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Tuesday 22 October 2024
21 October 2024 - 27 October 2024
July 2024
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
16.04.2024 - 13.10.2024

FRANZ VON STUCK | Between Light and Darkness

Kvadrat 500
The exhibition ‘Franz von Stuck. Between Light and Darkness’ is the first presentation in Bulgaria of the famous German symbolist (1863 – 1928), popular among the general public in our country because of his work ‘Lucifer’ (1890) from the National Gallery’s collection, purchased by Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria during his visit to Munich the following year. Now it is exhibited alongside twelve of the artist’s works from the collection of the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich (portraits, mythological and religious paintings, and related drawings and etchings) providing an overview of the artist’s oeuvre.
The two paintings that brought Stuck worldwide fame, the large-format ‘The Guardian of Paradise’ (1889), which is rarely shown outside Villa Stuck, and ‘Lucifer’ from our collection, will resume their dramatic dialogue, meeting again in Hall 24 of Kvadrat 500. In addition to witnessing the expressive clash between “light” and “darkness,” viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with other famous works of the artist, e.g., ‘Prometheus,‘ ‘Samson and the Lion.’ The impressive canvas ‘The Sin’ became so popular that the artist executed several versions, including the one shown in the exhibition that he installed in the “Altar of the Artist” in his studio in Villa Stuck. The display allows re- experiencing Franz von Stuck’s iconic work ‘Lucifer’ in its original context, loaded with the semantic characteristic of the era in which it was created.
The exhibition design decisions address the aesthetics of Villa Stuck – Franz von Stuck’s greatest artistic project, which was later turned into a municipal museum, preserving a large part of the artist’s work. In Hall 24, the architects Kiril Ass and Nadya Korbut used a series of spatial and colour allusions to the Pompeian antique tradition that Stuck laid at the heart of his decorative solutions.
Franz von Stuck is one of the most famous representatives of the Symbolist movement in art worldwide and is among the founders of the Munich Secession, the predecessor of the one in Vienna. To this day, Symbolism remains among the most popular and attractive artistic phenomena of the late 19th century. This exhibition expands the Bulgarian public’s understanding of one of the most famous European artists from the decades between the 19th and 20th centuries. Through his works, one could become more familiar with the art of Symbolism, which greatly influenced Bulgarian modernists. Franz von Stuck was a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and architect; among his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich were world-renowned figures such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Josef Albers, and the Bulgarian Kocho (Konstantin) Garnev.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue, published in partnership with the Museum Villa Stuck and containing an in-depth account of the works on display.
The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria and co-financed by the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation. Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition
Mariya Kodinova, assistant curator
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
19.10.2024
Religious Holidays
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
16.07.2024 - 20.10.2024

BISTRA LECHEVALIER | RETROSPECTIVE

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Yana Bratanova
The National Gallery continues its mission and policy of introducing the public to artists of Bulgarian origin who have won professional recognition beyond the country’s borders.
Bistra Lechevalier is one of a few contemporary conceptual artists who have risen to international prominence. This retrospective exhibition presents her art in Bulgaria for the first time.
For Bistra Lechevalier, freedom is a prime code. Her early compositions from the 1970s—‘Flight of Birds’ (1964), the iconic Window Series (‘Blocked Window’, ‘Burned Window’, ‘White Window’) and ‘Injured Chairs’—are expressions of her overwhelming desire to be free. Everything she has created represents a powerful vehicle for flight beyond limitations.
The artist’s works are made of both natural and industrial materials. She combines gypsum with wood, straw and glass, lending them a particular exquisiteness. It is by skilfully handling paper, resin, caoutchouc, cast iron, lead, cast aluminium and bronze, polyester, neoprene rubber, mirrored surfaces, fabric, ropes, etc., that she realises her dreams and ideas. Possessing an innate ability to search for new forms, she transforms matter in smooth transitions from volume to flatness, and vice versa.
Iconic sculptures, objects, drawings and installations from Bistra Lechevalier’s studio and the Enseigne des Oudin Endowment Fund collection in Paris have now arrived at the National Gallery. The emblematic series include ‘After’ (2024), a large-scale installation, never shown before, and fully adapted to the spatial characteristics of the exhibition gallery. Its twenty sculptural forms, rising to a height of 2.5 metres, symbolise the future, that ‘new, bright beginning that always rises above the ruin’, about which the artist writes in her narrative, ‘The Blue Planet’.
The exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality, the French Institute in Bulgaria, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
20.06.2024 - 24.11.2024

LABOUR: When the Foundations Were Laid

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition focuses on one of the most significant themes in the art of Socialism—labour. Among the artists behind the paintings, sculptures, graphics and applied art works, names such as Iliya Petrov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Sotirov, Nikola Tanev, Stoyan Venev, Ekaterina Savova-Nenova, and Alexander Poplilov, stand out.
Both classic examples of Socialist Realism and unknown or previously unexhibited works are on display. In addition to their high artistic qualities, some of them represent authentic documents from one of the most controversial and dramatic periods in Bulgaria’s political history. Such is Nikola Tanev’s graphic series of the construction of the Lovech-Troyan Railway, the Kutsian mine, and the Republic colliery in Pernik, as well as graphic works by Pavel Valkov depicting the erection of the Georgi Dimitrov Mausoleum in Sofia.
After the Second World War, a totalitarian model of governance was established in Bulgaria, with the Communist Party at the helm. Within a few years only, control had been imposed on all spheres of political, social and cultural life.
Art and culture began to perform propaganda functions. The new ‘proletarian’ or ‘Party’ art created its mythologems, among which—along with the ‘leader’ and the ‘hero’—the image of the worker was assigned a central place.
The Socialist world view made labour one of the principal ideologemes turning it into a rigid narrative and a tool for imposing its own power. It was labour itself that was the instrument, the means for transforming society and the moulding of the new man. The social demiurges remodelled this fundamental, age-old impulse and necessity of human beings to work to ensure their livelihood, into a glorified, almost sacral activity, standing on the loftiest pedestal of Socialist virtues.
The parade pathos of Socialist Realism dominated Bulgarian art from the late 1940s to the end of the 1950s, bequeathing classic examples of this artistic style and thematic engagement. In the subsequent decades of totalitarian rule, the interpretations and intonations of the expression of the theme would change; other motifs and novel imagery were to come, but these will be the subjects of the next editions of the ‘Labour’ exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
06.06.2024 - 31.05.2025

The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova REFLECTIONS

Kvadrat 500 Atrium Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.
Curator: Martin Kostashki
The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.
The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.
The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’
When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus.
The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.
The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and soSofia.com, the independent platform for city symbols.
The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions