Elena Panayotova, Atanas Gadjev, Delia Chausheva, Atanas Atanassov
Curated by Elena Panayotova
For all Bulgarians the Danube river has always been the symbol of connection with the heart of Europe, both cultural and commercial. In the festival Danube Dialogues 2014 we participated with an exhibition called Future Classics that aimed to put on discussion both aesthetical questions and the topic of market / anti-commercial values in art.
The artists in Bulgaria live in a very strange illusory situation. There is a dynamic art scene but no real art market. Artists are always at the edge, hesitant between making art and living quietly having a job; sacrificing an untroubled life and continuing to make pure art without any perspective to make some money from it. Many artists move to other countries where they are better situated on the art scene.
Compared to Sofia, the art scenes in other European cities are open, there are no prejudices about origins or belongings to a certain school. Sofia’s scene is still suffering from a deep provincialism though there are a lot of very good emancipated contemporary artists who live with the illusion to be included one day in the western art scene as equivalent artists.
All these circumstances make Sofia’s artistic life somehow dim and in confusion. Art is not really commercial, which has a good side too. The four artists presented in this exhibition belong to the generation that grew up and was educated in communist times when the whole art system was not commercial. After the changes in 1989 they had to find new strategies to live and continue making art. They present four different directions in the Bulgarian art scene, figurative and abstract. All of them have already a long experience in contemporary art practices.
Atanas Atanassov (born 1964 in Burgas, graduated from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia) has shown a series of perfectly done large scale drawings, portraits of friends, made with colour pencil.
“Brilliant, pure and refined to a painful perfection, this drawing, in large size already, comes to remind not only how complicated and responsible the understanding of drawing is, but also how many unimagined possibilities loyalty to its classic basis brings…this is an art that holds memories as dreams of an ideal reality, keeping the light of the human soul and character. The spiritual and plastic world of Atanas Atanassov is also a challenge, ignoring fashion and hierarchy, with his modern personal interpretation of classical priciples as a way to elevated platic poetics.” Acad. Svetlin Rusev
Atanas Gadjev (born 1960 in Belovo) presented abstract works, using mixed media and printing techniques. His work is very sensible and tender, and at the same time respects with its virtuosity.
“The main issue is the synthesis of realities, where the object or the subject are absent, or, explained in another way, where we reside not physically, but mentally. Therefore all that we now call for convenience modern art is not limited within the frame of nature, being or the idea about them, but tries to generate realities, separated from the physical presence of object and subject…Plastic works reside in a dim border zone between an image, yet being in constructive proximity or association with known reality and the head string beyond which begins the building of the other – the spiritual, inner reality, accessible only to people with a creative mind and appropriate emotional attitude.” Philip Zidarov
Delia Chausheva (born in 1965 in Sofia) is focused on the powerful gesture. Her abstract works show the strength and emotional impact of the edgy forms combined with refined experiments with the colours. She presented pastel and acrylic works on paper.
“An inexplicable thing are the objects of art – they lit up the dark places there like a sun or brings the shades of doubt. In the cold resonance of the composition you can find new directions to the world in which mathematics, physics and poetry are only synonyms of the provocations streaming down through us. …With Delya Chausheva the answers are many and sudden. Sometimes they follow you like living creatures and wait for you to accept them. The answers are full of energy and crying, they are full of strands of undiscovered spaces, but the more they seem lonely, cold, unexpected and full of explosion the more they draw you nearer to humanity, to an universe of the unfamiliar, dangerous and terrific wish to conquer it.” Sasho Serafimov
Elena Panayotova (born 1964 in Sofia) has studied painting at the National Academy of Arts at Sofia, but works in different media such as drawings, objects and installations. In Novi Sad she showed a series of smaller scale pencil drawings inspired by middle age aesthetics combined with later influences and their iconography, and based on classical techniques.
“Strange characters, almost immaterial but with faces easy-to-remember appeared at the “art deco” backgrounds. In those works, which the author herself defines as “music without tune”, one discovers a complicated psychic life, layers of spirituality and sense of plastic form. Those are more often pencil drawings made with phenomenal precision and virtuosity, sometimes they are combined with gouache or acrylics. But most important is the fact that she creates an exclusive atmosphere in them. The fancy-dressed characters, the musical instruments, the very countenance type takes us back to the old masters. But this return to the past does possess a contemporary acuteness and at the same time a contemporary hopelessness”. Prof. Ruzha Marinska
Danube Dialogues festival is of great importance not only for the Bulgarian artists as a forum for exchange of ideas, a platform for noble competition and comparison between trends in contemporary art of so close, but not familiar enough cultures.
29 AVG – 11 SEP
Gallery Zlatno oko, Laze Telečkog 3/I