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The wizards from “Merlin” street

01 May 2010 / 08:05:41  GRReporter
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Accustomed to images of Kyustendil girls with big breasts with fruit trees in the background, we see no human being, created by the hand of the Master but rather an urban landscape “A View from Constantinople” and the canvas “Turkish Cemetery”, in which, painted with the same brushstrokes, as in his portrait painting, are sprouting a forest of minarets and Muslim gravestones. They years spent abroad by a number of Bulgarian artists make their mark on their oeuvre and with the literal presence of European places in them: Ivan Penkov with "Nuremberg", Sirak Skitnik with "The “Fontanka” canal in St. Petersburg” and “Landscape from Athens”, Tseno Todorov with “Marne River in the vicinity of Paris”, the Cyril Tsonev’s canvas “Port Vigo in Spain”, "At the Bodensee Lake" by Elena Karamihailova, “Arno, Italy” by Vera Nedkova, the contrasting black and red in “Love on the beach” by Georges Papazov who lived in France. And the urban landscapes of Nikola Tanev – “The Maria Luisa Boulevard in Sofia”, Nikola Petrov – “Bansko Square in Sofia” and others. talks with the surrealism of N. Engonopoulos in “Railway station” and “The poet and his muse”, with "Landscape of Mount Pendel" and “Guided” by N. Litras, “A landscape from Lavrio” by Constantine Maleas, and “Cafe on the island Mitylene” by Spiros Papaloukas. Those who missed the big retrospective exhibition of Yannis Tsaruhis at the Museum Benaki can see here four of his exceptional examples. "The Dream of Mary Magdalene" by Goshka Datzov refers to the apocalyptic vision of religious ecstasy, while "Ave Natura" by Boris Georgiev envokes associations with the atmosphere of the pre-raphaelites. The watercolor "Dancer" by Nikola Marinov has a hypnotic beauty of the female image, and his masterful portraiture. You will also not pass unnoticed the painted by Ivan Nenov “Portrait of Vaska Emanouilova” holding in her hand as Orthodox saints models of churches, the mark of her craft - a miniature skultpura. And in the typical for the modernist searches canvas "Pub" by the same artist, the profile of the solitary woman listening to restaurant music facing a jug of wine is repeated the contour of the flowting around her musical instrument. In “Glass jar” by I. Nenov the still life is painted with the techniques of cubism and expressionism. Its due is also paid to the facial painting of Cyril Tsonev. Woodcut by Vassil Zahariev "Basilica St. Sophia” enters into a dialogue with the watercolor tones of “Th Temple of Afea of Aegina” by Spyros Papaloukas. Ivan Abrashev with “A woman infront of the mirror”, Pascal Jules with “Naked Boy” also attract the attention. Along with them the works of the Greek artists Partenis, Papaloukas, Diamandopulos, Buzianis, Litras, Vizantios, Diamandopulos, Hadzikiriakos-Gikas, Galanis, Maleas, Ikonomu alternate scattered in the room with the Romanian modernists Marcel Janko, Corneliu Mihaylesku, Victor Brauner, Max Herman Maxie with the typical for them range from Surrealism to Cubism and Expressionism.

The one hundred and twenty representative canvases by 55 artists from the three countries laid out the origin and development of modern painting in the neighborhood along the vertical axis north-south Romania, Bulgaria and Greece in the interwar period. Key figures of contemporary trends in them, who not infrequently received their education in the cultural centers of Europe, perceive effects of its vanguard. After returning home, they bring cosmopolitan experience and the ideas of artistic renewal. Typical feature of contemporary trends in the "periphery" of Europe is the desire of many artists in the Balkans to identify a recognizable national identity, while commensurable with the perceived as universal aesthetic values of the modernism, to combine a vanguard style with the traditional techniques and thematic links. Through the conversation between the masters of the brush from the three countries the similarities and differences between them have been highlighted, their parallels with their respective artistic currents in the West. During its first steps the modernism brings with it a certain elitism that along with the aestetics of the limited number of artists make improvements in the format through a “specific to them bohemian atmosphere”, says the Romanian curator of the exhibition Mariana Vida. Today, modernism is the subject of ever-growing interest both from researchers and the general public as it relates to the contemporary society and its interest in discovering its own roots.

At the beginning of the year within the same project in Bulgaria was held a conference on the subject of “The magazines of vanguard”, whose focal point was the urban culture. "The city and the magazines of the Bulgarian vanguard" discussed on the portrayal of the town in the press of the Bulgarian modernists and intellectual circles formed around them, how they shape the culture of the time. An answer to the question which are the cities of the Bulgarian vanguard gives in his lecture held in the National Museum of Visual Arts, Lora Shumkova who works in the field of literary anthropology of the city (1919-1939).

And the discussion of the literary critic Jordan Eftimov "Ours and others in the magazines of the Bulgarian vanguard" 
was focused on the role of European examples in the Bulgarian art and literature just before, during and after World War I, as well as the interpretation of the Bulgarian imagination on topics provoked by European schools of art. Eftimov is assistant professor in the subject "Theory of Literature” in the New Bulgarian University in Sofia, author of the popular writeen scientiffic issue “Modernism” (2003) and observer of the books market for Capital newspaper.

Tags: Balkan modernism foundation Teoharakis art
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