JULES PASCIN DE VIDIN PARIS
17 September 2013 - 21 November 2013
After a 38-year hiatus, owing to the extraordinary effort of the Embassy of France in Bulgaria, our country will host a retrospective exhibition of world famous artist Jules Pascin. It features 115 artworks belonging to the genres of painting, watercolor, drawing, graphic arts, collage, contributed by private collectors and art galleries in Paris, Luxemburg, Oslo, London and Tel Aviv.
Julius Mordecai Pincas, known as Jules Pascin, was born on 31 March, 1885 in the city of Vidin. In 1892, his family moved to Bucharest. Pascin graduated from high school in Vienna. Between 1902 and 1905 he received training at the art academies in Vienna, Budapest, Munich and Berlin. He contributed to the “Simplicissimus “ magazine published in Munich. In 1905, he moved to Paris, where he met his future wife, Hermine David. In 1907, he organized his first solo exhibition at Paul Cassirer’s gallery in Berlin. In 1914 he left for New York, where he lived until 1920. He traveled to the Southern states and Cuba. Then he went back to Paris, where he lived until his death in 1930.
In his relatively short life, Jules Pascin spent time in some of the world’s most vibrant cultural centres, namely Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Paris and New York. His art was far from being an isolated fact, it was rather part and parcel of what was going on in the first half of the 20th century. Having had a taste of the global changes in the ways art was viewed at the very turn of the century and having lived in one of the centres of artistic innovation, Vienna, he seemed to always find himself where things happened. As an active participant in the Munich and Berlin art scenes, Pascin reflected in his paintings the influence of Art Noveau, and later – of expressionism. Recognized as a genuine part of the School of Paris, the artist has invariably been associated with the Paris art scene. Having lived in the USA for seven years, where he was granted citizenship, he was the source of influence for a certain circle of American artists.
The “Jules Pascin – From Vidin to Paris“ exhibition allows insight into the artist’s rich and versatile legacy. It features plenty of drawings, a genre the artist attached great importance to. The exhibition includes early works created in 1905, when he started contributing to the Munich-based “Simplicissimus “ magazine; works created up to 1914 during his first Parisian period; 1914 –1920 works from his American period; as well as works belonging to his second Parisian period, which lasted until his death in 1930.
Pascin’s art can understood only when viewed as a whole, considering all the influences and changes internalized by him through the years. His participation in the Vienna, Munich and Berlin art scenes played an important role in the development of
his style. That is why it was essential to include drawings from this period in the exhibition. This highlights the importance of the early years, which are frequently overlooked. The inclusion of artworks from Pascin’s American period is another serious contribution of the exhibition. Besides the sketches of New York streets, there are drawings made by Pascin during his travels around the American South and Cuba, which are of particular interest as they reflect a somewhat unknown part of his legacy as an artist. They convey the immediacy and freshness of the very first impression, of drawing on the go. Yet, it is this type of artworks that clearly reveal the artist’s ability to “draw first sight portraits”, to elicit ready compositional solutions from chaotic reality, to bring the line’s dynamics and the stroke’s liveliness in tune with the rhythm of the journey. These drawings add to Pascin’s image as an artist who was hungry for the impressions created by reality, who could be inspired by a plain object, who sought for this type of inspiration, surrendered to the latter and willingly let himself be guided by it. The exhibition also features drawings made in Tunisia – another favourite destination of the artist, where he went on several occasions.
The exhibition includes artworks belonging to all major themes and genres, namely nude body, portrait, compositions based on Biblical and mythological themes, erotic drawings, illustrations, travel sketches, etc. The exhibition reveals Pascin’s legacy, duly presenting each distinct period of his artistic development. This creates a more dynamic image of the artist, and a sense of the latter’s restless and impulsive spirit and character, which drove his artistic moods in various directions and subjected the artist to different influences and tests.
The exhibition provides the opportunity to view all aspects of Jules Pascin’s artistic persona, namely the draftsman, the illustrator, the cartoonist and the painter; the master nude body, portrait, figure composition and landscape painter, the lyrical bard and the master of satire. Missing any of these aspects would make his image incomplete. Lively and dynamic as a person, he did not linger at the same place for a long time as an artist either – he was bound to search, change and alternate themes and genres. This is Jules Pascin – a restless genius, one of the most intriguing representatives of his time.
There is an exhibition catalogue in Bulgarian and French, including all artworks featured in the exhibition.
The research paper “Jules Pascin and Artistic Developments at the Turn of the 20th Century”, compiled by the exhibition’s curator Maria Vassileva was published (again in Bulgarian and French) as a separate edition.
Curator: Maria Vassileva
Exhibition team: David Weizmann, Adelina Fileva, Ilinka Chergarova, Petar Dimov, Nadezhda Danailova, Albena Charbanova, Kapka kaneva
Zlatyu Bpyadjiev and Baratsite
13 June 2013 - 01 July 2013
Zlatyu Boyadjiev and Baratsite is an exhibition organized by Sofia City Art Gallery and Art Gallery - Plovdiv. It consists of two parts - the first one includes iconic works by Zlatyu Boyadjiev from different periods, and the second is dedicated to his friendship with Vassil Barakov and David Peretz - the three known as Baratsite, tracking their common path in arts, as well as the personal development of each of them.
Zlatyu Boyadjiev will draw hundreds of compositions, portraits and landscapes in his creative life, marked by a watershed - the paralysis that determined his biography as an artist. So his work is divided into two periods. The first is characterized by the classic manner of composition, and in the picturesque building up is felt the influence of the Impressionists, of Renaissance masters and old icons, but the themes are always bound by Bulgarian nature, the small town and the village, with life in them. In the second period, when he began painting with his left hand, the style of the artist changed dramatically in the direction of imagery, including dozens of figures in the compositions and colours and expressive brushstrokes. His works acquired pronounced expressiveness and dramaticism. Some of them attract with their enjoyable story, while others are filled with bizarre characters, often as a disguise of symbolic meaning.
Fate made the three future artists meet in Plovdiv, where they had their first steps in art. That road started from drawing in the ruins of Kurshum Khan tavern, from the sign drawing company, the Academy of Arts, and their common lodging in Sofia, to take them out on the trails of the Rhodope mountains. Barakov, Boyadjiev and Peretz discovered their artistic means in this soft and beautiful mountain that attracted them
for years. And while the generation of Bulgarian landscape artists before them found beauty in old houses, their yards and alleys, it was Baratsite who discovered the Rhodope mountains for Bulgarian art as a plastic and sign image. The landscape in
the works of Boyadjiev, Barakov and Peretz is not just a beautiful view, but a specific creative attitude and mindset, depending on the purely subjective standpoint and feeling of the author.
Massive arrays, deep valleys, Rhodope style houses, curved paths, people and animals that inhabit them - they all possess the integrity and the forms that excited the three artists. They were attracted by the power of the mountain, its primary materiality, by the animate and the inanimate in it. The three artists, slowly over the decades, will walk their path from the Rhodope landscapes, through still lifes, figure compositions and portraits.
Peretz will create amazing landscapes and still life, turning them into high art. Over the years, he will go through figure composition with the means of synthetic expressive realism, reaching lyrical abstraction and progressively destructuring the image.
Barakov will be creative in still-life and portraits, but in all his works his preference will remain for the landscape genre. The artist’s early landscapes were expressive, with marked relief, saturated colour and dense texture, without minor details, but with synthetically achieved and simply expressed form. He was one of the first Bulgarian artists who developed industrial landscape. At a later stage Barakov created paintings, impressionistic in spirit.
So Zlatyu Boyadjiev, Vadsil Barakov and David Peretz subscribed to the history of Bulgarian art with the common direction in their young age, their personal individual contribution over the decades, and they remained forever linked by their students’ nickname Baratsite.
On the occasion of the exhibition was issued a bilingual (Bulgarian and English) catalogue of 100 pages with 114 reproductions, a comprehensive biography of Zlatyu Boyadjiev and a complete bibliography of the three artists.
The exhibition was organized with the collaboration of the Art Galleries in: Burgas, Varna, Vidin, Gabrovo, Dobrich, Kazanlak, Lovech, Pazardjik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Ruse, Sliven, Smolyan and Stara Zagora, as well as the Academician Svetlin Rusev, the National Art Gallery, the Boyan Radev collection, the State Agency of archives, the Municipal Institute Ancient Plovdiv, the National Library in Plovdiv, The National Library Ivan Vazov - Plovdiv, section Local History, the Regional State Archives - Plovdiv, the Regional Museum of History in Blagoevgrad, The organization of Jews in Bulgaria - Shalom.
After Sofia, the exhibition will be shown in the Art Galleries of Plovdiv and Stara Zagora.
The Other Eye Project: Gorgons in the Storage Room, or, Apocalypse Now
30 April 2013 - 02 June 2013
“The Other Eye” is a series of exhibitions by the idea of Maria Vassileva, where non-art historians and non-curators are invited to work with the Sofia City Art Gallery museum collection. The project aims to look beyond traditional interpretations of history and, possibly, “unearth” somewhat forgotten works, and also trace new links connecting the latter.
The Other Eye project is designed to fight precisely the inertia in viewing and interpreting. It includes in the dialogue with museum exhibits people who exercise their imaginations in other cultural fields or who are not burdened with narrow specialized knowledge. We rely on their fresh gaze to offer us surprising discoveries and to build new contexts for familiar works.
The first exhibition under this project, Luchezar Boyadjiev: Artist in the Storage (2010), took us through an installation labyrinth built on the basis of intimate, friendly, collegial and official relationships between generations of artists, relationships that have interwoven their works into a canvas of invisible, but definitive for their oeuvre, dialogues. Through the personal gaze of someone who is part of this amalgam of intrigues and emotions situated on a small visible territory, Luchezar Boyadjiev drew a tale about different times and storylines running uninterruptedly through them. In Out of Time (2011), the philosopher Boyan Manchev countered his own expectation of discovering in the collection primarily grand historical subjects and ideological narratives. Conversely, he found a harmonious balance between “private/public, everyday/holiday, human/inhuman, coercion/freedom, ideological utopia/idyllic utopia” and devoted his study to the specific, purely artistic time that seems to overcome historical time.
Ani Vaseva, Boryana Rossa and Monika Vakarelova juxtapose different views and perceptions about the collection which, albeit conflicting at first sight, find multiple points of intersection. Their gaze moves between the drama of the bleak reality and the timelessness of the reality that-may-have-been, between expectation and action, between the existent and the non-existent; it explores the storage rooms and tries to discover works with a “dual foundation” (as Ani Vaseva puts it). The world of art is made up of many worlds – as, in fact, is life itself. Ani, Boryana and Monika mark a territory of their own over the decades and offer it to us as one of the many possible routes through time and space.
The exhibition features approximately one hundred works by artists from different eras and trends from the late 19th century to the present day, performed in various techniques - painting, graphics, sculpture, photography, video, object. Among the authors are Georgi Danchov, Ivan Mrkvicka, Andrey Nikolov, Tsanko Lavrenov, Pencho Balkanski, Veselin Staikov, Binka Vazova, Stefan Gatsev, Georgi Baev, Lika Yanko, Vassil Simittchiev, Stanislav Pamukchiev, Margarita Pueva, Edmond Demirdjian, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Ivan Moudov, Stefaniia Batoeva and others.
A catalog was published in Bulgarian and English.
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Ani Vaseva (born in Sofia in 1982) is a playwright and theatre director. Her productions include the radio play Sick (2010), A Dying Play (2010), Frankenstein (2012), The Alleater (2012) and Meteor (2013; all in Bulgarian). Co-founder of METHEOR.
Boryana Rossa (born in Sofia in 1972) is an interdisciplinary artist and curator who works in the fields of performance, film, photography and digital arts, as well as on her own curatorial projects. Together with Oleg Mavromatti, she co-founded the ULTRAFUTURO group in 2004. She teaches at the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University, New York.
Monika Vakarelova (born in Sofia in 1987) is a doctoral student at Sofia University’s Department of History and Theory of Culture. Her research is in the field of cultural history of modernity, and her present interests are related to images and imageless events.