The exposition is part of the exhibition program of the “Museum Collection” of the National Academy of Arts, within which its individual collections are periodically exhibited. The exhibition presents picturesque study sketches of graduates of the Academy of Arts in the period from the mid-40s to the end of the 80s of the last century, most of which are not shown and unpublished so far.
Among the presented authors are Hristo Yavashev-Kristo, Dobri Dobrev, Svetlin Rusev, Dimitar (Didi) Arnaudov, Mito Ganovski, Bisera Dzheneva-Prahova, Ivan Vukadinov, Stoyan Domuschiev, Stefan Yanev, Todor Terziev, Andrey Daniel, Toma Varbanov, Nikolay Drara Valentin Kolev, Milko Bozhkov, Mimi Dobreva, Bozhidar Boyadzhiev, Yasharali Tahirov, Edmond Demirdjian, Vladimir Penev, Dimitar Cholakov, Evgenia Bozadjieva, Ivaylo Mirchev, Desislava Mincheva, Plamen Valchev, Anton Staykov, Sermenza Budenov, Boris , Nikolai Yanakiev, Valyo Chenkov, Kiril Bozhkov, Atanas Atanasov and others.
Bozhidar Boyadzhiev (b. 1956). Portrait of Mrs. K., 1985 (Source: National Academy of Arts)
The exposition is accompanied by a printed edition. Due to the lack of its own exhibition space, one of the goals of the National Academy of Arts in recent years is the gradual documentation of the collections in its Museum collection in separate catalog editions. The main goal of the realization of such thematic editions is the popularization of little known facts from the history of the higher education institution for arts and of the Bulgarian artistic life from the different periods, inaccessible as information at that moment.
Evgenia Bozadzhieva (b. 1953). Self-portrait, mid-1970s (Source: National Academy of Arts)
This catalog Painting Collection (1944 – 1989). Museum Collection of the National Academy of Arts ”is the sixth edition of the scientific series of the museum collection. Due to its limited volume, the material included in it presents a carefully selected selection of paintings of different nature (educational tasks and works on free subjects), mainly of graduates and teachers of the National Academy of Arts.
Milko Bozhkov (b. 1953). Still Life, 1976 – 1977 (Source: National Academy of Arts)
The possibility of publishing the painting collection from the period under consideration led to its detailed study and correction of a number of inaccuracies regarding the dating of the works, origin and correct attribution. Through the researched material, arranged on a chronological principle in this edition, the main tendencies in the development of art in Bulgaria in the period from 1944 to the end of the 80s of the last century can be traced.
Milena Balcheva-Bozhkova, curator of the Museum Collection
Stoyan Domuschiev (1935 – 2021). Naked Body Study, 1964 (Source: National Academy of Arts)
The exhibition presents the art collection of the National Academy of Arts, Painting Fund and covers the period from 1944 to 1989. The main array of works consists of educational tasks, and to a lesser extent of donations. The collection testifies to the complex processes of evolution of the etudes and compositions developed in the bowels of the Academy.
Dimitar (Didi) Arnaudov (1933 – 1989). Study-naked body, mid-50s of the twentieth century (Source: National Academy of Arts)
Based on the available examples from the field of “free creativity” – however fragmentary they may be – we could judge the development of painting in our country from the phase of dogmatic social realism to the relative liberalization at the end of the period. The distribution of the material – sketch-head, sketch-naked body, sketch-figure, composition, diploma works, still life, landscape, interior, portrait and self-portrait, competition works – basically reflects the practical painting classes within the Academy.
Andrei Daniel (1952 – 2020). Naked Body Study, 1983 – 1984 (Source: National Academy of Arts)
As far as possible, the exposure follows the accepted periodization: the end of the 40s – the first half of the 50s; the end of the 50s – 60s; 70s and 80s. The red thread throughout the period is the constant tendency to gradually increase personal characteristics and to push out and eliminate the normative structure-determining factors valid in the past.
Mimi Dobreva (b. 1953). Landscape, mid-1970s (Source: National Academy of Arts)
In the late 40’s and early 50’s dominated by “classic” naked bodies – traditional productions, characterized by typical academic drawing accurate drawing, tonal gradations and light and shadow modeling, as well as a strong emphasis on recreating the peculiarities of nature. Within the framework of a chapter study, the most talented students are able to perform psychological analysis, recreated through a variety of drawing techniques and rich plastic gradations.
In the 1960s, naked bodies acquired a more prominent monumentality of figurative suggestion. The forms are constructed in a generalized, solid way, the spatial angles are non-standard and as a rule they avoid the conventional solutions from the previous period. Figural compositions also change quite significantly. The literal naturalness and the plot plot are missing. Now, as a rule, geometrization and increased decorativism are relevant, as well as the emphasis on purely plastic values.
In the 70’s we see the development of painting in a relatively broad genre fan. The differences between sketch-head and portrait are largely erased. The typology of naked bodies is diversifying. Students strive to saturate the figure with increased expressiveness of plastic expression, which allows itself a slight or more decisive departure from nature in the name of the autonomous influence of color, compositional solution and form.
Ivaylo Mirchev (b. 1954). Landscape from Pleven, 1980 (Source: National Academy of Arts)
The integration between the different genres is much bolder and freer than before. The expansion in a wider range of the typological varieties of the picture fund at the end of the 80’s is probably largely due to the meanwhile increased share of donations that fill the collection.
A number of works are shown for the first time. We hope that they will arouse the interest of students, teachers, professionals and the general public.
Prof. Dr. Assoc. Chavdar Popov
Plamen Valchev (b. 1951). Balance, approx. 1988 (Source: National Academy of Arts)
This project was implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture
Organizer – Foundation “St. Pimen Zografski ”
Team: Dr. Milena Balcheva-Bozhkova (project manager and curator of the “Museum Collection” of the National Academy of Arts), Prof. Dr. Assoc. Chavdar Popov, Dr. Rosen Toshev, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Stefan Belishki, Silvia Miloslavova, Anton Ivanov, Didi Spasova.