through selected works from Dr. Slavov’s collection.
Prof. Chavdar Slavov, DMSc, is a specialist in urology, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Standing Committee for Europe and also an international member of the World, European and American Urological Associations. He was born in 1953 in Sofia. He was granted honorary citizenship by the town of Kyustendil. He has been in close touch with artists and people belonging to various artistic circles throughout his whole life. He characterizes himself as an art connoisseur. He started building his collection in 1985.
Dr. Slavov’s collection features works by well-known artists, many of whom are represented by some of their most prominent artistic achievements. The broad variety of artworks presenting different genres, styles and techniques is complemented by the variety of the artists who created them, which includes classical Bulgarian artists, as well as contemporary ones. The collection is characterized by a marked preference for graphic art and drawing.
The exhibition features more than 100 graphic artworks by 81 artists, painting an intriguing picture of Bulgarian graphic art in the twentieth century and the turn of the 21st century. The selection, which was done by Academician Rumen Skorchev, presents the best periods in the development of Bulgarian graphic art, as well as graphic artworks by a number of artists, whose most prominent works belong to other genres. Alongside graphic artworks by Vasil Zahariev, Veselin Staykov, Preslav Karshovski, Pavel Valkov, the exhibition also presents graphic artworks by Dechko Uzunov, Ivan Kirkov, Atanas Yaranov, Dimitar Kazakov, Svetlin Rusev, Andrey Daniel, Emil Popov. The exhibition also features Genko Genkov’s only endeavor in the field of etching, early work by Ivan Ninov or Ivan Dimov, as well as graphic artworks by Kolyo Karamfilov, Milko Bozhkov, Stoyan Tsanev, Maria Duhteva, Aleksi Nachev, Zahari Kamenov, Kamen Starchev and many others.
The exhibition is an in-depth study of Bulgarian graphic arts, as well as a personal view of tendencies and values, the outcome of genuine love for art and true dedication.
MISSIRKOV / BOGDANOV
16 December 2013 - 26 January 2014
Photographers, cinematographers, visual campaign designers, creators of documentary features, videos and short films. Ideologists and founders of the AGITPROP film company, as well as co-founders of the Bulgarian Photographic Association, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov are among the most prominent participants in the contemporary art scene.\r\n\r\n
Their Sofia City Art Gallery exhibition features more than 80 portraits of famous Bulgarian cultural and community leaders. The exhibition venue is transformed into a photographic spectacle, offering a summarized portrait of our society through the images of some of its most notable members.\r\n\r\n
The photographs featured in this exhibition were created between 1992 and 2013. The artists made a portrait of their generation and circle – contemporary Bulgarian actors, film directors, camera operators, photographers, authors, producers, musicians, television hosts, friends. Among them are Javor Gardev, Martichka Bozhilova, Nadezhda Koseva, Georgi Tenev, Kamen Donev, Koyna Ruseva, Snezhina Petrova, Deyan Donkov, Nina Nikolina, Ivan Lechev, Denis Rizov, Andrei Batashov, Stefan Valdobrev, Marius Kurkinski, Hristo Mutafchiev, Maya Bejanska and others. Also featured in the storyline are Bulgarian politicians, as well as foreign nationals having crossed paths with the artists: Antonina Stoyanova, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Sergei Stanishev, Terence Trent D'Arby, Javier Mariscal, Issey Miyake, David Carson, Elliott Earls.\r\n\r\n
The exhibition comprises two groups of portraits – representative and freestyle. The former abide by the laws of classic studio photography, where front-view shots, neutral backgrounds and statically arranged compositions prevail. The latter may be characterized as accidentally captured images revealing unusual perspectives and positions. Thus the artists have created two images of the same generation, which is liberated, yet also focused on its aims and mission.\r\n\r\n
Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov rely on techniques used in classic and advertising photography, coupled with snapshot techniques, thus creating a moving photographic language.\r\n\r\n
The presence of the people having been portrayed, as well as the compelling style of the artists, characterized by exquisite taste and intuition, render the project a positive sign of the times, namely of the past 20 years.\r\n\r\n
The exhibition will be accompanied by a book of photographs (180 pages, hardcover) by “Janet-45” Publishing, featuring texts by Walter Seidl, Maria Vassileva and Georgi Lozanov.\r\n\r\n
A project of\r\n\r\n
The project received co-funding under the 2013 “Culture” Program of the Capital City Municipality, it was implemented to back up the application of Sofia and the South-western Region for European capital of culture - 2019 г.\r\n\r\n
With the kind support of:\r\n\r\n
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