OUR PAINTING IN NEW DIRECTIONS
The Impact of New Objectivity on Bulgarian Art during the 1930’s and 1940’s
Curators: Neda Zhivkova, Lyuben Domozetski
13 November 2018 – 10 February 2019
The Our Painting in New Directions exhibition presents one trend in the development of Bulgarian art during the first half of the 20th century. During the 1930’s and 1940’s, artists turned their attention to nature, reality and modern life. Certain genres (still life, landscape painting, portrait) gained considerable popularity, while style gravitated towards realist means of artistic expression. These processes took place on our art scene in unison with European trends that were introduced in Bulgaria mainly by Bulgarian artists who completed their studies abroad. Their works reveal various influences, one of which is the influence of the New Objectivity movement which arose in Weimar Germany. Yet New Objectivity was hardly a prominent well-established trend in Bulgarian art during the 1930’s and 1940’s. The German movement’s most distinguished representative in Bulgaria was Cyril Tsonev. New Objectivity was most frequently used as a stylistic solution as reveled in individual motifs and artworks by various artists who demonstrated their social involvement and interest in a new lifestyle associated with the modern city and the conditions and entertainment it offered. For this reason, it is mostly reflections of New Objectivity that artworks reveal, and since it made its way to an area on the periphery of the European art scene, these reflections are characterized by peculiar uniqueness.
The exhibition was developed along four thematic lines, namely The New Life of Objects, The Modern City, The Landscape, Faces of the City. The exhibition features works by better known artists such as Cyril Tsonev, Boris Eliseev, Vera Nedkova, Vasil Barakov, as well as lesser-known ones like Asen Vasilev, Todorka Burova, Karl Yordanov, Asen Dochev. The exhibition presents more than a hundred artworks, two of which have not been shown or published before. It also features little known artworks.
Artworks included in the exhibition belong to the permanent collections of the Sofia City Art Gallery, the National Art Gallery, other Bulgarian galleries, as well as to private collectors. Research consultant for the exhibition is Prof. Krasimira Koeva. An exhibition catalogue is available alongside a program featuring thematic lectures and meetings with curators providing opportunities for more in-depth exploration of individual themes of the exhibition.