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.
A POSSIBLE HISTORY
12 September 2012 - 02 March 2013
This project is an attempt to present, both visually and theoretically, the development of Bulgarian art from the late 19th century through the present day. The visual aspect of the exhibition involves the artifacts belonging to the museum collection, while the theoretical component comprises texts analyzing artistic developments. The study of the latter was structured as follows: analysis of six periods with five sub-themes each. Prominent Bulgarian art historians, namely Irina Genova, Tatiana Dimitrova, Chavdar Popov, Boris Danailov, Diana Popova and Maria Vassileva, were invited to research developments in Bulgarian art based on the gallery’s collection and consequently offer their reviews. The individual parts of the study comprise a comprehensive view of history from a modern vantage point. Each period and its sub-themes reveal the most significant aspects of their time. The project, comprising an exhibition and an exhibition catalogue, is highly educational, as it aims to make a clear, user-friendly outline of major tendencies and trends.
The exhibition elaborates on issues, which were either never brought up before, or were presented outside the context of their time and the overall logic of artistic developments. Examples include early 20th century themes such as interest in the Orient or salon portraiture, as well as the development of art from the early 1950’s through the mid-1950’s. The project is an attempt to view art history from all sides in order to challenge stereotypical perceptions or ideology-based interpretation of artworks and offer a modern viewpoint that is as objective as it is possible.
The study is based on the museum’s collection, whose scope and comprehensiveness allow such a broad view of history. The collection, which dates back over 80 years, now features more than 8, 000 artworks, belonging to the genres of painting, sculpture, graphic art, contemporary art and photography. Its building is related to the overall development of modern Bulgarian art, which went a long way within a century, namely between the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule (1878) and the early 21st century, going through various intensive processes of initiation, institutionalization, and recognition. This development was marked by change and reconsideration of values, prompted by various art-related and political factors, namely the willingness to measure up to European art and culture and build a tradition, which would create a sense of history and thus contribute to the social significance of art. "
"A Possible History“exhibition offers an interpretation of Bulgarian art history through the gallery’s collection, as the latter features various, and unique, unknown and emblematic artworks and names, which have a prominent place in the development of Bulgarian art. This new project and study concerning the art collection of the Sofia City Art Gallery do not only aim to contribute to the already voluminous body of research, exploring the collection’s beauty, richness and significance. This exhibition and study offer a chronological outline, as well as a comparison of styles and themes, which reveals the points of intersection between the views of various artists, associations of artists, and artistic trends. Thus the exhibition and the study related to it consider various trends in the history of Bulgarian art over the period between 1878 and 2012, which came to interact with one another, while taking turns at the dominant position in the course of the decades.
The 200-page exhibition catalogue features 300 reproductions and texts in Bulgarian and English.
The “Vaska Emanouilova” Gallery, which is a branch of the Sofia City Art Gallery, also came up with new permanent exhibits. Vaska Emanouilova’s art was considered and presented chronologically through her work, as well as by photographs, documents and the accounts of renowned art historians and fellow artists.
The “Possible History“ exhibition was made possible with kind support from the Ministry of Culture, the Sofia Municipality, OGNYANOVO K Plc.,PLENA Group Company, METROREKLAMA, CEZ- Bulgaria, REOFIX SMLLC and in media partnership with the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio.