‘The Portrait’ at the Museum Gallery of Modern Art

The Museum Gallery of Modern Art in Sofia currently is showing an exhibition entitled “The Portrait”, a reflection on one of the oldest and most important art genres.

The gallery has in its collection remarkable portraits, from painting to photography and original graphic works by masters of the 20th century such as Picasso, Matisse, Marc Chagall and many others.

The curatorial selection presents the portrait as a strong aesthetic concept, in which the model is the artist’s inspiration. Modern Bulgarian artists Houben Tcherkelov, Pavlina Chakurova, Zlatin Orlov, Arslan Akhmetov and Kokimoto are also represented. The exhibition is open for two more weeks, until June 20.

portrait 1

The portraits cover the most important aspects of the genre. The exhibition inludes works by Pablo Picasso, whose portraits show interest in the individual and personal relation of the artist to the model, portraits by Marc Chagall, which are influenced by Biblical scenes and portraits of literary characters by Salvador Dali, inspired by Spanish literature and in particular Don Quixote. His Dulcinea is not just a portrait of a beautiful woman, but a portrait of the chivalrous conquest and inspiration.

Pop Art portraits make this classic genre accessible to a larger audience and are well represented in the exhibition. There are several works by Andy Warhol, for whom every object of everyday reality becomes a source of inspiration. For American contemporary artist Hunt Slonem, the portrait is an occasion and opportunity to share his admiration and respect for the real people. Along with portraits of famous actresses and politicians, Slonem developed a series of images of saints and mystics which were inspired by his stay in Mexico and Nicaragua.

Pavlina Chakurova and Arslan Akhmetov are represented by portrait photography and Houben Cherkelov with coin portraits. He is one of the few artists who still pay attention to these disappearing images of kings, gods and mythical creatures on coins and other currency. He gives them a new life with his work. A young artist from Varna – Kaloyan “Kokimito” Iliev – provides a different and often shocking vision of self-portraits. They represent the author not by his actual appearance, but the way he wants to be seen by the audience, together with a good dose of self-irony.




The Sofia Globe staff

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