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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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Pravdoliub Ivanov

Work from the exhibition "I Don’t Know What You Are Talking About", 2023.



  • Description: cover : Pravdoliub Ivanov, work from the exhibition “I Don’t Know What You Are Talking About” at Sarieva Gallery, Otets Paisiy str. 40, Plovdiv, May 5 – July 29. Photo courtesy of Sarieva Gallery
  • Copyright: Sarieva Gallery


¬ Joseph Tasnádi / Puzzlements / solo show / Curator: Dr. Szabolcs Süli-Zakar / Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art, 2, Cherni Vrah Blvd. / May 3 – June 25. Joseph Tasnádi (b. 1960) is a visual artist living and working in Budapest. He focuses on associations and visually generated stories. His installations, interventions and generative digital experiments are visual essays that transcribe themselves into stories, or textual narratives, thanks to which rich, luxurious and vast fields of interpretation and associations of free thinking reveal themselves. The exhibition offers a review of his post-2010 oeuvre, consisting of installations, interventions, and digital experiments, along with some earlier drawings.

¬ Nina Ruseva / Atlantis / solo exhibition / National Gallery, Kvadrat 500, 1, 19th February St. / May 9 – August 20. Nina Ruseva created most of these paintings specifically for the occasion. The extreme, exciting emotional experience physically separates us from the reality surrounding us and conveys us to distant worlds. Peru, the Antarctic, Perperikon, or the lost lands of Atlantis—all unfold before the eyes of the viewer, refracted through the personal emotion and sensibility of the artist, through the rich imagination and curiosity towards the unknown that she materialises in her painting.

¬ Georgi Chapkanov / Chapkanov. The Alchemist / retrospective exhibition / curated by Ivo Milev and Milko Dobrev / National Gallery, The Palace, 1, Knyaz Alexander I Sq. / February 14 – May 14. The National Gallery announces the opening of an exhibition on the Bulgarian sculptor Georgi Chapkanov, dedicated to his 80th birthday. More than 70 works are included – owned by the artist; the inventory of many galleries and private collectors. Through the medium of virtual reality, the artist’s most iconic project is presented in one of the halls – the monument dedicated to the city of Sofia. The exhibition, retrospective in character, places Chapkanov’s at first glance earthly works within the context of an unearthly, metaphysical world, one in which the celestial has its own clearly demarcated structure.

¬ Yavor Tsanev (1956–2014): Metamorphoses / retrospective exhibition / National Gallery, The Palace, 1, Knyaz Alexander I Sq. / April 19 – July 2. The exhibition is retrospective in character and includes graphics, paintings and sculptural works. As resurrected visual images that transferred the mysteries of antiquity to our reality emerges the classical ideal of beauty from Ancient Greece, through Rome and Hellenism, through the National Revival and Romanticism, in such a way that we can generally attribute the individual style of his compositions to the spirit of Postmodernism.

¬ The return of Lote Mihailova. Shy intimacy / retrospective exhibition / Sofia City Art Gallery, 1 Gurko str / April 4 – May 14.  FotoFabrika’s team delves into the archive of one of the most significant Bulgarian photographers of the recent past - Lote Mihaylova. The exposition is accompanied by a catalogue, in which over 90 images from the author's personal archive, created between the 1960s and the 1980s, are selected, 60 of which are included in this show.

¬ Tekla Aleksieva, Georgi Bozhilov, Milko Bozhkov, Toma Varbanov, Maya Gorova, Ivan Dimov, Maria Zafirkova, Vasko Ivanov, Petyo Marinov, Teofan Sokerov, Elena Sokerova, Sasho Stoitsov, Dimitar Traychev, Vanko Urumov, Stefan Yanev/ Documents. Painting after Photography in Bulgaria in the 1970s and 1980s / group exhibition / Sofia City Art Gallery, 1 Gen. Gurko st. /March 2 – June 4. The exhibition presents works created between 1973 and 1989 and explores the tendency towards interpreting photographs and images from printed publications in the space of the painting, characteristic of that period. The project analyses the trend through the lens of late socialism and the specific information environment of the time – between political propaganda and news from abroad. 

¬ Fear and love / group exhibition / curated by Galina Dimitrova-Dimova / Vaska Emanuilova Gallery, 15 Yanko Sakazov Blvd. / April 26 – June 11. “The exhibition explores the theme of fear and love as two opposites of human behaviour. On one side are human fears that prevent us from being who we are, from following our desires and dreams. At the other is love that can help us overcome these fears, attain personal fulfilment, and be worthy of (self-) respect.” Writes the curator Galina Dimitrova-Dimova. Featured artists: Ariel Reichman, Venelin Shurelov, Vikenti Komitski, Denitsa Milusheva, Elena Bellantoni, Elena Nazarova, Harita Asumani. Special guest: Stefan Ivanov.

¬ Romania in the art of Vladimir Kavaldzhiev (1908 – 1988) / solo exhibition / Union of Bulgarian Artists, 6 Shipka Str. / May 3 – 20. The Romanian period in the work of the Bulgarian painter Vladimir Kavaldzhiev spans only two years, 1948-1949, but they are so rich, fruitful and dramatic that they deserve special attention.

¬ Luchezar Boyadjiev / Urban Daydreaming / solo exhibition / ICA, 134 Vasil Levski Blvd. / April 27 – June 3. Positioned at the crossroads of visual culture, urbanism and politics, the exhibition showcases drawings and visualizations engaged with the cities that have been most important in the life and the career of the artist. His interests in ecology, city utopias, the place of art and artists within the life of this world are “translated” into drawings, digital manipulations, and visionary thinking. As a stage from the long-term project titled “Utopian Suggestions for Dystopian Cities”, the show engages with the question of “what to do with those dystopian cities where living is becoming ever more hectic? How the utopian visions for a city – Sofia, New York, or Amsterdam, might be seen as an engineering, urban and environmental option?

¬ Beyond All Reason. In the Mirror of Surreal Times / group show / curated by Gregor Jansen / Structura Gallery, 9 Kuzman Shapkarev St. / April 13 – June 3. The current exhibition is part of the "Hotline" project, initiated by Structura Gallery with the aim of opening Bulgaria to the world, attracting the attention of established international curators. Gregor Jansen, long-time director of the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, art critic, curator, and professor researches the accumulations in the field of contemporary art in Bulgaria, meets and talks with artists and reflects his impressions in an exhibition. With works by Aaron Roth, Aleksandra Chaushova, Dimitar Solakov, collective: Krasimira Butseva, Julian Chehirian & Lilia Topouzova, Kiril Prashkov, Krassimir Terziev, Leda Ekimova, Lyoudmila Milanova, Martina Vacheva, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Nedko Solakov, ninavale, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Radostin Sedevchev, Sophia Grancharova, Stefan Nikolaev.

¬ Rada Bukova / Au Anagrama / solo exhibition / curated by Vera Mlechevska / Punta Gallery, 13 Danube Str. And Posta Space, 34 Dondukov Bld. / April 20 – May 13. Artist Rada Bukova and curator Vera Mlechevska explore different methods of finding gold, procedures for its extraction in domestic conditions and empirically test how gold differs in a natural environment. In the age of modern capitalism, gold is still unevenly distributed. The high demand and relatively limited resources of gold - about 8 Olympic swimming pools for the entire world - make it unaffordable for many. For millennia, the question has been how to make access to gold more democratic and what are the ways in which gold can be mined from every person.

¬ Dimitar Shopov, Alina Papazova, Aleksandra Laskova, Valko Chobanov / Creative impotence / group exhibition / Goethe-Institut Bulgarien, 1 Budapest Str. / April 25 – May 18. The exhibition follows the communication with the "spirit" of the creative impotence that beset the artists Dimitar Shopov, Alina Papazova, Alexandra Laskova and Valko Chobanov during a plein air in the Black Sea village of Varvara in January of this year. To communicate with the spirit, they come up with a board game with the significant name "From Crystal to documenta". With its ironic-sarcastic approach, the game shows the path of the contemporary artist in Bulgaria through familiar city parks, galleries, institutions, and communication with very real people in the name of a successful creative CV. It can be played by the visitors, who will also have the opportunity to view a series of other works created during the plein air.

¬ Misty With Some Smoke / group exhibition / Credo Bonum Gallery, 2 Slavyanska Street / May 2 - 20. Can art be functional? In the contemporary art world, the intertwining of different creative disciplines has made it possible for artists to jump over all kinds of boundaries. Today, the profession of the artist includes several creative activities that hardly fit into classic categorizations. Far from any utilitarian preoccupations, the authors create works that can be present in our homes as functional objects. The exhibition looks at the work of four artists who employ different artistic methods: Vasko Ernst Burdarov and Nevena Ekimova from Bulgaria, the Czech artist Ekaterina Konarovska, who lives and works in The Hague and the German artist Joachim Lenz, who works from Berlin.

¬ Nevena Ekimova / The First Ten Lifetimes or So Usually Suck / in-situ installation part of the project “New Ecologies” / Swimming Pool, 10 Tsar Osvoboditel St. / April 25 – May 18. “New Ecologies” is a three-part exhibition project that proposes a different approach to the concept of “environment”. Nevena Ekimova's installation ‘The First Ten Lifetimes or So Usually Suck’ emerged in response to the project's main concepts and was made especially for the space of Swimming Pool. Nevena addresses the main topic towards thinking of the human being as an ecosystem whose stability depends on a manifold of inputs: food and water, stress and sleep, information and communication, entropy of flesh and thought, synthesis of new cells and ideas, social interactions. To this end, she uses the technique of cutwork embroidery – often used in the Christian tradition to depict pastoral scenes and sacred objects.

¬ Vanessa Winship and George Georgiou / The long road / joint exhibition / curated by Nadezhda Pavlova, Nikola Mihov, Vanessa Winship and George Georgiou / Synthesis Gallery, 55 Vasil Levski Blvd / May 12 – July 8The exhibition "The Long Road" by the two British photographers Vanessa Winship and George Georgiou was created especially for the Synthesis Gallery space. In parallel, are presented emblematic projects of each of the authors, photographed in the same places. The exhibition follows the long journey that Vanessa Winship and George Georgiou have taken together since their student years in London, through documentary series filmed in the UK, Italy and India, their work in Kosovo, Albania and Serbia during the Kosovo War, Turkey and various countries of Eastern Europe and the Balkans, including Bulgaria to their latest projects in the US.

¬ Alexander Uzev / Roughly / solo show / Doza Gallery, 52 Tsar Samuil str. / April 25 – May 12. “The particular occasion for the exhibition comes from a journey that turns out to be as aimless as it is metaphorical. The peculiar reflections in the windows of the wrong train and the one you catch to get back on the right path. At least to the path that a person has determined to be correct. Reflection is its own extensive theme, but in this particular exhibition the gesture arises from the dual image that reminds of the two opposite essences of every person.” – Yovo Panchev  

¬ Vasil Angelov / The little pod / solo exhibition / Gallery Little Bird Place, 7 "11-ti Avgust" Str. / May 11-31. “The Little Pod is my great inspiration,” says the artist Vasil Angelov, who will present his prints in the Little Bird Place gallery. The show consists of graphic artworks, executed through the classic mezzotinto technique, a rare and difficult technique created in the 17th century.

¬ Anna Batcheva / Pre and post-drawing / solo exhibition / Arosita Gallery, 12B "Vrabcha" str. / May 2 - 15. How do images mutate when they fall into the artificial memory of digital technologies? Their verisimilitude shifts in countless alternative states that flash like a memory that precedes or outlives the image. These spontaneities are mastered by the artist, through observation and intervention, to become a new means of expanding human creativity. A unique and mesmerizing exploration of color and form beyond anything man-made.

¬ Johannes Mundiger / Notes on Bov / solo exhibition / curated by Atanas Levakov / Depoo Gallery, 12b Vrabcha str / May 9 - 16. The German artist Johannes Mundinger is the first guest artist at the KOREN residency (29.04.-5.05.), held in the village of Bov. There, he explored the natural features of the place and drew inspiration from the breathtaking views to create the exhibition. The artist "processes" these impressions and turns them into paintings. Like a stone quarry, he separates the impressions of the valley into individual elements, breaks up the lines and structures and rearranges them, mixing them with elements of his established handwriting. The result is abstract notes. Notes on Bov.

¬ Elena Nazarova / Rest Assured / Disclosure / solo exhibition / Charta Gallery, 12 Vrabcha Str. / April 28 – May 24. A personal and introspective exhibition - the first of its kind for the author, whose work often explores social and community-engaged topics. Here, through a traditional approach in painting and revealing raw unredacted notes from her diaries, Elena Nazarova invites us to look into some deeply personal dark moments, challenges and difficulties for her, drawing attention to themes of mental health, isolation and those difficulties that are not shared outside.

¬ Lora Kamburova / Kawaii toilet / in-situ installation / KO-OP, 17 Yanko Sakazov Blvd. / May 4 – July 31. This is the fifth spatial installation from the curatorial program "Like the State, the Toilet is Never Neutral". It transports us to the Far East and is inspired by one of the most popular contemporary Japanese styles, born alongside manga drawings in the 1960s, with worldwide popularity today, applied to all kinds of products and images, influencing fashion, design, music, food, visual arts, and pop culture.

¬ Trukan and Gergana Trukanova / Elements / joint exhibition / Nuance Gallery, 42 Ivan Denkoglu Str. / May 9 - 28. "The exhibition presents the second creative meeting of Dimitar and Gergana Trukanovi. Father and daughter united in the study of the various elements in nature. Trukan presents paintings with an author's technique, combining different materials such as paper, metal, wood, textiles and pigments. Gergana, for her part, presents a series of kinetic jewelry made of silver and glass, and as a continuation of years of research into the combination of the two materials and their qualities. For the first time, she will also present jewelry made of gold.  

¬ Andrei Barbu / The crying beam / solo exhibition / Gallery Gallery, Sculpture park Ploshtadka / April 4 –  September 4. The Crying Beam is a series of works that result from a research project in which Andrei Barbu examines these notions. The series centres around a metal beam, much like H-channels that are used in construction works. The metal beam is bent to resemble a human figure. For his exhibition at gallery Gallery, Andrei turned The Crying Beam into a gigantic sculpture in Augmented Reality (AR). The effort and technology needed to see the work make this figure disappear when we stop trying.

¬ Public program part of the project “New Ecologies” / Swimming Pool, 10 Tsar Osvoboditel St. / May 10, 13 and 17.
The public program part of the “New Ecologies” project continues in May with three events. On May 10, at 6:30 p.m., a conversation about "sober" speculation as a method for understanding everything that surrounds us with the linguist and science fiction researcher Alexander Popov and the anthropologist Konstantin Georgiev. What do the rivers of Sofia tell us, and is there any intelligible speech left in their murmurs? The writer Dimitar Kenarov will try to answer these and other questions during the conversation "Sofia's River/Babble" on May 13 at 6:00 p.m. And on May 17, at 6:30 p.m., Ventzeslava Kojouharova from “For the Earth” (Za Zemiata) Environmental Association will talk about "An Integrated Approach to Ecology".

¬ Pravdoliub Ivanov / I Don’t Know What You Are Talking About / solo exhibition / Sarieva Gallery, Otets Paisiy str. 40 / May 5 – July 29. The idea for this exhibition originated from a photo image which Pravdoliub found in his camera four years ago. Unbeknown to him, his five-year-old son had photographed everything around himself. The photo in question showed part of the living-room with a TV set broadcasting and unknown feature film with subtitles. Engraved onto the TV screen, a dialogue caption said the following: “I would like to draw a picture of you. – I don’t know what you are talking about”. This small dialogue became an inspiration for one of Pravdoliub’s artworks and the title of the exhibition itself. The artworks presented in the solo show constitute an attempt to explore found objects, images, and visualized prejudices, whereas all their interpretations are equally truthful.

¬ Ahimsa : non-violence / group exhibition / City Gallery of Fine Arts Plovdiv, Hall for temporary exhibitions, 15 Knyaz Alexandar I str. / April 25 – May 14. The exhibition "Ahimsa: non-violence" includes 40 works by 34 eminent contemporary Bulgarian artists and sculptors and by four artists from India, Turkey, and Republic of North Macedonia. It arose as a natural development and build-up of the exhibition "Mahatma Gandhi: Power of Truth" held in 2019. The present project is focused on the metaphysical principle of ahimsa - non-violence, non-destruction, which Mahatma Gandhi carried out throughout his conscious life as a true student, researcher, and follower of his ancient culture and as a national and world leader.

¬ Vasil Chakurov (1934 – 2018) / Quiet earth / retrospective exhibition / City Gallery of Fine Arts Plovdiv, Kapana gallery, 29 Raiko Daskalov St. / April 28 – May 28. The exhibition presents 117 watercolor works by the Bulgarian artist Vasil Chakarov - CHAK. About the work of Vasil Chakarov, Ruzha Marinska writes: "The watercolor to which Vasil Chakarov devoted himself is also a choice that corresponds to the character. A hard choice. In this technique - synonymous with lightness and free inspiration, Vasil Chakarov builds, and before that thinks, with tension almost every spill of the stain. His watercolors are unlike anyone else's. There is pictorial density and a special seriousness in them."

¬ BUNA : Contemporary art forum Varna / May 24 - 28. In the first edition of the forum, take part more than 30 organizations, galleries, and artistic collectives from Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna and more than 100 contemporary artists from Bulgaria and the world working in various fields. Located in the historical district of Talyana, the oldest part of Varna’s city centre, the forum aims to give a new creative dynamic to the area and the recognition of contemporary art as a significant part of the country's cultural life. More than 15 exhibitions and 64 events will take place within 5 days.

¬ Boyan Lyubenov / Look Up / solo exhibition / Asparuhovo Art Gallery, 1 Narodni Buditeli Blvd / April 26 - May 10. This exhibition offers a new perspective on the remarkable architecture of Varna from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The photographic exhibition includes 20 buildings - monuments of culture, presented both from a bird's eye view with a drone and with close-up highlights on individual curious details of the facades that often go unnoticed. The photographs on each of the exhibition panels are accompanied by a short text explaining about the history and purpose of the respective building. The historical data has been synthesized by Christian Oblakov.

¬ Knut Nordby / The Teddy Bear Rescue Team / solo show / Curated by Martina Yordanova / 1 m² art, TAM, 16 Velcho Dzhamdzhiata St. / April 8 – May 18. “Alf Prøysen has written about the topic, and Disney has milked it raw. There is a constant melancholy over the teddy bears in the dark attic nooks and cellars. Knut Nordby has spun on these teddy bear stories and given them new colors. And standing fur. He has frozen the slumped, sad, and abandoned teddy beaр's last sigh in several layers of paint. He has turned some into rockers. Both the paint and the teddy bears have been picked up after they have been thrown away and given new roles, a unique chance to mean something, to say something.” - David William Øynes

¬ Circulation(s) – European young photography festival / Focus on Bulgaria / group show / Centquatre, Paris, France / March 25 – May 21. Following an exploration of the Romanian, Portuguese, Belarusian and Armenian photographic scenes, the fifth edition focuses on Bulgaria. It establishes connections with this dynamic and active scene. Through this focus, the festival continues to assert its wish to go beyond geographical boundaries and its scope of research. The presented artists are Martin Atanasov, Mihail Novakov, Hristina Tasheva and Tihomir Stoyanov.

¬ Open call for photography students / Paris Photo 2023, Paris, France / Submission deadline June 12. On the occasion of Paris Photo 2023, which will be held from November 9 – 12, 2023 at the Grand Palais Ephémère, Carte Blanche Students will kickstart the careers of 4 students, whose projects are selected from among over 100 European photography and visual arts schools, with the exceptional opportunity to take part in the largest international art fair dedicated to the photographic medium.

¬ FiKVA Awards 2023 : Open call / Submission deadline May 18. The International FiKVA Award for painters 2023 is a global competition with a € 5000 cash prize. The open call accepts all genres: modern, classical and imaginative realism, hyper-, photo- and surrealism. No comics, airbrush, digital or mechanical works are accepted.

Monthly edition by artnewscafe and Sarieva/Hub
¬ news selection : Desislava Mileva
¬ logo : Nedko Solakov
 ¬ cover : Pravdoliub Ivanov, work from the exhibition “I Don’t Know What You Are Talking About” at Sarieva Gallery, Otets Paisiy str. 40, Plovdiv, May 5 – July 29. Photo courtesy of Sarieva Gallery