Events Calendar


Select a day

M T W T F S S
week 5 1 2 3 4 5
week 6 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
week 7 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
week 8 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
week 9 27 28

Show map events

Sunday 04 December 2022
28 November 2022 - 04 December 2022
February 2023
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022

MICHEL TABACHNIK & DANIEL MÜLLER-SCHOTT

Bulgaria Concert Hall
Conductor
Michel Tabachnik
Soloist/s
Daniel Müller-Schott
Ensemble
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
National Philharmonic Choir
Program
Claude Debussy - "Nocturnes" for Symphony Orchestra ("Nuages", "Fetes", "Sirenes")
Edward Elgar - Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra in e minor op.85
Johannes Brahms - Symphony No.3
Music and Dance Events
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
03.12.2022

SHREK

A musical for the young audience based on the DreamWorks Animation
Duration - 01:40
Main hall
It is performed in Bulgarian
Music and Dance Events
03.12.2022

BALKAN SPIRITUS

Chamber Hall
Soloist/s
Ensemble
Classic Art
About the Event
Original and folk music from Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
Arrangements by Rosen Balkanski and Plamen Maslev, also pieces by Rosen Balkanski.
Featuring Rosen Balkanski and “Seasons” Mandolin Quintet.
Music and Dance Events
03.12.2022
Music and Dance Events
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
05.12.2022

FLAUTISSIMO QUARTET

Chamber Hall
Soloist/s
Ensemble
Flautissimo Quartet
About the Event
Works by Jaques Ibert, Eugene Bozza, Billy Mayerl, Catherine McMichael, Roumen Boyadjieff – Jr.
Featuring:
Vessela Trichkova – Harp
Music and Dance Events
06.12.2022
Religious Holidays
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
08.12.2022

NAYDEN TODOROV & DANIEL HOPE

Chamber Hall
Conductor
Nayden Todorov
Soloist/s
Daniel Hope
Ensemble
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
National Philharmonic Choir
Program
Edward Elgar - Violin concerto in B minor, Op. 61
Karl Jenkins – Requiem
Music and Dance Events
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
11.12.2022

ROSSEN MILANOV

Bulgaria Concert Hall
Conductor
Rossen Milanov
Soloist/s
Ludmil Angelov
Ensemble
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Program
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - "The Nutcracker"
Igor Stravinsky - The Firebird (L'Oiseau de feu) - version 1919
Music and Dance Events
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
12.12.2022

SOFIA PHILHARMONIC VISITS THE GRAND HALL AT BERLIN PHILHARMONIC

Concert, dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Berlin
Berlin Philharmonic – The Grand Hall
Conductor
Nayden Todorov
Soloist/s
Ludmil Angelov
Ensemble
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Program
Pancho Vladigerov - Piano Concerto No.3 in B-flat minor, Op.31
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy - Symphony No. 4 "Italian" in A Dur, op. 90
Music and Dance Events
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022

LA BOHÉME

Opera by Giacomo Puccini. With the special participation of students from Raina Kabaivanska's master classes in Bulgaria and Italy.
Duration 3:00 Intermission 1
Main hall
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
16.12.2022

LA BOHÉME

Opera by Giacomo Puccini. With the special participation of students from Raina Kabaivanska's master classes in Bulgaria and Italy.
Duration 3:00 Intermission 1
Main hall
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022

SIMEON PIRONKOFF

Bulgaria Concert Hall
Conductor
Simeon Pironkoff
Soloist/s
Milena Mollova
Ensemble
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Program
Stefan Dragostinov - Piano Concerto
Joseph Haydn - Symphony No.46
Anton Webern - 5 Pieces for Orchestra
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
17.12.2022

LA BOHÉME

Opera by Giacomo Puccini. With the special participation of students from Raina Kabaivanska's master classes in Bulgaria and Italy.
Duration 3:00 Intermission 1
Main hall
Music and Dance Events
17.12.2022

THE MUSIC OF LATIN AMERICA

Chamber Hall
Soloist/s
Ensemble
Classic Art
About the Event
Classic Art presents young talents:
Dalia Cholakova – violin
Momchil Kehayov – guitar
Alex Stoynev – saxophone
Yasen Vladimirov – percussions
Alexander Madzharov – French horn
Alina Mihaylova – violoncello
Sibyla Petrova – violoncello
Sara Peycheva – Double Bass
Arrangements by Slavi Dimov
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
18.12.2022

LA BOHÉME

Opera by Giacomo Puccini. With the special participation of students from Raina Kabaivanska's master classes in Bulgaria and Italy.
Duration 3:00 Intermission 1
Main hall
Music and Dance Events
18.12.2022

FROZEN

15:00 | 17:00 | 19:00
Fortissimo Family
Bulgaria Concert Hall
Conductor
Nayden Todorov
Soloist/s
Ensemble
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
19.12.2022

CONCERT WITH A DRESS CODE

Chamber Hall
Soloist/s
Ensemble
Sofia Quartet
Program
Joseph Haydn - String Quartet No.4 in B flat major, op. 76
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Eine kleine Nachtmusik KV525 (A Little Night Music)
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
20.12.2022

CHRISTMAS WITH QUARTO

Bulgaria Concert Hall
Soloist/s
Ensemble
Quarto Quartet
About the Event
Featuring: Hristo Kazakov – piano
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
21.12.2022

THE NUTCRACKER

Ballet by P. I. Tchaikovsky
Main hall
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
22.12.2022

OPERA GALA WITH ROLANDO VILLAZÓN

National Palace of Culture
Conductor
Nayden Todorov
Soloist/s
Rolando Villazón
Ensemble
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Music and Dance Events
22.12.2022

THE NUTCRACKER

Ballet by P. I. Tchaikovsky
Main hall
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
06.10.2022 - 23.12.2022

THE CARS WE DROVE TO CAPITALISM Exhibition and documentary by Misirkov/Bogdanov

This exhibition and the accompanying eponymous documentary do not relate the history of automotive manufacturing in Socialist countries, nor are they retrospective in character. With their inherent sense of humour, unique visual language and obvious love for cars, Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov explore the phenomenon of sotz cars in Europe and their present owners. These cars appear in museum expositions or in private collections, or we may even see them being driven along the streets of major European cities.
Through the rich palette of images of their owners, united in their common passion for the Socialist car, past and present intertwine, complement and contrast across five distinct themes of the exhibition narrative. In the ‘Introduction’, we are greeted by Ronald Reagan’s holographic projection, accompanied by a composition of 80 model cars and a stele made of pressed tin sheets and parts from Socialist cars.
‘Slices of the Past’ are panels in the signature colours of the era with automotive paint combined with silver photo prints on transparent film accompanied by clippings from black-and-white negatives of old driving textbooks. ‘Phantasms’ is an installation of photos from the Instagram profiles of lady owners of sotz car marques in modern Russia. ‘Time Capsules’ is a series of portraits and personal stories of Bulgarian owners of Socialist cars, while ‘Epilogue’ concludes the narrative with an installation of five video portraits of the characters from the eponymous film and moving text.
Cars are an expression of the individuality of their owners, who breathe new life into them and preserve their history in our contemporary times, marked as they are by the highest technological achievements and innovative spirit. The theme of Socialist heritage is a leitmotif present throughout the work of the two artists. ‘The Cars We Drove to Capitalism’ is a form of exploration of our historical legacy of that epoch, a gauge of technological and scientific capacity. In the context of this polemics, several topics for reflection are sparked off: how valuable is our heritage; to what extent is it the reflection of a bygone reality; is there nostalgia for it?
Exhibitions
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
23.12.2022

THE NUTCRACKER

11:00
Ballet by P. I. Tchaikovsky
Main hall
Music and Dance Events
23.12.2022

CHRISTMAS CONCERT

With the special participation of APOSTOL MILENKOV
Chamber hall
Music and Dance Events
23.12.2022

CHRISTMAS CONCERT

Bulgaria Concert Hall
Conductor
Tsvetan Krumov
Soloist/s
Ensemble
National Philharmonic Choir
About the Event
Works by Dobri Hristov, Alexander Lashkov, Petar Dinev, Byzantine and Bulgarian chants.
Music and Dance Events
23.12.2022

THE NUTCRACKER

19:00
Ballet by P. I. Tchaikovsky
Main hall
Music and Dance Events
24.12.2022
National and Official Holidays Religious Holidays
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

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

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

Vera Nedkova In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present different visions and viewpoints of contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence and the spirit of the times in which she lived.
Inspired by the place, Leda Starcheva is arranging an exhibition titled ‘Connected Corpora’. Immersed in the idyll of the small streets on the way from her home to her atelier, she observed: ‘I pass by impenetrable concrete—monuments to the industry that is the mainstay of the world… I see the debris and protruding reinforcements.’
In this exhibition, Starcheva has included clean and expressive industrial shapes and constructions. She analyses and explores the boundaries and integrity of objects, her work being characterised by the structuring of small-scale models in which the individual elements transform into multiple, distinct fragments. The artist searches for the interrelationship between the volumes, parts and individual segments, which she connects and places at different angles and perspectives. The precision with which she selects and uses materials complements the feeling of lightness, exquisiteness and ephemerality.
Exhibitions
25.12.2022
National and Official Holidays Religious Holidays
08.12.2022 - 26.03.2023

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

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

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

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

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
27.12.2022

ОRGAN RECITAL OF ANDRÁS VIRÁGH

Bulgaria Concert Hall
Soloist/s
András Virágh
About the Event
Titular organist of the St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest.
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

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

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

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

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
29.12.2022

NEW YEARS GALA CONCERT

Traditional New Years Gala Concert
Main hall
Music and Dance Events
29.12.2022

NEW YEAR’S CONCERT

Bulgaria Concert Hall
Conductor
Sascha Goetzel
Soloist/s
Svetlina Stoyanova
Ensemble
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
About the Event
Works by Camille Saint-Saëns, Maurice Ravel, Johannes Brahms, Johann Strauss.
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

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

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
30.12.2022

NEW YEARS GALA CONCERT

Traditional New Years Gala Concert
Main hall
Music and Dance Events
16.12.2022 - 19.03.2023

GEORGES PAPAZOFF – THE ILLUMINATOR

Curator: Dr Maria Vassileva
The Palace
The National Gallery presents artist Georges Papazoff, whose creative path led him from Yambol to Paris. This extensive exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of his death and is his first significant retrospective in Bulgaria since the 1988 exhibition, ‘George Papazoff. Artworks from the Fund of the Petit Palais Museum, Geneva’, also held in Sofia.
Curator Dr Maria Vassileva has included in the exposition more than 100 paintings and drawings from the National Gallery in Sofia, the Georges Papazoff Art Gallery in Yambol, the Association des amis du Petit Palais Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, the National Museum of Modern Art in Zagreb, Croatia, as well as from the corporate collection of Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva. Most of the works are being shown in Bulgaria for the first time. Maria Vassileva noted: ‘Georges Papazoff was a typical example of the universal movements of the first decades of the 20th century, when boundaries were provisional and art was a powerful unifying instrument. His oeuvre, even today, connects several countries and continues the multilingual dialogue on true values.’
Across seven galleries on the second floor of the Palace, the exhibition design by architects Kirill Ass and Nadia Korbut follows a chronological and thematic perusal of the artist’s oeuvre in the context of European Surrealism. Viewers have the opportunity to admire some of his earliest drawings, whether created in Prague or prompted by his encounters with the German Expressionists in Munich and Berlin, as well as frottages and sand compositions that Papazoff produced in the 1920s. Works inspired by Bulgarian folklore tradition are included: ‘The Apron’ (1927), ‘Fire’ (1925–26), ‘Composition’ (ca. 1925), and ‘The Bulgarian Strength’ (1928).
А central place is assigned to the portrait of the artist’s mother, and to paintings dedicated to his friend André Derain. A portrait of Georges Papazoff by Derain is also on display. One of the exhibition’s highlights is Papazoff’s 1957 version of Henri Rousseau’s ‘Sleeping Gypsy’ of 1897, which is accompanied by the series, ‘Circus Dogs’ and ‘Gladiators’, also developed at that time. The artist found great inspiration in the sea and created a number of works on marine themes, as well as landscapes of the Dordogne region of France. A significant portion of his oeuvre was also occupied by the series titled ‘Bathers’, on which he worked from the 1920s into the 1960s.
Prominence is given to paintings from the ‘Éclaireurs’ (‘Illuminators’) series, relating to his wartime memories and the soldiers on reconnaissance who illuminated the battlefield with lanterns to assess the situation at the front.
In stylistic terms, these paintings constitute his original artistic contribution, where traces of Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism are to be found. Their deep symbolic nature predetermined our adoption of the series heading as the title of the present exhibition.
In parallel with the exhibition at the Palace, guest works by Papazoff from the art galleries in Sliven and Yambol can be viewed in Hall 7 of Kvadrat 500—where his artworks are traditionally on display in the National Gallery’s permanent exposition.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and courtesy of Mr Gueorgui Vassilev and Universal Investment Advisory SA, Geneva.
Exhibitions
15.12.2022 - 29.01.2023

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.
Exhibitions
18.10.2022 - 12.02.2023

LILYANA ROUSSEVA (1932 – 2009) | Retrospective Exhibition

Opening on Tuesday, 18 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lilyana Rousseva’s name is well known to those who were participants in or followed the development of the visual arts in Bulgaria in the second half of the 20th century. The artist’s work inarguably represents a significant share of the leading directions and trends in the art of that time, both in its appearance and character. The current exhibition on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the artist’s birth is an opportunity not only to touch her world in paintings, watercolours, and drawings once again, but also to understand and experience them in a new light, more fully and overall in terms of her undisputed contribution to our artistic culture.
In the world the artist built, we will not encounter conflicts or contradictions, existential dramas or the self-centred self-disclosure of the artist’s Ego so common in the world of the contemporary artist. Nor will we find signs of forced and domineering expression emphasizing the subjective beginning. Quite the contrary – Lilyana Rousseva’s ethical attitude implies a reduction of the self and a quiet, unobtrusive reverence for the enigma of the other and “the courage of the artist to protect the liberated intimacy of the female personality” (Kiril Krastev).
Through landscapes, portraits, self-portraits, still lifes, figural compositions, and nudes, an attempt has been made to encompass the entire genre and thematic variety of Lilyana Rousseva’s paintings. Included are paintings and drawings from the inventory of the National Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Pleven, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Plovdiv, Ruse, Varna, Lovech, Sliven, and Smolyan, from her heirs and from private collectors. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with texts by Prof. Chavdar Popov and Ivo Milev. It has been realized through the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The curator is Ivo Milev, with his assistant, Dr. Tanya Staneva.
Exhibitions
16.08.2022 - 08.01.2023

LORD KRISHNA

The exhibition presents 13 miniatures and 6 sculptures from the National Gallery collection.
The god of protection, compassion, tenderness and love, Krishna is central to Hindu philosophy, theology, and mythology. In literature, miniatures, and sculpture, he is represented in a variety of subjects and roles, recreating iconic moments from the narratives and beliefs about him.
The most popular are the representations of him as a baby endowed with special powers, holding a pot of butter; as a little boy dancing on the many heads of the naga, Kāliyā; as the seven-year-old Shrinathji, with his arm extended upwards, symbolising the rescue of his devotees from a disastrous storm.
Alongside the legends, his heroic battles, unfolding in a combination of different moments in time and place, have provided a wealth of material for the imagination of artists.
His love adventures with the cowherd women, known as gopis, are richly illustrated. In one sculpture, he is represented as Krishna playing the flute, while in a miniature, in a moment of play or intimacy with Radha, the most beloved of all the gopis.
The exhibition was prepared by Zlatka Dimitrova and Alexandra Yaneva, curators at the National Gallery.
Exhibitions
01.12.2022 - 31.03.2023

Leda Starcheva | Connected Corpora

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

THE CHILD IN THE ART OF SOCIALISM

Museum of Art from the Socialist Period
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch. The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used.
Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform.
The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.
Exhibitions
01.04.2022 - 31.12.2022

Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals

Earth and Man National Museum presents the exhibition Zlati Zlatev - 40 years dedicated to the collection of Bulgarian minerals. From 01 April to 31 December.
Earth and Man National Museum is located at 4 Cherni Vrah Blvd, Sofia.
Image and text: official website of Earth and Man National Museum.
Exhibitions
31.12.2022

NEW YEARS GALA CONCERT

Traditional New Years Gala Concert
Main hall
Music and Dance Events