Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане


17 April 2012 - 12 May 2012

Nadezhda Kouteva is an artist exceptionally consistent in her plastic pursuits. The structure of her paintings is characterized by a slight, anxious vibration as if an ethereal breeze is swaying the space and everything within it, blowing harder at times, tilting trees and people. Architecture plays an increasingly important role in her works perhaps because it quietens the gusts of wind so as not to blow the people away. Those people are restless – like embarrassed extras accidentally gotten into the shot, hastening to get out of it at the risk of being broken up by its end. When decked out in national costume, their demeanour changes and their frieze movement turns into ritual chain dance and chant sung from music on an invisible stave for which the picture space is often not sufficient – then Nadezhda Kuteva arranges them on the next line dividing the space in belts. As melody carriers they are impersonal, unrecognizable, rhythmic accents rather than a presence charged with meaning, even when caught in the foreground. The drawings in the exhibition reveal the attention with which architectural objects are composed, the main goal being the vibrating of the space between and within them. The significance of space in her most successful works is dominant, that is why the place preferred for still life is the window sill. When skies and sea waves are not sufficient, the reflections of the clouds passing by come to the aid.

In this traveller’s exhibition temples take a special place. Something happens in the reflected light around St. Geroge’s Rotunda, the silhouettes of the visitors in the Russian Church are reminiscent of the Italian Renaissance, the saints walk about together with the worshippers in the half-demolished Nessebar church of St. John Theologian where light and winds rush in from all directions.

Works in the collections of The National Art Gallery, Sofia City Art Gallery, the Art Galleries of Gabrovo, Kjustendil, Plovdiv, Sliven, Stara Zagora; The Humour and Satire House, Gabrovo, Poland, Slovakia and Private Collections in Bulgaria, England, Germany, Korea, USA, France, Holland, Japan.

17 March 2012 - 15 April 2012


14 March 2012 - 15 April 2012

The exhibition “Common History and Its Private Stories. Geschichte und Geschichten” is an attempt to honour the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall not so much as the main event of recent European history but as an event with massive implications; an event, which triggered a succession of political events with global impacts that are defining our lives in the last 20 years. 

The exhibition was conceived on the basis of the collection of MUSA Museum Start Gallery Artothek in Vienna. It pays special attention to the typical for this institution ability to keep close track of the artistic production in Vienna. The defining principles of the museum collection form the basis of the exhibition – it is a composition of personal reactions on the changes; of individual political and social engagement with the process; of witness accounts, reflections, and self-analysis of 
artists from various generations and background. 

Due to the strong increase in dialogue and cooperation in the world of politics, business, art and culture, it has become necessary to readjust and fine-tune our attitude towards everything that is different. National and international aspects have been increasingly intermingled, public entities have been privatised – all these aspects have shaped the recent common history in Europe and beyond. 

Common history tends to generalise matters, create myths and stereotypes. It needs a greater distance to finally calm down and be analysed. However, none of us who have witnessed and/or participated in the process have such a distance. 

“We lack objectivity … but we still remember … we remember the rush of freedom, the fraternisation with former enemies, the experience of terrorist acts and violence. We are the ones who have both won and lost by the transformation from a society that was permanently confronted with shortcomings to a consumer society. Ours are the pains of the slow realisation – the realisation that freedom is not a habitual drug but a social contract with shared responsibilities. We are the ones who have travelled the way from a bipolar model of the world to a political world order to ... well, to what?” 

The exhibition deals with the common history all generations have experienced in the past 20 years. Each of these generations have their own traumas and have made their own experiences, observations and conclusions based on the constant daily comparison of “before” and “after” as well as “here” and “here”. The most obvious comparisons can be made between the Europe that was separated by the Iron Curtain and the European Union and its enlarged “family” of candidate 
countries that are united by common political and economic interests. 

The artists who present their works in the exhibition come from different countries and different cultural backgrounds, but they are all witnesses of the change, the transition, and the unification. 

Roland Fink, curator of “Common History and Its Private Stories. Geschichte und Geschichten”: “Due to their experiences with the transition process the artists broach the issue how society deals with romanticised non-remembering and the reflexion on the phenomenon. Childhood memories, (outlived) traditions, desires, maintained legends and myths, and a search for orientation become instruments in the exhibition as well as objects of artistic analysis.”

The exhibition unites different approaches and ways of dealing with these transformation processes. “Common History and Its Private Stories. Geschichte und Geschichten” presents works of 30 artists. 

A catalogue about the exhibition is available in Bulgarian, English and German. 

Vaska Popova - Balareva /1902 1979/ 110th Anniversary of Her Birth

10 March 2012 - 06 April 2012

The exhibition commemorating the anniversary of the artist’s birth comprises part of the initiative of the Sofia City Art Gallery to show its visitors the work of Bulgarian artists, who went down in the history of Bulgarian art, yet remaining far from the “spotlight”.

Vaska Popova-Balareva was among the artists who avoided flaunting their presence in the artistic circles of the 1930’s through the 1970’s. Having lived her life like a true aristocrat, she is giving today’s viewers the opportunity to catch a glimpse of her world. The exhibition features plenty of portraits of children, men and women, for which the artist employed a variety of painting media. There is an interesting group of paintings standing out, representing the images of tenor Stefan Makedonski, composer Lyubomir Pipkov, artists Cyril Petrov and Raphael Mihaylov, author Elisaveta Bagryana, all of whom were friends with the artist. The exhibition also features still lifes, landscapes, graphic works, as well as various projects of hers belonging to the field of applied arts (leather crafting).

The works featured in the exhibition belong to the collections of the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the “Boris Denev” Veliko Tarnovo City Art Gallery, the “Petko Zadgorski” Burgas City Art Gallery, the “Elena Karamihaylova” Shumen City Art Gallery, the Ruse City Art Gallery, the “Svetlin Rusev” Studio-Collection – Sofia, the “Earth and People” National Museum – Sofia, the State Music and Ballet Center – Sofia, as well as of many private collectors.

Vaska Popova-Balareva was born in the city of Ruse on April 7, 1902. She was raised in the family of a general and a mother who was an artist and a musician. Her love of art took her to the National Academy of Arts, Sofia, where she took up studies in Prof. Tseno Todorov’s painting class. Under the mentorship of Prof. Nikola Marinov, she mastered the language of colours, graduating in 1927. Two years later, following an admission test, she was admitted to the Academy of Arts in Rome for further specialization. There she got acquainted in detail with leather crafting techniques. After her return to Bulgaria, she established herself as a pioneer in this field. In 1933 she married General Hristo Balarev, with whom she had a son. The artist’s home was frequented by intellectuals Soya Paprikova, Bistra Vinarova, Alexander Poplilov, Cyril Petrov, Raphael Mihaylov, Andrey Nikolov, Boris Ivanov, Alexander Zhendov, Mara Georgieva, Vaska Emanuilova, Veselin Staykov, Lyuba Palikareva. Vaska Popova-Balareva died on August 3, 1979 in Sofia.

ASSOCIATION OF NEW ARTISTS (1931-1944) 80th Anniversary of the Establishment

13 December 2011 - 04 March 2012

The “Association of New Artists. 80th Anniversary of the Establishment” exhibition is a part of a series of research projects developed by Sofia City Art Gallery in the recent years.
The Association of New Artists played an important role in Bulgarian art in different historical periods. Founded back in 1931, it had a short existence - only until 1944. In that period, the Association managed to get its way and to demonstrate an intense artistic life. The "New Ones" regularly participated in all the all-artist exhibitions, they arranged exhibitions of the Association and implemented interesting public initiatives. The aim of that generation of artists was to set new tasks and problems to our art, to reach new and modern means of expression facing the needs of the spirit of the time when they lived.

The exhibition is a retrospective one, with two major highlights – an art section consisting of over 250 paintings, sculptures and graphic works, collected from the city galleries across the country and from the private collections; and a documentary section which includes a large number of archival and critical materials related to the organizational and artistic life of the Association. In “Vaska Emanuilova” Gallery – the subsidiary of Sofia City Art Gallery, a documentary exhibition is arranged, related to the exhibitions of the New Artists and to the reviews of the critics. The expositions are accompanied by a film program dedicated to the times of the New Ones, to the Association, to some individual artists. Apart from the visual image that is being built through the works of art, through the documents and films - music from those years, selected especially for the occasion, will sound in the halls of Sofia City Art Gallery.

The exhibition aims to present as explicitly as possible the work of the New Artists united by a common creative platform, to reconstruct the artistic path of the Association, to give a more complete idea of the artists’ personal destinies, of the continuity, influences, traditions, spiritual motivations - so that the viewer touches closer to their epoch.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue both in Bulgarian and English languages.

The project was implemented
in partnership with:
The Institute of Art Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences,
Archives State Agency
Bulgarian National Film Archive,
Bulgarian National Televisionand 

With the assistance of:
Sofia City Library
"St. St. Cyril and Methodius" National Library 
National Academy of Arts
"Boris Georgiev" Varna City Art Gallery
"Boris Denev" Veliko Tarnovo City Art Gallery
Dobrich City Art Gallery,
Kazanlak City Art Gallery,
"Vladimir Dimitrov-The Master" Kyustendil City Art Gallery
"Luben Gaidarov" Pernik City Art Gallery
"Iliya Beshkov" Pleven City Art Gallery
Plovdiv City Art Gallery
Popovo City Art Gallery
Ruse City Art Gallery
"Dimitar Dobrovich" Sliven City Art Gallery
Stara Zagora City Art Gallery
Smolyan City Art Gallery
"Nikola Marinov" Targovishte City Art Gallery
"George Papazov" Yambol City Art Gallery
"Svetlin Rusev" Studio-Collection, Sofia
“Svetlin Rusev” Collection-Donation, Pleven
“Nikolay Shmirgela” Studio-Centre, Sofia
“Loran” Gallery and private collectors.

With kind support from:
Allianz - Bulgaria
Association for the Development of Sofia
CEZ Bulgaria
Onnig Kyuchyukian
Ventsislav Kadiev
Alberto Staykov
Kolyo Byanov
Georgi Ovcharov
Exhibition team: Adelina Fileva, Milena Balcheva, Svetlin Rusev, Ilinka Chergarova, Marin Marinov, Svetla Georgieva, Stefan Stefanov, Stanislava Nikolova, Plamen V. Petrov, Kristina Dineva, Tanya Staneva, Maria Miteva, Anatoli Mihailov, Kalina Mincheva and Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova.


04 November 2011 - 27 November 2011

Within the tradition of Bulgarian art, the name of Mihalis Garudis has been associated with hyperrealism in painting.
This exhibition features about 40 artworks. It has the touch of a retrospective exhibition, as it has on display works belonging to various periods, allowing the viewer to follow the artist’s development as regards his approach to meaning, form and visual quality. 

Works featured in the exhibition can be divided into several groups according to theme. 
The first group comprises early still lifes – compositions, where the representation of objects is placed within a specific meaningful context. At the beginning of his career as an artist, the artist makes sense of the objects represented on his canvases through philosophical contemplation.
The next group comprises works interpreting the themes of antiquity, heritage, the destructive force of time, and the creative force of the act of striving for freedom. They exude epic monumentality. 

The third group of paintings has a recurrent sea motif. For more than three decades, the sea has been an endless source of interpretation for Mihalis Garudis. It is his major theme, also dominating the exhibition in question. In this group of paintings the artist seeks to spot the traces of time, imprinted on what is washed away by the sea, in mankind’s collective memory, in the comparison between the fleeting and the eternal. 
The fourth group of works is closely related to the Mediterranean spirit. Over the last years, the artist has created a large number of paintings, featuring the olive tree as a central motif. Undoubtedly, the olive is associated with Greece, yet Garudis interprets it, adopting a cosmopolitan perspective, too. As depicted in his canvases, the olive fosters exotic contemplation, bringing about peace and calm. 

All the paintings featured in the exhibition carry the mark of the artist’s signature style. They are characterized by command of form, exquisite line, meaningful composition. Even deformation is subjected to further aestheticizing. For Mihalis Garudis the meaning of art is manifested in the objective, tangible essence of things, the reality, seen through the symbolical layers of virtuosically represented particularity. Among the artist’s signature approaches is the comparison between what exists in reality and what is represented. The nails, ropes, trees, rusty metal fragments, assembled into a collage, complement the meticulously represented objects, prompting the viewer to reach out and touch them. Typically, his paintings are organized around the conflict between real and represented, two-dimensional and three-dimensional, which provokes an optical game. 
Mihalis Garudis does not act as a story teller in his tangible-metaphorical paintings. He pays meticulous attention to form, comparing what is represented to the real object, the past to the present, timelessness to transience, letting philosophical contemplation prevail over extreme expression. 

The works featured in the exhibition are the ownership of the Sofia City Art Gallery, theNational Art Gallery, the Razgrad Art Gallery, the Strazhitsa Art Gallery, and private collectors. 

Mihalis Garudis was born in1940 in the town of Didymóteicho, Greece. He studied painting in Prof. Iliya Petrov’s class at the Academy of Arts, Sofia, graduating in 1965. He has lived and worked in Thessaloniki, Greece since 1986. He works in the fields of monumental arts, painting, collage. His works are the ownership of a number of museums and private collectors in Bulgaria and abroad.

KONTAKT COLLECTION Works from the Kontakt Art collection Curators Maria Vassileva, Walter Seidl

22 October 2011 - 27 November 2011

The exhibition presents a significant part of Vienna’s “Kontakt” collection, which aims to collect some of the most important works, created in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, as well as to draw parallels between the various conceptual artistic practices, having developed since the 1960’s. 

“Kontakt” was founded at the end of 2004 as an association, represented by: BCR, Česká spořitelna, Erste Bank Croatia, Erste Bank Hungary, ERSTE Foundation, Erste Group, Slovenská sporiteľňa. 

Contemporary artworks from countries with similar historical fate are presented in Bulgaria for the first time. The exhibition follows the development of video, performance, conceptual photography, object, installation, and action in Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Bulgaria. The exhibition also features works by leading Austrian artists, as it was through Vienna that contact with the West was being made for many years. 

The collection poses a variety of questions concerning both more distant and more recenthistory. It touches upon sensitive issues such as the darkest aspects of the communist past or the damages done by the war in former Yugoslavia. Yet, the red thread tying the works is the search and establishment of identity of one’s own – starting with making sense of modernist legacy, passing through inner opposition to the political status quo, to go on to introduce gender issues. The question “What is art?” (the title of a work by Raša Todosijević) acquires profound dimensions when viewed in light of the artists’ capacity to sense, analyze, comment upon and trigger situations, events and changes.

Artists: Paweł Althamer, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Geta Brătescu, Carola Dertnig, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Gorgona, Ion Grigorescu, Marina Grinić, IRWIN, Sanja Iveković, Šejla Kamerić, Julije Knifer, Július Koller, Jiri Kovanda, Edward Krasiński, Katalin Ladik, Natalia LL, Kazimir Malevich, Vlado Martek, Dalibor Martinis, Ivan Moudov, OHO, Roman Ondák, Tanja Ostojić, Neša Paripović, Boryana Rossa, Kateřina Šeda, Aina Šmid, Mladen Stilinović, Raša Todosijević, Peter Weibel, Artur Żmijewski

An exhibition catalogue is available in Bulgarian and English.

Two lectures will take place in the frames of the exhibition: VALIE EXPORT, artist, Vienna and Bojana Pejic, curator, Belgrade/Berlin.


21 September 2011 - 30 October 2011

This year marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of Nikola Petrov - one of most remarkable and valuable talents, having contributed to the history of Bulgarian art with his innovative approach. Nikola Petrov’s paintings belong to the category of artworks that are still relevant in the present day, also looking ahead into the future. His extraordinary gift and skill, his short life and untimely death – he died when he was only 35 – turned him into a legend enveloped in mysticism. This mysticism stems from his remarkable life story. It is an intense, over-eventful story. Qualitative changes, having occurred within short time periods, are easy to spot in various artworks of his.

This artistic dynamics started very early, namely in his student years. He was only 22, when became a founding member of the “Modern Art” Association in 1903. In the same year he received a state grant and visited Rome. From this point on, he would participate every year in various events held in Sofia, Belgrade, Liège, London, Zagreb, Munich, Venice, Rome, Berlin. In addition to the multitude of drawings, watercolor and oil paintings, Nikola Petrov also illustrated works by Pencho Slaveykov and Todor Vlaykov, and created the mural composition “Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary” in the northern altar of the “Alexander Nevski” Cathedral. His painting “Lions’ Bridge in the City of Sofia”, featured at an international exhibition in Rome in 1911, was bought by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome. In the same year his painting “St. Sofia Church” was the first one of his paintings to be bought by the Bulgarian state.

His life story and artistic career will always feel incomplete because of what failed to be created by a remarkable talent within a life cut short. A talent and a life that could have given many a new direction in Bulgarian art, had they had more time on this earth.

The exhibition features works belonging to the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, the National Academy of Arts, the Sofia History Museum, the “Nikola Petrov” Vidin City Art Gallery, the Plovdiv City Art Gallery, the “Ivan Funev” Vratsa City Art Gallery, the Stara Zagora City Art Gallery, the National Museum of Military History, the National Museum of Literature, the “Svetlin Rousev” Studio-Collection, Sofia, the “Svetlin Rousev” Art Gallery-Donation, City of Pleven, the “Indzhov” Collection, the “Zhivko Chubriev” Collection and other private collections.

An exhibition catalogue is available, published with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the “Culture” Directorate of the Sofia City Municipal Council.

TOUCHING THE SHADOW CuratorKrasimir Iliev

15 September 2011 - 09 October 2011

The exhibition is an attempt to touch upon the issue of darkness and shadow, as seen in works, created within a nearly hundred-year period, by thirty Bulgarian artists belonging to various generations, namely Ivan Murkvichka, Nikola Petrov, Vladimir Dimitrov – the Master, Ivan Milev, Zhorzh Papazov, Nikola Tanev, Bencho Obreshkov, Iliya Beshkov, Vasil Ivanov, Genko Genkov, Nikola Daskalov, Georgi Baev, Atanas Patsev, Nikola Terziev, Peter Dochev, Ivan Georgiev – the Rembrandt, Tomas Kochev, Stoyan Tsanev, Angel Stanev, Dimitur Lalev, Dimitur Koulev, Milko Bozhkov, Stanislav Pamoukchiev, Yulia Stankova, Krasimir Iliev, Ziyatin Nouriev, Dimitur Iliev, Nadezhda Karapencheva, Antonia Angelova and Mina Angelova.

For them darkness and shadow have various meanings: the are masters of passions; a nurturing environment that engenders form; ghosts, prophesying doom, yet also the enchanting poetry of darkness, its designated time for ecstatic prayer, opening ajar the gate between life and death. The shadow may be a delicate weapon of female coquettishness. It may dance together with the light and be its counterpoint. The shadow is concentrated spirituality, and in order for form to be eternal, it has to contain a shadow. The shadow of a human is not only his/her essence, but also his/her entirety. Darkness is the fabric of the devil, yet also the haven of beauty. Darkness is the sadness of being aware of human imperfection. Darkness is a womb, yet also a snare for humans. It weaves its thread, entangling light in its attempt to devour it, but not its creator.

Works selected for the exhibition also present light and darkness in a continuum whose extremities are the Christian view of the fight between the two and the Chinese idea of their indivisibility and mutual complementation. It is obvious that in the course of time, especially after the 1970’s, black does not simply take over larger and larger territories in Bulgarian art, but frequently loses its negative meaning, even turning into the essential image-representing device. Consciously or not, this process draws it closer to this part of Far Eastern art, which is rooted in the Zen view of representation, namely the sudden reaching of this darkness-extracted shattering moment, that was prompted by enlightenment.


08 September 2011 - 09 October 2011

The exhibition seeks to reconsider Édouard Manet’s famous painting “The Luncheon on the Grass” – a theme that was subject to various interpretations long before Manet approached it, while his own painting inspired the creation of numerous replicas in the decades to follow. 

“The Luncheon on the Grass” prompted Roumen Skorchev to recapitulate his years-long life and artistic experience, to reconstruct well-established notions, to provide his own interpretation of aesthetical and moral values. In his variations on the theme, complete with his signature dynamic stroke of the brush and intense colors, he creates an intense sensation of the anxiety of the modern day and age, while searching for various perspectives on timeless questions and unresolved conflicts of human life. Going beyond the subject of Manet’s painting, the artist turns the theme into a field of his visual revelations, as well as into an intimate spiritual space of his own.
The Sofia City Art Gallery-hosted exhibition features exclusively new, previously un-exhibited works, created over the last few years. Roumen Scorchev presents his interpretations of the theme in 20 paintings and a selection of the numerous sketches and studies preceding them.

A richly illustrated exhibition catalogue is available*.

Academician Roumen Skorchev was born in 1932 in the town of Turgoviste. He earned a major in park construction and engineering in 1957, and in 1964 he graduated from the Academy Arts, where he has been holding a professorship ever since 1984. He has won more than 40 awards home and abroad. He has illustrated a large number of books for both children and adults. He was awarded a fellowship by the Japanese Kokucai Koryu Kikin Foundation. Works of his are featured in the Japanese two-volume edition presenting 300 leading graphic artists of the 20th century. In 1970 he was awarded a gold medal at the International Florence Biennial, the awarded work having been added to the Uffizi Gallery collection. Paintings of his present Bulgaria at the Albertina Museum, Vienna, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, the Netherlands, and many other museums and private collections around the world.

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Vaska Emanuilova Gallery