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Thursday 02 March 2023
27 February 2023 - 05 March 2023
December 2023
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
24.01.2023 - 26.03.2023

THE FAIRY-TALE WORLD OF LYUBEN ZIDAROV

Kvadrat 500, 4th Floor – New wing of the building
The artist-illustrator complements the writer’s text and, at the same time, like a magician wielding a brush, opens a door to what is written and to the imagination of the readers.
One of those magicians was Lyuben Zidarov (1923–2023), who most recently ascended to his imaginary worlds, leaving behind a comprehensive gallery of images that make young and old alike smile and evoke warm memories of their favourite books.
In the museum, an illustration, ‘parted’ from the book’s inner body, takes on the life of an independent easel artwork in its bright primary colouring. The ten selected images based on famous works for children and adults reveal to the viewer only a small part of the oeuvre of Lyuben Zidarov, a man extremely dedicated to his work, with an in-depth attitude and love for what he had dedicated himself to. His curiosity for the surrounding reality, his tireless desire to work and his rich fantasy are imprinted on the illustrations, which are a natural visual continuation of the narrative in the books, revealing epochs, real and fantastic worlds, cities, places and personages. For almost every reprint of a given book, Lyuben Zidarov refined and further developed his drawings, making them a little different and more alive. Over the course of seven decades, the artist’s creative flair matured to achieve a unique and recognisable style.
Dr Tanya Staneva
Curator at the National Gallery
Exhibitions
14.02.2023 - 14.05.2023

CHAPKANOV. THE ALCHEMIST

The National Gallery announces the opening of an exhibition on the Bulgarian sculptor Georgi Chapkanov, dedicated to his 80th birthday. More than 70 works are included – owned by the artist; the inventory of the National Gallery; the Museum of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo; the Sofia City Art Gallery; the art galleries in Burgas, Dobrich, Ruse, Silistra, Stara Zagora, Veliko Tarnovo, and Yambol; and privation collectors.
Through the medium of virtual reality, the artist’s most iconic project is presented in one of the halls – the monument dedicated to the city of Sofia. Situated on a 16-meter high column, the statue’s details and history are little known. The process of its creation, which continued for more than nine months in 2000, is presented with excerpts from the film by director Todor Chapkanov, shown here for the first time.
The exhibition, retrospective in character, places Chapkanov’s at first glance earthly works within the context of an unearthly, metaphysical world, one in which the celestial has its own clearly demarcated structure. This is the path that every human soul is destined to take – from limbo/purgatory to hell and heaven. This Cosmos, a spiritual world of transformation and becoming, is held by an all-powerful deity endowed with a feminine essence and form – the “heavenly wisdom” Sophia.
The project has been made possible through the financial support of the Events Program of the Sofia Municipality and with the kind cooperation of UniCredit Bulbank. Curators of the exhibition are Ivo Milev and Milko Dobrev.
Exhibitions
20.02.2023 - 31.12.2023

THE APOSTLE’S CONFESSION

Multimedia exposition dedicated to 150 years since the death of the Apostle of Freedom, Vasil Levski.
Using holographic technology on a large-scale video wall, a re-enactment of the trial of the Apostle of Freedom is displayed, and significant moments of his life are brought back to life. Veselin Plachkov portrays Vasil Levski. Actors Ivan Trenev, Lyubov Pavlova, Rumen Ivanov, Alexander Georgiev, Biser Marinov and Nikola Dodov are also participants. Nelly Dimitrova is the screenwriter; Dimitar Gochev, the director; Simeon Parashkevov and Dimitar Gochev, cinematographers; Atanas Gendov, composer; Pirina Veselinova, Evgeni Gospodinov and the Svetoglas Quartet, musical performers; sensor studio, animation and mapping; Hristo Karagyozov, audio mixing and post-production; Ivo Milev, creative producer; and Tsvetoslav Borisov, executive producer.
The National Gallery and the Vasil Levski All-Bulgarian Committee created the exposition, with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and donations by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation, Kaufland Bulgaria EOOD, Aurubis Bulgaria JSC, Vazovski Machinery Works JSC – Sopot, and patriotic Bulgarians.
Kvadrat 500, entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd., Sofia
Opening hours:
Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.– 6 p.m.
The screenings are 30 minutes away, starting at 10 am
Bookings for groups of up to 20 people: +359 879 834 025
FREE ADMISSION
Exhibitions
23.02.2023 - 26.03.2023

Stanislav Belovski | I HAD TO DO SOMETHING…

As the title of the exhibition itself suggests, Stanislav Belovski declares his position as a protagonist who cannot stand aloof, who is turned in on himself, addressing purely aesthetic issues.
‘The artist is not an academic researcher in order to be objective or neutral. Art is above all a personal position, a kind of political act. A few years ago, I began creating works in urban environments and on social media so as to reach those people who wouldn’t step into a gallery to see my art.
My desire is to provoke them into rationalising and arguing their opinion on important social issues. Big decisions are not taken somewhere ‘up there’; we make them through our personal choices. Each one of us is important and can change things,’ declared Stanislav Belovski about his street stencil, ‘Putin Carrying His Dead Body’, which travelled around world agencies in March and April 2022.
The exhibition highlights this aspect of the artist’s work: street art from 2022, digital collages and paintings created as a reaction to the war in Ukraine, which began exactly one year ago on 24 February, as well as a reflection on calls for ‘neutrality’ that resonate through our society.
The theme of rationalising our common past and its imprint on the present is the subject of Stanislav Belovski’s oeuvre in a series of individual and group projects over the years, presented in this exhibition through selected works including ‘Correction of Socialism’ (2014), ‘Forget Your Past’ on the initiative of photographer Nikola Mihov (2017), and ‘No Reason to Leave the Sun’ (2019). A special place is occupied by impressive monuments as signs of our collective past and of the way artistic interventions can reverse meaning and neutralise the symbols with which they are loaded.
The speed of the artistic response to current events also determines Stanislav Belovski’s means of expression. In his works, he includes quotations and borrowings from well-known works of art, archival photographic material, his personal photo archive, and documentary photographs and reports from scenes of military action; he turns to widely known, iconic images. In his collages, the artist uses works by famous artists such as Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Richard Hambleton, Roy Lichtenstein, Gustave Caillebotte, Caspar David Friedrich, and photographers Ivor Prickett and Slim Aarons, among others, with each works accompanied by a description of the original source, time and place of its presentation in a public space.
https://nationalgallery.bg/visiting/sofia-arsenal-museum-of-contemporary-art/
Exhibitions
02.03.2023

SASCHA GOETZEL & LUCAS DEBARGUE

Conductor
Sascha Goetzel
Soloist/s
Lucas Debargue
Ensemble
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Program
Camille Saint-Saëns - Piano Concerto No.5 "The Egyptian" in F major, Op.103
Richard Strauss - Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks -Tone Poem, op.28
Ottorino Respighi - The Pines of Rome -Tone Poem for Orchestra
Music and Dance Events