artnewscafé bulletin

In "This month" section, artnewscafe bulletin offers a wide selection of exhibitions, events, and open calls in the field of contemporary art in Bulgaria – Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo and in Europe.  

The monthly bulletin strives to offer an accessible, thoughtful, and quality information about what’s happening on the Bulgarian and European visual arts stage. artnewscafe bulletin started in 2008 as a project of Open Arts Foundation. In July 2022 the bulletin joined Open Art Files as a permanent collaboration offering the monthly bulletin also in English.

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Luchezar Boyadjiev

Shoes - certificate, 2023.



  • Property of: Simeon Markov
  • Description: cover: Luchezar Boyadjiev, Shoes - certificate, 2017 - 2023, detail, in the exhibition "Study of a Collection. Simeon Markov", Sarieva/Gallery, 40 "Otets Paisii" St., Plovdiv, May 31 - June 29.
  • Copyright: Luchezar Boyadjiev


¬ Nedko Solakov / A Cornered (Future) Solo Show #4 / solo show / National Gallery, The Palace, 1, Knyaz Alexander I Sq. / May 31 - September 1. “The project “A Cornered Solo Show” began back in 2021, when the artist approached directors and chief curators of well-known museums with the request to provide him with an “insignificant” corner in their buildings – a corner that has never been used for exhibitions, but which the public has access to. So far, three “corners” have been realized in major European museums. All three exhibitions, united by an unusual, strange, previously unused corner space, tell completely different stories created specifically for their context.” - Iaroslava Boubnova, curator of the exhibition

¬ Kalina Taseva (1927 - 2022) / retrospective exhibition / curated by Boryana Valchanova, PhD / National Gallery, Kvadrat 500, 1, 19th February St. / April 5 - June 23. “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.” - Boryana Valchanova

¬ Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova / Preservation / solo show / The Vera Nedkova House Museum, 2, 11 August St. / February 15 - September 13. ‘In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present contemporary artists in an atmosphere filled with a myriad of memories and marked by the artist’s intellectual and creative presence. Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova’s exhibition re-evaluates the significance and meaning of time and memory,  events and facts and  opens a personal perusal of, and extensive research into, the issue of preserving the museum as an institution and, simultaneously, transferring memory.

¬ Alberto García-Alix / Invisible to the eyes / solo exhibition / Sofia City Art Gallery, 1 Gurko Str / June 6 - July 14. The exhibition takes a tour through the career of Alberto García-Alix, tracing his development as a photographer through different periods, formats and techniques. The exhibition includes 50 specially selected frames from different series of García-Alix. Here are some of his earliest photos from the late 1970s and early 1980s, as well as many more recent photographs. The black-and-white aesthetic, which Garcia-Alix never betrays, speaks of the rebelliousness and high-speed living to which we vow, but also the tenderness and romance of the path we invariably follow.

¬ Women’s Re/-Evolution. A Change of Roles / group show / Vaska Emanuilova Gallery, 15 Yanko Sakazov Blvd. / April 30 – June 20. The exhibition includes 22 works by Bulgarian artists from the inventory of the Sofia City Art Gallery, among who: Aneta Drugusanu, Boryana Rossa & Oleg Mavromatti, Mariela Gemisheva, Sevda Chkutova, Vaska Emanuilova, and others, and covers a broad time range. The selection presents the use of the female image in Bulgarian art from the second half of the 20th century to the present day and highlights atypical roles, such as its ideological use in art after 1950. At the same time, it presents woman as a creator and illustrates the reversal of the traditional positions of the (male) artist – (female) model.

¬ Parallel Worlds / group show / UBA, 6 Shipka Str. / June 4 - 28. The exhibition of the "Painting" section of the Union of Bulgarian Artists this year presents 250 works by 150 authors. "The topic 'Parallel Worlds' is an invitation to the authors to reflect on and interpret the simultaneous existence of different realities, dimensions, coordinate systems. Parallel worlds in a social/mental plan, parallel worlds like each individual - the theme of coexistence, of communication and the lack thereof, of how each is a world unto itself - similar to the other and at the same time very different and often foreign. But also the theme of the connection between these parallel worlds; those moments when a bridge appears between two worlds, a thought, an emotion flies over. Means, ways and places of contact, for exchange." - Slav Nedev

¬ Violeta Apostolova - Leti / Near and far / solo exhibition / UBA, Sofia press gallery, 29 Slavyanska Str. / May 31 - June 14. The exhibition presents photographs from Paris that Violeta Apostolova - Leti took during a creative residency at the UBA studios in the Cité internationale des arts in 2023. "The captured images seem to be in constant flight, spontaneously captured and waiting to be set free and to meet new eyes. The shots in the exhibition were created through a synthesis of different photographic techniques – black and white, color photography, analog and digital format, and in them we find signs of the constant communication between the city and its inhabitants. The past and the present in the quiet streets and children's play, free thought in the flight of birds and dreams." - Victoria Rolanska.

¬ Dog Days / group show / curated by Marina Slavova / Structura Gallery, 9 Kuzman Shapkarev St. / June 6 - July 31. “This exhibition is neither about summer nor about dogs. It aims to examine the complex and often confusing relationship between language and meaning, to explore the complexities and nuances of verbal expression, and to observe the profound influence of linguistic structures on human thought. The title is no accident, for it is the impossibility of absolute translation that most clearly highlights the inability of language to convey the entirety of human experience.” - Marina Slavova. With works by Dimitar Solakov, Kalin Serapionov, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Rudi Ninov, Samuil Stoyanov, Sophia Grancharova, Viktor Petrov. 

¬  Nadezhda Georgieva / The Neurotic Ballet of Beauty and Decay / solo show / curated by Vessela Nozharova / Goethe-Institut, 1 Budapest Str. / May 17 - June 16. “Nadezhda Georgieva’s artworks are expressive to the extreme — presented in motion, but also interacting with various elements. Textiles, clay, paints, embroidery — she wields them all with the finesse of a seasoned poet, transforming mere materials into lyrical masterpieces. Bold and expressive story fragments remain recurring throughout.” - Vessela Nozharova

¬ Dessislava Terzieva / by the way / solo show / Sarieva @ DOT, Sofia, 46, Bratya Miladinovi str., Women’s Market / June 14 - July 14. For her first exhibition with Sarieva/Gallery the artist does not prepare the artworks in advance, but chooses to create them on site in Sofia. The exhibition presents hybrid objects which exist between past and present, rooted in cultural traditions and everyday observations along city streets. The materials used by the author are household objects taken out of context, suggesting the curiosity and passion of getting to know the other, the desire to collect things, learn and compose stories, the strolls through the colorful Women’s Market of Sofia and the typical Mercados of Mexico.

¬ Todor Rabadzhiyski and Robin Phoenix Whitehouse / Lobster and shrimp on my plate, I need my pockets so fat they inflate. Vol.3 Transportation / joint show / Swimming Pool, 10 Tsar Osvoboditel Str. / May 16 - June 27. Lobster and shrimp on my plate, I need my pockets so fat they inflate” is a durational project that started three years ago and delves into the culture and changing economy associated with lobsters. In the third showcase of their ongoing project at Swimming Pool, artists Robin Phoenix Whitehouse (UK) and Todor Rabadzhiyski (BG) are looking at how the lobster has been reinvented through the ages, considering how marketing has portrayed a certain image of the lobster that is becoming an analogy for the current time. In “Vol.3: Transportation”, the artists are focusing on the import and export in trade that affect the position of lobster in contemporary culture.

¬ Meryem Bayram / Kağıt / Paper / solo show / Credo Bonum Gallery, 2 Slavyanska str. / June 6 - 27. Meryem Bayram is a visual artist and scenographer of Turkish origin who lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. A recurring theme in her work is the duality of her origins. The objects, their history and functionality are an inspiration, but also an occasion to ask questions about their past. Each paper has its own memory. Over the years, Bayram has collected paper from the various countries she has lived in as an artist. Time has always played a leading role in her work, in Kağıt it is a decisive element in the spread of fat on the surface of the paper, it activates the imprints left by sunlight, the adhesion between sheets of paper and adjacent surfaces, the diffusion of aromas…

¬  Amateras Annual Exhibition/Competition for Paper Art” / “Might II” / group exhibitions / Sofia Paper Art Fest 2024 “Without Borders” / National Palace of Culture,  1 Bulgaria Sq. / May 31 – June 11. Sofia Paper Art Fest opens its 14th edition with two large-scale exhibitions in the West Foyer and Marble Foyer of the National Palace of Culture. “Might II” offers a selection of 7 projects of large-format works with ecological and humanitarian messages. The Amateras Annual Exhibition/Competition for Paper Art traditionally presents an international selection with a prize fund. This year’s edition includes 50 artists from 17 countries with 98 works.

¬ Art Book / Paper Art Biennale / group show / Serdika gallery, 90B “Tsar Samuil” Str. / June 4 - 27. For the fourth time, Sofia Paper Art Fest presents the "Art Book" exhibition. The art book occupies the position of a rare and boutique format in paper art, associated with collector's editions that often transcend the notion of a book and enter the territory of objects. Some of the authors embark on the transformation of old books into original objects. Others create one-of-a-kind editions of elegant papers with fine printing and designs inspired by the Far Eastern traditions of Japan, China and Korea. Still others create works with allegorical messages to the viewer about painful social processes.

¬ Without Borders / Paper Art Biennial / group show / Gallery Finesse, 17 “Hristo Belchev” Str. / June 6 - 26. The third exhibition of the Paper Art Biennial 2024 features artists coming from Ukraine, Germany, Serbia, Costa Rica, South Korea, Argentina, etc. The works encompass a variety of original and local papermaking techniques, with their formats fitting into the architecture of the space.

¬ RASSIM® / Unfinished works 2024-2007 / solo show / One Gallery, 1 Diakon Ignatij Str. / May 15 - June 10. “At the beginning of the 21st century RASSIM® was already among the famous Bulgarian artists, participated in prestigious international forums and managed to convert the author (himself) into a carefully transformed or more precisely "corrected" work of art. Behind this well-polished business card of the professional artist hide many experiments and various technical conventions which, due to their transitory nature, usually remain in the shadow of the presented projects and finished works. Therefore it can be said that the current exhibition represents an unconventional solution - it includes unfinished and undisplayed works made after 2006, in a period when the artist was searching for the form of his return to painting after more than a decade of working with the so-called alternative medias such as photography, video and installation.” - Ivan Stefanov 

¬ Marina Velikova / Traces of Antarctica / solo show / Little Bird Place Gallery, 7 "11th August" str. / June 3 - 9. The drawings were made in the period January/February 2024, on the coast of the Antarctic Ocean, in the area of the Bulgarian Research Base on Livingstone Island, Antarctica. “To understand Marina's drawings, one must contemplate them for a long time, look into them for a long time to feel the cold, the wind, the water and this psychological barrier called the end of the world. Some small but essential part of Antarctica is literally, physically present in Marina's works. The author uses water from the glaciers to create her watercolours. Water dissolving the paints, splashes from the ocean, raindrops, overlays, spills, washing off - all of this leaving imprints on the paper. In this sense, nature is not only an inspiration, it is almost a co-author, a co-creator, who directly intervened in the creation of the drawings.” - Lyuben Domozetski

¬ Assen Janev / in the shade of the ceiling / solo show / Charta Gallery, 12 "Vrabcha" Str. / May 16 - June 12. Assen Janev is a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of media including photography, collage, installation, drawing and painting. The focus of his autobiographically motivated works is on the explosive nature of human existence shaped by temporal and spatial simultaneity. His works reflect his commitment to the diversity, the incompatibilities and the contradictions of the world we live in today. They are the external view of an internal resonance space and a polyphonic deconstruction of convictions and certainties. What is revealed in them is the possibility, the potential, the interface between something real and its representation. In this way, different contexts come together to form a complex whole that nevertheless remains a fragment.

¬ Martina Rötlingová / Lust of Eden / solo exhibition / curated by Tsvetana Georgieva / Depoo Gallery, 12 Vrabcha Str. / May 22 - June 9. Weaving her personal experience and hyper-realistic approach into a series of oil paintings and small-size graphics, Martina Rötlingová comments on the search and possibility for intimacy in the post-media virtual world. The rules are new. The roles are reversed. The perspective is female - not that of the passive, but that of the active partner. The woman is the initiator, the predator, and the tempter, and there is no room for judgmental looks because she no longer awaits her one and only prince.

¬ Plamen Kovachev / Light Detection And Ranging / solo show / Arosita Gallery, 12B Vrabcha Str. / June 3 - 16. "A tale of gravity, time, space and light. About how, what and when it happened, is happening or will happen." - Plamen Kovachev

¬ Kosta Karakashyan and Alex Kostadinov / Perfect bodies / collaborative exhibition / Toplocentrala Gallery - Cube, 5 Emil Bersinski Str. / May 22 - June 9. The project explores the way dance artists evaluate and scrutinize their own bodies. The dancing body is observed, commented on, manipulated and rejected repeatedly throughout one’s dance career, under the gaze of teachers, audiences and colleagues. The exhibition aims to challenge audiences and the dancers who participated to rethink the concept of the perfect body as a strong and resilient body.

¬ Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti / The Heavens / joint exhibition / Synthesis Gallery, 55 “Vasil Levski” Blvd / April 18 - June 15. The exhibition, first shown at Les Rencontres d’Arles festival in 2015 has since traveled to numerous museums and festivals around the world. For over two years Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti have travelled to 13 offshore centers that embody tax avoidance, secrecy, offshore banking, and extreme wealth, driven by a constant obsession with translating this rather immaterial subject into images. Tax havens* have quietly taken the world by storm. More than half of world trade now passes through them. The growing flow of articles and reports on this poorly understood subject are usually illustrated with images of palm-fringed tropical beaches. Is that what tax havens really look like?

¬ Yana Karadimova and Ventsislav Valev / ENTITY - Continuous journey of the soul / joint show / HOSTGALLERY, 102 “Geshov” Bld. / June 6 - 26. ENTITY is a story about the conversation between humans and their creations, posing contemporary questions in a visual language. It explores the connection between humans and artificial intelligence on various levels. Through the examination of the body and soul in a dialogue with the machine, it all begins with an experiment using an MRI scan of Yana Karadimova, interpreted by trained models. The outcome of artistic development and interpretations are models of human units, souls, and their combinations.

¬ Veneta Rangelova / Things that bother me on a daily basis / solo show / UniCredit Studio Gallery, 7 “Sveta Nedelya” Sq. / June 14 - 28. Created as a typographic project, the exhibition aims to provoke seconds of delay in visitors, to look inward, to reflect on universal questions in a deeply personal way. The exhibition is an occasion to ask whether it is possible to enjoy a beautiful view without thinking about the meaning of life; why there is something and not nothing; is it possible to create something of value without being lonely. The opening of the exhibition will also be the official start of the international project "SIRIUS4all", which will explore the new narratives of Europe through various artistic practices.

¬ Elena Kaludova / I love you very much / augmented reality solo show / Gallery Gallery, Sculpture park Ploshtadka, children’s playground across the Registry Agency, 20 Elisaveta Bagryana Str. / March 8 - September 1. The sentence “I love you very much” is among the most used by perpetrators of domestic violence against women to excuse their behavior. It is the magic spell that is supposed to make everything alright and make all problems go away. Except it doesn’t. The figure in I Love You Very Much dances a celebratory wedding dance in augmented reality, yet in the midst of us, pointing to this other reality that we keep out of our thoughts as we go about our daily lives. I Love You Very Much is an indictment of societal failure.

¬ Notes from German Photography. Third topic: Karl Blossfeldt. Nature as an inspiration / lecture with Prof. Dr. Katerina Gadjeva / Goethe-Institut, 1 "Budapest" Str. / June 19, 6.30 pm. In the third of five lectures dedicated to five authors from Germany who worked at the beginning of the 20th century, Associate Professor Katerina Gadjeva will present the work of Karl Blossfeld (1865 – 1932), one of the main representatives of the New Objectivity - a modernist movement in German an art that arose after the First World War, reaching its apogee in the 1920s. In the field of photography, the New Objectivity seeks to use the specifics of optics and the camera to represent the world as objectively as possible. For three decades, Karl Blossfeld enthusiastically studied nature and photographed various plant species, aiming to create a catalog of natural forms to support the work of artists, craftsmen and architects.

¬ Study of a Collection. Simeon Markov / group show / Sarieva/Gallery, 40 “Otets Paisiy” Str. / May 31 - June 29.
The present exhibition marks the beginning of a new initiative of Sarieva/Gallery dedicated to art collecting practices in Bulgaria. Simeon Markov started collecting at the age of 14. His collection includes family heirloom artworks, subsequently recognized by him as the main source of his interests, as well as other works of personal choice. His collector’s passion awakened during the years of self-formation and refers to various subjects: individual-individualism, society-community, education. The artworks present controversial personages and propagandists who gravitate between heroism and outsiderness, edging along the accepted norm.

¬ Contemporary Croatian Art "In the footsteps of Strossmayer" / group show / curated by Milan Bešlić / Kapana Gallery, 29 "Raiko Daskalov" Str. / May 21 - June 9. The exposition presents paintings and digital drawings by famous Zagreb artists: Tomislav Buntak, Maya Rojman and Josip Ivanovich.

¬ Marcin Bialas / Defragmentation 1.0 / solo exhibition / Varna City Art Gallery, 1 "Lyuben Karavelov" Str. / May 22 - June 10. The graphics included in the exhibition are from the last two decades of the artistic activity of the Polish artist Marcin Bialas. All are executed in the intaglio graphic technique - among them there are etchings, aquatint, drypoint. "Initially, I based my artistic searches on figurative images - admits Marcin Byalas, - but I gradually abandoned their use in favor of the interpretation of urban structures, in which the symbolic presence of man still had its place and purpose. The graphic interpretations of urban infrastructure are inspired by the city of Katowice and are intended to create alternative places in a parallel world."

¬ Antonia Kolena - Nitra / On the border with the material / solo show / Art Museum "Georgi Velchev", 8 “Radko Dimitriev” Str. / May 18 - June 16. The exhibition presents digital collages inspired by analog photographs mainly from the 60s and 70s of the 20th century, in which the author searches for the breaking point between new and old. Antonia Koleva treats the elements of old images with attention, with which she tells modern stories, supplemented sometimes by the inclusion of words.  

¬ Jonas Handskemager / Handle, handles / solo show / Heerz Tooya Gallery, 18 “Ivan Vazov” Str. / May 25 - June 16. With his latest photo series, Jonas Handskemager invites us to explore how photography shapes and mirrors our perceptions in today's society as it increasingly becomes a commodity in our visual culture. The series features Polaroids of a door handle designed by the acclaimed Danish architect Vilhelm Lauritzen. The door handle essentially introverts these Polaroid's mechanical development as means without human intervention, thus functioning as a conceptual and linguistic tool that interjects itself between our emotional connection to images and the symbolic meanings they might convey.

¬ Open call for artworks on the theme “Out in the open” / Deadline for applications June 23. Sofia Paper Art Fest "Without Borders", in partnership with Toplocentrala and within the Biennale of Paper Art 2024, announces a competition for two projects to be realized in two locations around the Toplocentrala Center for Contemporary Arts - in front of the central entrance for visitors and at one of the facades of the building. Detailed information, participation regulations and application form at

Monthly edition by Open Art Foundation
¬ news selection : Desislava Mileva
¬ logo : Nedko Solakov
¬ cover : Luchezar Boyadjiev, Shoes - certificate, 2017 - 2023, detail, in the exhibition "Study of a Collection. Simeon Markov", Sarieva/Gallery, 40 "Otets Paisii" St., Plovdiv, May 31 - June 29.