‘Animalism’ exhibition opens at Bulgaria’s Sofia City Art Gallery on May 24
An exhibition entitled “Animalism – Trends and Developments in Bulgarian Art from the 19th to the Mid-20th Century” opens at Sofia City Art Gallery on May 24 and continues until July 16 2023.
The gallery said that the exhibition examines and presents for the first time a trend in Bulgarian art that has hardly ever been studied, namely the representation of animals on their own in visual art and the approaches to the theme adopted by Bulgarian artists.
Unlike other genres that did not take long to arrive and establish themselves in Bulgaria after the Liberation, animalism, in its purest form, had a more limited presence.
Yet the artworks created within the genre are exceptionally diverse, representing images of animals, mostly birds, in various visual contexts.
The exhibition puts specific emphasis on decorative projects completed by students at the National Academy of Art within the course of their studies over the decades until the mid-20th century.
“What stands out is the obvious willingness to stylize and make the best of the decorative qualities of colours and shapes. Sculpture is another exhibition highlight, as it is the purest manifestation of animalism in Bulgarian art,” the gallery said.
The exhibition also sheds light on various transitions from animalism to other genres having made room for animal images.
The project presents a huge variety of artworks, namely drawings, sketches, watercolour paintings, illustrations, cartoons, paintings, sculptures, ceramic art.
The earliest artworks included in the exhibition, dating from the first half of the 19th century, are by Zahari Zograf, while the ones concluding the visual narrative of the exhibit were created in the mid-20th century by David Perez and Georges Papazoff and reveal a significant departure from naturalism.
The exhibition features works by Ivan Milev, Vladimir “The Master” Dimitrov, Ivan Lazarov, Constantine Starkelov, Georgi “John” Popov, Ivan Penkov, Ivan Markvichka, Boris Georgiev, Andrei Nikolov, Iliya Petrov, among others. Some of the exhibits go on display for the first time, while others are lesser-known works, the gallery said.
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