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Exhibitions

Saturday 24 February 2024
19 February 2024 - 25 February 2024
April 2024
30.06.2023 - 31.05.2024

Mihaela Mihailova – MISHA MAR PORTRAIT OF THE MOON IN BLACK

Kvadrat 500
The fourth edition of ‘The Wall’, the National Gallery’s project launched in 2020, welcomes artist Mihaela Mihaylova – Misha Mar to the Kvadrat 500 Atrium. At one of the areas designated for contemporary art and located at the heart of Kvadrat 500—home of the National Gallery’s permanent exhibition—there rises a monumental structure titled ‘The Wall’. The idea of creating this facility was largely prompted by the need to present mural and graffiti artists in the gallery. After showing the works of Nikolay Petrov GLOW (2020), Alexi Ivanov (2021) and BILOS (2022), the project now introduces Mihaela Mihaylova – Misha Mar. She presents ‘Portrait of the Moon in Black’, a composition representing the eight phases of the Moon in black and white, painted over more than a month. As a true selenophile, Mihaela examines the theme in detail and conceives a particular affection for the subject of her studies—marks visible on the surface of the exquisite portrait she creates.
‘My Moon,
‘My faithful friend in the night, this is a love letter to You, painted with the calligraphy of my soul on Your surface. All the words I never told You, fixed upon the layers of our unspoken secrets that glow with the reflected light of the burning desire of the day.
‘This is for You…’
Misha Mar
The eight faces of the Moon—the full moon cycle—‘rises’ on ‘The Wall’ in the Sculpture Garden of Kvadrat 500, to the accompaniment of MUSICAL STATUES. Guests will be able to enjoy special summer cocktails with MALFY GIN.
The project is made possible through the support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.
About the artist In 2008, Mihaela Mihaylova graduated in Iconography from the Tsanko Lavrenov National Secondary School in Plovdiv. Later, she was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Painting and, in 2014, she graduated from the Photography Master’s Programme at the National Academy of Arts. The artist has held several solo exhibitions and been included in many group exhibitions. In 2023, she presented to the public her first photo book, ‘MAR’, with black-and-white photographs depicting the parallel worlds ‘between the mountain and the sea, between birds and firebugs.’
Exhibitions
07.02.2024 - 28.04.2024

Krasimir Karabadjakov | TROUBLED SURFACES

The Palace
The paintings featured in the exhibition outline the territory of the ‘imagerial compulsions’ that have haunted Krasimir Karabadjakov over the years; a reign in which his view of painting is—iconographically, thematically, and creatively—elevated above banality.
With his very choice of surface, the artist avoids flatness and its attendant dialogue, in order deliberately to put an end to such garrulity. A surface as fine as a sheet of aluminium (or other material) does not resonate until Karabadjakov creates a second surface on which he unfolds his unexpected scenes, constructed with details and personages that are never literal. Fantastical, original fragments—individual images, impulses and obsessions, which the artist gathers in one place—form the major series of paintings on which he has worked throughout the years: ‘Hobby’, ‘Punishment’, ‘Closed Topic’, ‘To the North’, ‘House of the Rising Sun’, ‘Landscapes’, ‘Balkan Landscape’, ‘Airport’, ‘HORROR’, and ‘GOLD’.
Karabadjakov’s painting indubitably belongs to the domain of the conceptual. His markedly personal expressive gesture makes it difficult to draw a direct parallel with the oeuvre of any other artist working in a similar area. The dynamism of form, the subtle irony and sensitivity of vision, the shifting of dimension and the skill in transforming the space; all are major characteristics of his art. He adroitly creates the sense of a troubled surface that seems to vibrate and move yet remain constantly insecure. Avoiding familiar, cosy techniques in building the composition and the principles of the golden ratio, Karabadjakov frequently takes an approach inherent in an Asian compositional style—the white area in the upper section of the canvas is deliberately enlarged, while the clean vertical is intersected by the horizontal. This makes the viewer’s gaze hesitant and uncertain, as in an encounter with Eastern art.
The surface of the works is expressive, owing primarily to the energy accumulated as a result of a concentrated and intensive interaction with the pictorial material. The artist invariably feels a certain degree of unquiet in using the flat form of expression intrinsic in painting, familiar as he is with numerous examples from the world history of art, as well as the rapid development of new technologies in today’s virtual and visual worlds. Krasimir Karabadjakov graduated in Painting in 1988 from the National Academy of Arts, in the class of Prof. Petar Mihaylov. From his earliest appearances, he was appraised as a painter who had unreservedly distanced himself from traditional figurative language. He was one of the five founders of the Disco ’95 group, along with artists Rumen Zhekov, Krasimir Dobrev, Dimitar Mitovski and Kolio Karamfilov. Since 2010, he has been teaching painting in the Faculty of Fine Arts at Sts Cyril and Methodius University, Veliko Tarnovo. Many of his students have become talented contemporary artists.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency, Yana Bratanova, exhibition curator.
Exhibitions
15.02.2024 - 13.09.2024

Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova | PRESERVATION

Vera Nedkova House Museum
‘In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with a myriad memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence. Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova’s exhibition re-evaluates the significance and meaning of the times and memory of events and facts, refracted through the artist’s distinctive lens. Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova conveys the memory and emotion of ‘Obsession’, an exhibition by ‘The 8th March’ group shown back in 1999 at the Sofia Central Mineral Baths, when the building was dilapidated, abandoned to the vagaries of time, with its fate still unclear. Through the installations, ‘Obsession—25 Years Later’ (2024), a 14-minute video, and ‘Testimony’ (1999), Lyahova takes us back to the pathos of the time. Based on the installation from that exhibition and works produced in 2019, she has created a small pencil drawing. Her attempt to rethink and superimpose a system of images and facts reveals a curiosity that the artist shares with the viewer.
The basis of the present exhibition is the opportunity for personal perusal of, and extensive research into, the issue of preserving the museum as an institution and, simultaneously, transferring memory. Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova sets out the idea of the transition and essence of the image, its presence in the domain of feelings, and the inherent associations evoked in the mind. Diana Draganova-Stier, exhibition curator
Exhibitions
04.04.2024 - 26.05.2024

JUMP | Artworks from the Darik Collection

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
The exhibition presents 25 young but already well-established artists, with defined positions in art and individuality of expression, whose works are a reflection ofcontemporaneity. They are of a generation that makes frequent appearances in the artistic calendar, but whose compositions are rarely included in public or private collections. They are united by the occasion of their joint meeting: 25 years of the Darik Collection, which was initiated with the plein-air event, ‘Sound and Colour’, held ever since 1999.
Created outside a predetermined framework and the demands of the day and the market, these paintings, graphic works, and drawings possess all the ease and immediacy of a meeting between artists, plein-air organisers, and their public. Flying fish, seagulls, sandy bodies, traces of plastic—these are just a small sample of the images in the social, poetic, or surreal reality recreated in the exposition.
The pictorial selection was made by Nadezhda Dzhakova, head of the contemporary art division of the National Gallery and includes works by the following artists: Albena Petkova, Boris Pramatarov, Vasil Kolev, Veliko Marinchevskи, Velislava Gecheva, Gergana Minkova, Gergana Nikolova, Goran Trichkovski, Deyan Yanev, Dimitar Genchev, Elena Kaludova, Zoran Mishe, Ivan Mateev, Irma Vodeva, Kalina Mavrodieva, Kalia Kalacheva, Kaloyan Iliev – Kokimoto, Lora Parmakova, Małgorzata Dmitruk, Mark Pospiech, Nora Ampova, Petya Deneva, Radoil Serafimov, Svetlozara Alexandrova and Stilyana Uzunova.
The event is an occasion not only to meet them again, but also to view the rich collection of over 500 works by 200 artists. On the day of the opening of the exhibition, a new, second catalogue, titled ‘Collection with Continuation’ will be presented, showcasing works they have produced at Darik Radio plein-air events over the past five years.
With the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions
05.04.2024 - 23.06.2024

KALINA TASEVA (1927 – 2022)

Kvadrat 500
Curator: Boryana Valchanova, PhD
Kalina Taseva ranks as one of the illustrious figures in the panorama of Bulgarian visual art. She embarked on her artistic career in the 1950s in an extremely difficult sociocultural environment — a time highly charged with ideological dogma regarding Bulgarian art. Her works were not affected by contemporary artistic trends; instead, they were multilayered, revealing a breadth and complexity of thought, and executed with extreme professionalism.
Through her powerful expression, and in a challenge to the time in which she lived, Taseva bolstered her prestige, thereby establishing her vivid presence in the annals of Bulgarian painting. Leading up to the 1980s, her large-format, multifigural compositions on favourite historical and Revivalist thematics were central to her oeuvre. She produced images of Macedonian rebels, revolutionaries and haidouks, of women wearing coarse peasant clothes, with a combination of plastic strength and emotionality — the faces are dramatic, austere, and preoccupied. The forms of her earlier works are more decorative, and the line is clear and definite; while, in later works, it is more expressive and dynamic.
A considerable proportion of the painter’s oeuvre was devoted to portraiture. Close friends, artists and intellectuals often served as her models, their complex inner worlds recreated through static poses and contemplative states, with the atmosphere and subdued lighting contributing to the psychological impact she wished to achieve. Taseva applied her entire painterly power to landscapes and still lifes, which perhaps most fully revealed her artistic talent. She expressed nature’s lyrical moods in a series of canvases dating from the 1990s. By combining her original sensibility, personal style and pronounced emotional strength, the artist sought for a poetic impression of chromaticism.
It is the first time that Kalina Taseva is being represented at the National Gallery. The exhibition includes artworks from the collections of the National Gallery; Sofia City Art Gallery; the galleries in Blagoevgrad, Veliko Tarnovo, Varna, Gabrovo, Dobrich, Kazanlak, Pazardzhik, Ruse, Sliven, and Yambol; from the heirs of Kalina Taseva, and private collections. The BNT film ‘Kalina and the Comites’ (2016) will also be shown within the exhibition.
Media Partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.
Exhibitions