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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Artan Hajrullahu

Children's bed, 2022.



  • Material: Coloured pencil on packing paper

  • Description: cover : Artan Hajrullahu, "Children's bed", in the solo exhibition "A House Without Walls", Sarieva / Gallery, 40 "Otets Paisiy" Str., Plovdiv, September 1 - November 30
  • Copyright: courtesy of Artan Hajrullahu and Sarieva / Gallery


¬ Konstantin Vulkov / Born free / solo exhibition / curated by Marieta Tsenova / National Gallery, Kvadrat 500, 1, 19th February St. / August 30 – October 29.
“The photo series of skate parks by Konstantin Vulkov is a major lesson in social photography. Not sports, nor portrait, but documentary – a visual story of street culture with locations in Cape Town and Barcelona, Manchester and Burgas, Sofia and Tsarevo. The images are extraordinary encounters with people from different generations who all practise this sport. They were taken in social environments that fought to be recognized by society – transitioning from a “delinquent bunch” into “Olympic hopefuls”. From thug appearances with skateboards in public spaces to training in purpose-built skate parks.” – Marieta Tsenova

¬ Emilia Nikolova-Bayer / The art of synthesis / retrospective exhibition / National Gallery, Kvadrat 500, 1, 19th February St. / July 27 – October 21. Emilia Nikolova-Bayer’s oeuvre presented in the current exhibition brings to attention the under-researched synthesis of the monumental arts and architecture in Bulgaria in the period between 1956 and 1989. The decorative reliefs the artist sculpted for two iconic theatres − Sofia Theatre in the Bulgarian capital (1973 – 75) and the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin (1982 – 84) − are featured. The exhibition seeks to cast a critical eye over the general perception of the female creator in Bulgaria during the second half of the twentieth century.

¬ Sandro – knyaz Alexander von Battenberg.A European destiny/ archive exhibition / National Gallery, The Palace, 1, Knyaz Alexander I Sq. / September 5 – October 29. The exhibition introduces the public to unknown facts and photographs from the life of the first Bulgarian ruler after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It is the result of three years of searching through the archives and family collections of the Heiligenberg Jügenheim Foundation (the name of the prince's family castle).

¬ Yana Lozeva / Anacrusis / solo show / curated by Diana Draganova-Stier / National Gallery, Vera Nedkova House Museum, 2, 11 August St. / June 8 – October 28. ‘In the Home of Vera Nedkova’, the programme launched in 2019, continues to present contemporary artists along with Nedkova’s paintings. Six photographs by Yana Lozeva show images of women with a strong and memorable individuality. Taken over the past two years, the photographs have captured brief and elusive moments and states of the subjects portrayed.

¬ Barbara Klemm / Light and darkness. Photographs from Germany / solo exhibition / curated by Ursula Zeller and Matthias Flügge with the collaboration of Barbara Klemm / Sofia City Art Gallery, 1 Gen. Gurko st. /September 20 – October 22. Barbara Klemm is one of the most prominent chroniclers of modern Germany. The visiting exhibition presents over 120 black-and-white photographs in the fields of politics, culture and economics, created before and after the reunification of East and West Germany. Klemm captures unique and often tense moments as some of the most iconic footage of our time. A clear highlight of the exhibition are the photographs taken in East and West Germany before and after the reunification. The photographs of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Reunification are a dramatic culmination of this narrative that began in her earlier photographs, and the aftermath of this event she continues to observe closely to this day.

¬ Nadia Teknedzhieva / Equivalents / solo exhibition / curated by Natasha Noeva / Vaska Emanuilova Gallery, 15 Yanko Sakazov Blvd. / September 5 – October 29."In the current exhibition, Nadia Teknedzhieva presents her understanding of life and of art as a spiritual harbor in spiritual images made of porcelain and photography. By layering images and symbols from different times and the active visual impact, the objects form multi-meaning connections, and predispose to multiple interpretations. The exhibition includes over 20 works – in ceramics, a series of photographs, a video and poetic stanzas, created especially for the space of the "Vaska Emanuilova" gallery." - Natasha Noeva

¬ Stefan Nikolaev / Home / solo show / Sarieva @ DOT, Sofia, 46, Bratya Miladinovi str., Women’s Market / September 30 – November 12. The show was created especially for the collaboration of Sarieva/Gallery with the new building DOT Sofia and curated by the gallery. The title comes as a word game in Bulgarian linking dot to dom (‘home’) as DOT Sofia beyond gallery space offers housing. But it also connects that first idea to a game-changing phenomenon of modern times: art works become an integral part of homes. Themes, lines, colours, materials, everything changes to accommodate the new way of seeing art. Nikolaev reflects on that phenomenon by examining stylistically and symbolically some key subjects and by continuing his exploration of meeting points between sculpture and painting.

¬ Rositsa Getsova / Re-Space / solo show / curated by Zoya Petrova – Dokova/ +359 Gallery, 13A Galitchitsa Str. / August 24 – September 23. “In the ethereal expanse of contemporary art, where boundaries blur and the intangible converges with the tangible, Rositsa Getsova’s solo exhibition Re-Space, emerges as a resplendent testament to the intricate interplay between the inner psyche and the outer reality. The exhibition orchestrates an artistic journey that transcends conventional confines, inviting visitors to traverse the enigmatic landscape of Rositsa Getsova’s creative universe.” – Zoya Petrova – Dokova

¬ Olga Stefatou/ Chrysalis/ solo exhibition / curatedbyNadezhdaPavlova / Synthesis Gallery, 55 Vasil Levski Blvd / July 20 – September 16. Chrysalis is the final stage through which the larva passes before it becomes an imago. Then comes the huge metamorphosis, and the future butterfly, still enclosed in its golden cocoon, is preparing to unfold its wings for the first time. In this exhibition, Greek visual artist Olga Stefatou presents a series of portraits of women refugees and asylum seekers living in Greece. Hailing from countries such as Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cameroon and Congo, each of the women take the stage clad in golden costumes fashioned out of emergency blankets. Together, image and text give the women a platform to present themselves to the world as they wish to be seen: as individuals, each with her own reasons to leave home, and each with her own expectations and hopes for the future.  

¬ Afternoon of a year / summer group show / Credo Bonum Gallery, 2 Slavyanska str. / August 10 – September 20. This is an unusual summer exhibition. Parallel, polyphonic readings of the same intuitive sense of moment, state, time and place. In all works there is something similar, common, but passed through a different reading, a point of view often saturated with reflection, sadness and that sense of the importance of the moment that comes to us very, very rarely.

¬ Ventsislav Zankov / 30 years “Without Innocence”. Relics from one exhibition / Vladimir Iliev collection / curated by Stanimir Stoyanov / Charta Gallery, 12 Vrabcha Str. / September 1 - 15. "In 2023, several paintings by Ventsislav Zankov from the early 1990s fell into a private collection. The idea of showing them to the public at first glance sounds pleasant, if only because of their already established place in the history of art in our country. However, it turns out that just one look at them is enough to realise that Zankov is terribly (and in the literal sense) relevant today. Stories of nationalism, extreme poverty, the devaluation of aesthetic nominals, xenophobia and hopelessness creep into the four fragments of the 1995 exhibition „Without Innocence“.” – Daniela Radeva

¬ Zhelko Terziev / The message is not the media / solo exhibition / Arosita Gallery, 12b Vrabcha Str. / September 2 - 13. "Terziev's visual world grows simultaneously in all directions without hierarchies and historical dependencies like a postmodern archeology of artifacts in which speech and images come into direct collision. The artist comments on the place and role of language in the modern cognitive process by replacing the texts of the comic strip about the richest fictional character Uncle Scrooge and the treacle Donald with excerpts from "Essays" by Jose Ortega and Gasset. The incompatibility between words and images begs the question of what their function is once they cease to be a tool for the exchange of ideas and meaning in societies where human fulfillment is no longer identified with what one is, but with what one possesses. " - Irina Batkova

¬ MADE IN LESHTEN 2023 / Resident exhibition #2 of young Bulgarian visual artists / curated by Teodora Konstantinova and Radoslav Mekhandzhiyski / Little Bird Place Gallery, 7 "11th August" str. / September 12 - 17. The Little Bird Place Gallery and the platform Art and Culture Today have given the opportunity to 10 young Bulgarian contemporary artists to create in the art residency, located in an authentic old house in the village of Leshten, in the period June-July 2023. After the first exhibition (August 31 – September 7), which featured works by Iva Damyanova, Kalin Mihov, Sibila Kerelezova, Silvana Ilieva and Hristiana Yordanova, the second presents works by Iva Ivanova, Yordan Velkov, Mirela Karadjova, Stefka Benisheva and Yana Vasileva – Poppy.  

¬ Barbara Klemm / Light and darkness. Photographs from Germany / lecture by Matthias Flügge / Sofia City Art Gallery, 1 Gen. Gurko st. / September 21, 6.00 pm. The curator of the exhibition, Matthias Flüge, will give a lecture dedicated to the work of Barbara Klemm. The lecture will be in German with Bulgarian translation. Spanning forty years, Barbara Klemm's works bear witness to the historical events and the present of a country divided for decades. Many of her photographs have become "icons of modern history", leaving an imprint on the cultural memory of several generations.

¬ History of reportage photography / lecture by Katerina Gadzeva Phd / Goethe-Institut Bulgarien, 1 Budapest Str. / October 3, 6.30 pm. Part of the exhibition “Barbara Klemm. Light and darkness. Photographs from Germany”.

¬ Functions of the state. National autumn exhibitions / curated by prof. dr. Galina Lardeva / Old Town - Balabanova House, Hindliyan House, Mexican Art House / September 1 – 30. "'Functions of the state' seeks opportunities to systematize and convey the sensations of the fragile balance of a given moment, insofar as the single artistic expression represents precisely such a moment. The equation of state can be thought of in a sense as an expression of the moment, as its identity document and mark. But the state function should also be able to convey the projections of authentic human experience at a given moment, to bear traces of immediate vision. Otherwise, the individual will not be able to leave the feeling that someone else is directing (and even living) his own life." - Prof. Dr. Galina Lardeva. With the participation of Emanuela Kovach (graphics), Slav Nedev (painting), Kiril Stanoev (photography), Yordan Velkov (painting), Elizar Milev (glass), Ognyan Chitakov (sculpture), Silvia Mitovska (ceramics), Denitsa Todorova (graphics), Stanislav Belovski (painting and collages).

¬ Artan Hajrullahu / A House Without Walls / solo show / Sarieva Gallery, 40 Otets Paisyi Str. / September 1 – November 30. Sarieva Gallery presents the first solo show in Bulgaria of Kosovar artist Artan Hajrullahu. His artworks are deeply humanistic, representing idyllic scenes of local life in Kosovo augmented by the thoughts and fantasies of the author. They are at once documentary, nostalgic, naive, ironic, provocative, simple, kitsch, traditional and contemporary. In his drawings, Artan Hajrullahu quite often crosses the boundaries of certain traditional taboos, in order to contest conservative conceptions of beauty, nudity, lovemaking, the conventions of marriage, the division between the sexes, masculinity, human uncertainty and the right to choose in general.

¬ After the war / group show / 29-th edition of Week of contemporary art / curated by Emil Mirazchiev / Art Today Association, Kapana gallery, 29 Raiko Daskalov Str. / September 9 – October 5. "I chose the theme of Week of Contemporary Art in the hope that by September the war would be over. Sooner or later it will happen. Will there be a new and even more devastating one? What are the preventions, or does humanity need to construct entirely new and more humane ideologies based on empathy, compassion, love? What happens after war? I turn for these answers to friends as the invited artists: Alla Georgieva (Bulgaria/Ukraine), Velizar Dimchev, Group 7+1 /Ilko Nikolchev, Johannes Artinyan, Kamen Tsvetkov, Pancho Kurtev/, Dimitar Kelbechev, Emil Mirazchiev, Zhanna Kadyrova (Ukraine), Ivan Ivanov, Nadya Genova, Natallia Zaloznaya (Belarus/Belgium), Natasha Kyupova, Olga Volodina (Russia/Bulgaria), Sevdalina Kochevska” - Emil Mirazchiev

¬ 15x5 / group show / curated by Hristo Zekov / City Gallery of Fine Arts Plovdiv, Exhibition Hall 2019, 32 Gladstone Str. / September 7 – October 4. This year's edition of the traditional exhibition of the Society of Plovdiv Artists will present works by Angel Kitipov, Angel Chirakov, Tanyo Pavlov, Miroslav Arabadzhiev, Borislava Sotirova, Hristo Zhekov, Panayot Panayotov, Georges Sopadzhiev, Lyuben Hranov, Georgi Georgiev, Adriana Uzunova, Elena Savova, Tsvetan Stoilkov, Dimitar Hristev, Yordan Velkov.  

¬ Nikola Tanev / Touches from mines Pernik / retrospective exhibition / City Gallery of Fine Arts Plovdiv, permanent collection, 14A Saborna Str. / July 4 – September 30. The selection of paintings was prepared and provided by the National Polytechnic Museum in Sofia, which in 1976 bought the works from the late artist's wife – Dimitria Taneva. The exhibition is among the initiatives with which the museum celebrates its 65th anniversary. In 1947, fate took Nikola Tanev to "Mini Pernik", where he created a series of works, "ranging from a cursory sketch to a more comprehensive independent opus". Regardless of the fact that the theme is not according to the free choice of the author, the artist "finds his own way to create valuable works", emphasizes Prof. Chavdar Popov.

¬ Spiritual routes in Plovdiv – Route V. Topic: National Autumn Exhibitions Plovdiv 2023 / guide Prof. Dr. Galina Lardeva, exhibition curator / September 9, 11.00 a.m.
The route will traditionally present this year's edition of the National Autumn Exhibitions and its nine authors in the courtyards and houses of the Old Town – Balabanova House, Hindliyan House and Permanent Exhibition Mexican Art. 

¬ Plamen Avramov, Angel Stanev, Angelina Delkova-Avramova / joint show / Art museum Georgi Veltchev, 8 Radko Dimitriev Str. / August 24 – September 16. Varna City Art Gallery presents the joint exhibition of painting and sculpture of three authors connected by family and art. The unifying figure is the established Varna sculptor Plamen Avramov, who invited to the project one of the most respected names in Bulgarian sculpture - Angel Stanev, and his wife architect Angelina Delkova - Avramova. The three of them fill the space of the "Georgi Velchev" studio with sculptures, sculptures, and drawings.

¬ Nikola Stoyanov and Aaron Roth / Postcards and contraband / joint exhibition / curated by Hristo Kaloyanov / Rebonkers, 4 Baruten pogreb Str. / September 7 – 21. "'Cards and contraband' begins with the research of an official archive from the Customs Agency, the Directorate for Combating Drug Trafficking, from the period 1975-1985. The found official notes, photographs, negatives, references, and report notes mark part of the routine of the customs, such as inspection and regulation of transit, but also the diplomatic image that the customs must maintain before the international community. The exhibition traces various markers of both the border, its customs and transiting goods, and the memory that the archival image transits, as active action in the present.” – Hristo Kaloyanov

¬ The river. Heritage of Time / group exhibition / "Boris Denev" Art Gallery, 17 Alexander Stamboliyski Str. / September 5 - 30.
"The river. Heritage of Time" is above all an idea that arose as an opportunity for cooperation between AG "Boris Denev" and AG "George Papazov", Yambol. The exhibition presents nearly 40 authors. Each one of them takes the audience into their own world of searches and reflections on the place of the river in personal and shared space. In the Tarnovo and Yambol collections one can see important names of fine art - Boris Denev, Denyu Chokanov, Georgi Raichev, Dimitar Petkov, Dilo Dilov, Dimitar Bonev, Ivan Hristov, Ivanichka Paneva, Lalyu Minkov, Lyuben Gaidarov, Petko Abadjiev, Stoyan Vasilev , Stefan Bachvarov, Asen Momchev, Dimitar Bozakov, Dimitar Dimchev, Petar Tepsizov, Panayot Panayotov and others.

¬ Alice Peach / apple is somersault is apple / solo show / Heerz Tooya Gallery, 18 Ivan Vazov Str. / August 28 – September 16. Originally inspired by the supermarket aesthetics of Italian chain Esselunga and its apple-based packaged products, Alice thoroughly analyses the apple as both object and icon, exploring a variety of perspectives – drawings, sculptures, maquettes, ready-mades, etc. In the process of breaking it down into fragments, Alice undermines not just the fruit itself, but the conventions of representation, ultimately condemning the fruit to flatness. She trumpets idealised visions, to come to a recalibration of the relationship between signifier and signified, the idea and its representation, the word and the object, the origin and the consequence.

¬ The construction. Italian art of the 20th and 21st centuries - painting and sculpture / group exhibition / "Georgi and Vanya Zabchevi" collection / curator Aksinia Djurova / Art Gallery, central building, 9 Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii Str. / May 13 – October 10.
"The exhibition includes works by authors who left bright creative traces in the Italian art of the last century. Several artists who continue to be an integral part of the contemporary Italian art scene are also represented. In the exposition, a special emphasis is placed on the painting mastery of Franco Ferrari (1938), who is represented with the largest number of works. A total of 17 names that give us the opportunity not only to touch the diverse artistic processes that marked the development of Italian art in the twentieth century; not only to the contemporary trends in the field of painting and sculpture, but also to introduce us to the empathy of the act of collecting." - Aksinia Djurova

¬ Darina Peeva and Atanas Totlyakov / Marginals / joint exhibition / Art Gallery, central building, 9 Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii Str. / August 23 - October 29. Marginalia – handwritten notes in the side margins of a book or manuscript. Darina Peeva and Atanas Totlyakov's project focuses on the literal perception of the Kazanlak Art Gallery as an open book, the lines of which are the central, formal exhibition spaces in the institution. However, the authors direct our attention to the informal spaces - spaces that are located on the periphery of the building. They rethink the symbols of the past in a new context (Darina Peeva) or look for a different way of direct contact with works of art from the gallery's collection (Atanas Totlyakov). As a background, the exhibition is a metaphor for the possibility of marginalization.  

¬ All Images Will Disappear, One Day / 4th Autostrada Biennale / group show / Prizren, Kosovo / July 7 – September 9. „All Images Will Disappear, One Day” is an exhibition about what makes and unmakes us, what entangles and disentangles us from ourselves, about freedoms beyond choices, imaginaries that flow despite and across borders. The biennale takes you on a journey around former NATO hangars, where the core of the exhibition sits, and then down into the streets of Prizren, and farther to Prishtina and Mitrovica.

¬ Why in the world Bulgarian art?! / documentary exhibition / Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Belgium, Brussels, Av. Moscicki 7 / September 16 – 17. The exhibition presents informative panels with authentic footage and details about one of the largest private open collections of contemporary Bulgarian art. Visitors will also be able to watch the documentary narrative about Bulgarian contemporary art, after the middle of the 20th century, produced by the 5new Artists platform, through the collection of the Belgian Hugo Wooten. The collection is of impressive size and has preserved over 1,000 works by over 100 Bulgarian artists, which are kept both in the Hugo Wooten Art Center and in the garden of his summer residence in Geel. In the film, details surrounding the creation of the collection are told, as well as stories answering the question of why Bulgarian art.

¬ Open call for participation in the Mini Textile Triennial / Application deadline September 30. Authors can participate with 2 works related to the theme of “Connecting”. Full information at

¬ Open call for participation in a workshop with German artist Joachim Schmidt / Create your own books with found images and texts / Application deadline October 8. The workshop is open to all artists, regardless of age, experience, or field of activity. Participation in the four-day workshop is free. There will be individual consultations with the participants in the morning, and group activities will be held between 2-6 p.m. Venue: Goethe-Institut Bulgaria, Sofia.

¬ Call for applications / Akademie Schloss Solitude / Application deadline November 30. International artists are invited to apply from the following spheres of practice: Visual (visual arts and media), Aural & Physical (music and performing arts), Digital (digital art, gaming, digital journalism, digital publishing), Spatial (architecture and design), Textual (literature and language), Societal (education, mediation, theory), Scientific (humanities, social, natural and economic sciences. Akademie Schloss Solitude’s wide-ranging fellowship program promotes the interrelationship of art and science across all disciplines and fields of practice.

Monthly edition by Open Art Foundation
¬ news selection : Desislava Mileva
¬ logo : Nedko Solakov
¬ cover : Artan Hajrullahu, "Children's bed", in the solo exhibition "A House Without Walls", Sarieva / Gallery, 40 "Otets Paisiy" Str., September 1 - November 30