This Month

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.  

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Maria Zafirkova

An Unknown Lady, 1982.



  • Photographer: Alexandar Marinov Nikolov
  • Material: oil on canvas
  • Width: 100.00 cm    Height: 100.00 cm    Depth: cm   

  • Description: Issue Cover: Maria Zafirkova, An Unknown Lady, 1982, oil on canvas, 100х100 cm. Courtesy: Dobrich Art Gallery, Photo: Alexandar Marinov Nikolov, in the exhibition 'Documents. Painting after Photography in Bulgaria in the 1970s and 1980s', Sofia City Art Gallery, 1, Gen. Gurko str., 2 March – 4 June 2023
  • Copyright: Maria Zafirkova, Sofia City Art Gallery, Dobrich Art Gallery


¬ 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. 

¬ Sandro Miller / Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters/ solo exhibition / Kvadrat 500, 4th floor, new wing of the building, 19th February St. / February 17 – April 30. The American photographer Sandro Miller and the Hollywood star actor John Malkovich recreated the most iconic photographic images from the 20th and 21st centuries in Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters cycle. The exhibition comprised 61 colored and black and white photographs, which John Malkovich compounded in the images of famous people.

¬ Georgi Chapkanov / Chapkanov. The Alchemist. / retrospective exhibition / curator Maria Vassileva / 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.

¬ Lyuben Zidarov / The fairy-tale world of Lyuben Zidarov / retrospective exhibition / Kvadrat 500, 4th floor, new wing of the building, 19th February St. / January 24 – March 26. One of our brightest illustrators was Lyuben Zidarov (1923–2023), who most recently ascended to his imaginary worlds. He left behind a comprehensive gallery of images which make young and old alike smile and evoke warm memories of their favourite books. In the museum, the illustrations take on the life of independent easel artworks in their bright primary colouring. The ten selected images reveal to the viewer only a small part of the oeuvre of Lyuben Zidarov.

¬ Georges Papazoff – The Illuminator / retrospective exhibition / curator Maria Vassileva / National Gallery, The Palace, 1, Knyaz Alexander I Sq. / December 16 – March 19. 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. Maria Vassileva notes: ‘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.’

¬ Stanislav Belovski / I had to do something… / solo exhibition / Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art, 2, Cherni Vrah Blvd. / February 23 – March 26. The exhibition highlights street art from 2022, digital collages and paintings created as a reaction to the war in Ukraine by the artist. The theme of rationalising our common past and its imprint on the present is the subject of Stanislav Belovski’s oeuvre in a series of individual and group projects over the years.

¬ Maria Nalbantova / Landscapes per meter / solo exhibition / curated by Luchezar Boyadjiev / ICA, 134 Vasil Levski Blvd. / February 23 – April 7. Landscapes per Meter is inspired by the artist’s residency Maria Nalbantova did in 2022 with the Residency Unlimited in New York City. As the winner of the BAZA Award for 2020, she spent two months in New York while experiencing the city in its various details as both a world of art and a place to live in. Landscapes per Meter is a space/time composition of memory fragments. These might be perceived as communication means, as traces, as evidences but above all as measurement units.

¬ The Apostle’s Confession / multimedia exhibition / Kvadrat 500, 4th floor, new wing of the building, 19th February St. / February 20 – December 31. Multimedia exposition dedicated to 150 years since the death of Vasil Levski. Using holographic technology on a large-scale video wall, a re-enactment of the trial of the Apostle of Freedom is displayed, and significant moments of his life are brought back to life.

¬ Lyuben Domozetski Adam gives names to animals and plants / solo exhibition / Gallery "Little Bird Place", 7 "11-ti Avgust" Str. / February 22 – March 17. Unlike all the previous shows of the author, in which the topic of scientific illustration prevailed, in the current project the artist directs his attention to artworks that are closer to the traditions of icon painting. The plants and animals, that have always interested Lyuben Domozetski, are present too, but in a new visual context and a new look.

¬ Boryana Petkova, Kalin Serapionov, Kiril Prashkov, Krassimir Terziev, Leda Vaneva, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Nina Kovacheva, Peter Mintchev, Svetlana Mircheva, Simeon Simeonov / The Drawing – Without Limitations  / group exhibition / curated by Maria Vassileva / Structura, 9 Kuzman Shapkarev St. / February 8 –  March 25. The selected works show the changes that have occurred in today’s idea of drawing under the influence of the internet, graffiti, animation or comics. The selection extends in terms of the different forms of use (finished work, preparatory drawing, sketch or project script), as well as commenting on the understanding of drawing solely as “pencil on a piece of paper”.

¬ Ana Kostova, Gergana Tabakova / Let's take a look at the side / joint exhibition / Credo Bonum Gallery, ul. "Slavyanska 2 / 9 - 31 March. Both artists are provoked by the medium of painting, which they try to place in a new spatial context for them. Such a look at this medium in their work is prompted by the desire to get out of the standard fixation on painting as an art object, in the creation of which the use of paint on canvas is inevitable. Central to their current practice is the theme of translating painterly impressions into three-dimensional pictorial objects.

¬ The child in the art of socialism / group exhibition / Museum of Art from the Socialist Period, 7, Luchezar Stanchev St. / December 8 – March 26. 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.

¬ Leda Starcheva / Connected Corpora / solo exhibition / National Gallery, house museum Vera Nedkova, 2, 11 August St. / December 1 – March 31. 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.

¬ Stanka Tsonkova – Usha / A wave washed a trace away / solo exhibition / curated by Vera Mlechevska / Toplocentrala art center, 5 Emil Bersinski St. / February 22 – March 26. The exhibition of Stanka Tsonkova - Usha is the result of her stay in Japan in 2001 and 2003. During this time, she made hundreds of photographs and videos inspired by the lives and work of bright figures who shaped the Japanese post-war avant-garde such as the photographer and cinematographer Eikoh Hosoe, the founders of Butoh - Tatsumi Hijikata and Ohno Kazuo, the poet and playwright Yukio Mishima, who together created unique works and opened Japanese culture to the world.

¬ Pavlin Radevski / Wild Constructions / solo exhibition / curated by Boyanda Dzhikova / Charta Gallery, 12 Vrabcha St. / February 15 – March 17. In the exhibition the artist presents a series of sculptures created with the help of bees. Radevski sets a synthetic matrix (mold) in which the insects build a hive. The process is a product of the material boundaries set by the artist and the action of the swarm following the mathematical method inherent to their species. Instrumental in modelling the future object, the bees apply a technique classic to sculpture - form-making occurs through addition and subtraction.

¬ Kaloyan Iliev - Kokimoto / Memento mori / solo exhibition / Arosita Gallery, Vrabcha str. 12B / 4 31 March. "Memento mori" is a famous Latin expression that can be translated as "Remember that you are mortal". This theme has been acknowledged by Kokimoto since the beginning of his work as an artist, creating many artistic echoes of the inevitability of death. His most recent works have been created in the last three years and are provoked by the events happening globally and the mass of individuals subjugated to the fear of death.

¬ Ivan Georgiev - Rembranda / Ivan Georgiev - Rembranda – the known and unknown / retrospective exhibition  / Nuance Gallery, 40 Ivan Denkoglu str. / February 28 March 19. The year 2023 marks the 85th anniversary of the artist's birth and the exhibition celebrates the enormous work of one of the virtuosos of Bulgarian painting from the second half of the 20th century. Rembranda was a representative of independent movements in painting during socialism and the first years of the transition, a period of great importance for the visual arts in the country. In addition to the exhibition, a documentary film about the artist will be presented, directed by Anna Petkova

¬ Svetozar Benchev, Dimite Pecic  / Landscape or inner space / joint exhibition / The Mission Gallery, 2 Al. Zhendov str. / February 16 March 16. The exhibition presents works by prof. Dimitre Pecic, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Arts - Belgrade and prof. Svetozar Benchev, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the National Academy of Arts - Sofia. The viewer is invited to enter a dreamlike reality full of harmony, as well as to dive into the depths of the subconscious - a space full of legends, fantasies and premonitions.

¬ Stoyan Yorgov - Tekata / Return to Broadway Night  / solo exhibition / Rakursi, 4a Han Krum str. / February 28 March 18. The exhibition is a photographic walk through the old theaters on Broadway in Los Angeles. The series of photographs analyzes the impact that “Night on Broadway” (a one-day festival) has on the process of changing the city and the subsequent cycles of development and slowdown, simultaneously with economic and geographical growth in the Megapolis. Photographs of the old cinemas show the convergence and divergence between the different histories of the great architectural achievements of the 20th century in this part of the city. -  Stoyan Yorgov

¬ Todor Rabadzhiyski / Galvinised / double solo exhibition / curated by Vikenti Komitski / POSTA, 34 Dondukov Blvd. and PUNTA, 13 Dunav str.  / February 22 March 19. Punta Gallery is proud to present Todor Rabadzhiyski's first solo show, which includes installation, sculpture and prints by the young artist. The exhibition forms a model of a complex ecological system in which processes of fortification and decay create an intense visual environment, and metaphors transport meaning in a web of forms and meanings.

¬ Sofia Dimova / Street Angel / solo exhibition / KO-OP, 17 Yanko Sakazov Blvd. / February 16 March 16. "Street Angel" explores the female body and empowerment when one feels most vulnerable emotionally and mentally. Through the symbolism of the blue and green palette, the project seeks the meditative state where one is alone with oneself, longing for the touch of peace and harmony between soul and body. "Street Angel" dives into the female psyche through distorted imagery, remaining an enigma. "Street Angel" turns its back on the carnal, the material and the lust for sensuality. Deeply unapologetic, it reclaims her power. - Ralitsa Gerasimova

¬ Ivan Moudov / Kitesurfing Injuries: Recasting Misfortune / solo exhibition / ONE Gallery, 14 Ivan Vazov str. / March 7 – April 4.  Moudov’s latest body of work, created after sustaining multiple injuries from kitesurfing, is a balance between his physical resilience and creative spirit. Moudov has taken his damaged kites and transformed them into a series of 25 paintings and collages that capture the energy of the sport and the fragility of the human body. The works on display are a visual representation of the artist’s inclination to turn adversity into art. Each piece features unique patterns and textures, created using the kites; torn and frayed fabric.

¬ Anri Sala / Then and Only Then / solo exhibition / ONE NIGHT STAND Gallery, 25 Hristo Belchev str. / 8 March. Sala creates multiple connections and relationships between image, architecture and sound as elements that become expansive and revealing dimensions of the existing. A video work, whose title is also that of the exhibition, and three photographs-frames from another video titled "Conquest" are shown in the gallery space. Then and Only Then is an exhibition about the stratification of the image, its disintegration and the possibility of identifying interconnections and relations that arise from a confrontation of what exists in parallel in time and space. - Martina Yordanova

¬ Aaron Roth / Beige / solo exhibition / Sarieva Gallery, Otets Paisiy str. 40 / February 10 March 31. he exhibition continues the artist's quest to capture and expose in his work the contemporary domestic and political reality in Bulgaria and the Balkans in general. A reality marked by the national psychology, the thugs and the nouveau riche of the 90's and the Transition, the integration policies of the European Union, the corruption encoded in politics and the everyday life of the people. Beige is presented as the colour of the mature "thug elite" and its passage into the political. It is the colour of neutrality and muted tension, the "background colour".

¬ Dimitar Shopov, Milosh Gavazov/ Dialogues with Dimitar Shopov and Gavazov / joint exhibition / curated by Pavlina Marinova /City Gallery of Fine Arts Plovdiv,32 Gladston Street / 7 – 26 March. L’union Art Gallery presents an exhibition of its collection of works by Dimitar Shopov, which is a result of their ten years of collaboration. In the show the curator Pavlina Marinova includes about 100 selected pieces, some of which have not been shown before.The exhibition showcases works by Milosh Gavazov in dialogue with drawings, paintings and objects by Dimitar Shopov.

¬ Sevdalina Kochevska, Petar Kochevski / The Hero / joint exhibition / City Gallery of Fine Arts Plovdiv, Knyaz Alexandar I str. 15 / 2 - 22 March. The two artists present a new exhibition in the City Art Gallery two years after their large-scale joint show "Without Heroes" in Hall 2019. Now the scale is not so large, but the "Hero" finally appears. The visual artist Emil Mirazchiev is also invited to participate in the show alongside Sevdalina and Petar.

¬Ludmil Chehlarov / The Poster / retrospective exhibition/ Varna City Gallery, 1 Lyuben Karavelov St. / 6 - 26 March. The exhibition brings together the contribution of one of the great names in Bulgarian art in the field of applied graphics - Lyudmil Chehlarov. The exhibition is organized by the Art Gallery - Dobrich, and is associated with an impressive donation that the museum receives from the artist at the end of 2021. The donation chronologically documents the creative path of Chekhlarov, the formation of his visual signature and his influence on the development of the contemporary poster in Bulgaria.

¬ Dimitar Kazakov - Nero / Dimitar Kazakov - Nero - 90th anniversary of his birth / retrospective exhibition / Boris Georgiev Gallery,  Lyuben Karavelov 1 / 9 - 30 March.
The exhibition will present large-scale paintings by Nero, owned by the Art Gallery in Strazhitsa. They are only part of the enormous amount of works left by the artist. His versatile talent, as well as the power of his spirit, enclosed in mythological images, tales and legends, have marked each of his paintings in an amazing way.

¬ Rudi Ninov / Writing Paintings / самостоятелна изложба/ Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy/ January 21 May 7. The exhibition showcases both sculpture and painting as a manifestation of the young bulgarian artist’s current preoccupation with sound and shape, how they relate to one another and how sound can be translated into shape and colour in his works. Ninov , explores the formal and the personal, the abstract and the figurative. In preparation for this exhibition, the artist spoke out loud letters from the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets in an attempt to bring this basic monophonic concept into a shapes and colours.

 ¬ 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.

¬ See Art House : Open call residency / Submission deadline March 15. Once a year, Sea Art House offers one artist a residency completely free of charge. The residency runs in the autumn between September 15 and October 1. It includes a free stay in one of the private rooms and unlimited use of studio and equipment.

Monthly edition by artnewscafe and Sarieva/Hub
¬ news selection : Gergana Minkova
¬ logo : Nedko Solakov
 ¬ cover : Maria Zafirkova, An Unknown Lady, 1982, oil on canvas, 100х100 cm. Courtesy: Dobrich Art Gallery, Photo: Alexandar Marinov Nikolov, in the exhibition 'Documents. Painting after Photography in Bulgaria in the 1970s and 1980s', Sofia City Art Gallery, 1, Gen. Gurko str., 2 March – 4 June 2023

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