THE POSTER, WHICH LAUGHS
On the occasion of “50 YEARS – 50 POSTERS”, the jubilee exhibition of Prof. Dr. NIKOLAY MLADENOV at the branch of the National Academy of Art in Burgas, 15 November 2019 – January 2020
All types and subtypes of the applied graphic arts (graphic design) initiate from the poster image and are visualised within the most masterful. PLUS SOMETHING ELSE! It is that addition, semantic and figurative, which makes us, as an educated audience, view the poster as high ART, in the most refined form of the conceptual at that. Namely the exquisite with a cognitive paradigm, the visual anecdote – the magnetic formula of reason without mediators.
Prof. Mladenov’s posters are works of the high class of poster art, defined as Author Poster years ago. My analysis of his conceptual works acknowledges the collection as unique for Bulgaria and Europe (on the occasion of this anniversary). The artist is a maker and professor (i.e. teacher) fusing the rare combination of authority and unity, in both the creative and pedagogical fields. This is of the greatest use to students who are in urgent need of aesthetic benchmarks in the information soup of modern times …
YORDAN VAMPOROV AT 80
“Yordan Vamporov. 80 years” – the retrospective exhibition in Academia Gallery of the National Academy of Art reveals the multifaceted art of a very valuable and, albeit for various reasons, marginalised artist. The exhibition curator is Prof. Vasil Simitchiev, Vamporov’s fellow student and a conceptual artist, who greatly contributed to the development of the contemporary art scene in Sweden in the ‘70s and the ‘80s of the last century. The exhibition presents works of Yordan Vamporov from different periods of his artistic life – paintings and sculptures from his student years at the National Academy of Art, and projects and realisations of monumental sculptures from the 1970s and the 1980s. The exhibition shows one of the most important transformations in his art during the late ‘80s and the ‘90s when he began to deal with installations and the conceptual sculpture of wood, stone, coal and other media.
WE CAN’T TALK ABOUT ANDREY DANIEL IN THE PAST TENSE
We can’t talk about Andrey Daniel in the past tense. He left our world on 24 January 2020, but his presence remains palpable. This is because he was not only an exceptional artist, but also a sage, philosopher, intellectual and Teacher in the true sense of the word. Andrey is not one of those artists who can quickly cobble together a beautiful little landscape painting, or some kind of interior or even a portrait. His art goes through emotion, but also through analysis, and the images are thought through, but also reworked as messages. There are no accidental paintings with Andrey – the images are loaded with meanings, but without being dried by the rational or edifying. Andrey offers you his world without forcing it upon you. But this does not mean that he has no position on social issues.
Various people are now accusing intellectuals and artists of distancing themselves from the current protests against the government. They are accused of passivity, fatigue, wear and tear, almost retrogradeness, because they do not share the aggressive intolerance to different opinions. Some time earlier during the previous protests seven years ago Andrei Daniel said, in a conversation for our website “въпреки.com”, words that are still valid today: “The man of art must be able to create distance. This distance very often makes artists not participate directly literally in these demonstrations, protests, tum-diddle-dum and all sorts of things. Somehow artists should try to leave documents about the time. It would be best that these documents are not too much manipulated by personal passions. It’s better to open your receptors and feel the real complexity of things, the reasons for one and the other and the third; the whole complexity of time.”
THE VOCATION TO BE AN ARTIST – THE ART OF PROF. KRASIMIR DZHIDROV
Prof. Krassimir Dzhidrov is one of the most famous names in contemporary Bulgarian ceramic art. Apart from his prolific work in this field, his interests also cover the issues of the drawing, as well as sculpture in wood and metal. As a long-term lecturer at the National Academy of Art, he has prepared generations of Bulgarian ceramicists.
Prof. Krassimir Dzhidrov’s studio is full of art. He seemed to be in a hurry to materialise and preserve the constant flow of love and admiration of the world around him. He worked feverishly until the last moment, as if obsessed with a mission – the mission of an artist who loves life. The artist lives through his work even when he is no longer with us. I have allowed myself to publish the text for the opening of Prof. Dzhidrov’s exhibition at Academia Gallery in 2018 because it is deeply personal and to some extent reflects the richness and depth of the artist’s creative pursuits.
JUBILEE EXHIBITION OF LYUBOMIL DRAGANOV
Lyubomil Draganov is a painter who could work with every known technique, but in recent years his preference for acrylic paints and watercolours is obvious. I have been to plein-airs with him (both in Bulgaria and abroad) and I know his refined sense of proportion very well, his remarkable ability to synthesise and form, having inherited the best of the stylistic features of the Department of Mural Painting, where he is a lecturer.
In the current exhibition Draganov relies on watercolour. It is not necessary to emphasise the specifics of this technique and its boundary between the drawing and the ebbs and flows of the pigment and water. Here, figuratively speaking, he feels at home. The (relatively) large and heavy paper formats contrast with the feeling of ease of execution. In front of us is a large-format watercolour, which has internal and hidden reasons for its existence. It can be understood only through itself and hardly through anything external, let alone social. Lyubomil Draganov is a technological virtuoso. This basically means nothing in contemporary art (even Bulgarian). From here on, however, it becomes intriguing. The density, the abrasions, the lines that intersect these watercolours are intentional, in the sense that they are supposedly abstract, but seem to tell “familiar stories.” The image moves between the figurative and the abstract, bordering like a private on duty, wondering which side of the border to cross. This boundary does not need to be crossed. It is essential to human perception and is one of the highest forms of understanding our essence, if we still claim that we have one more reserve of humanism left.
THROUGH THE RUBBING GAZE OF EDUCATION
The visible has a shape, volume and colour – so it is material. We live in a world that is becoming more and more material, that is visual. The visual is everywhere in the real and virtual world, which paradoxically is also material. It is a basic means of expression. The image has become an industry. The language and possibilities of visual communication are developing rapidly. For better or worse, it dominates all other means of communication. We are now immersed in the celebration of visual materialism, which, of course, should not be confused with consumer materialism.