Events Calendar


Национална галерия „Двореца“
пл.„Княз Александър І“ 1
Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.


Friday 16 December 2022


пл.„Княз Александър І“ 1