26/11/2020 - 28/02/2021

Vernissage on Thursday, 26 November, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., observing all anti-epidemic measures and with controlled access.

The National Gallery conceived this project long ago, but it has been awaiting the right time. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Textile Art and Design Department at the National Academy of Arts. The exhibition at Kvadrat 500 is associated with that celebration and with the exposition arranged in the Academia Gallery in December.

For many years, the Artistic Textile collection of the National Gallery was unknown to the general public. It presents the work of Mara Yosifova, Marusya Kalimerova, Maria Kochopoulos, Elisaveta Ikonopisova, Petko Petkov, Evelina Pireva, Vasil Ovcharov, Tsvetana Petrova, and Mariana Raynova, among others.

For this art, the 1980s were a time of upswing. Among the innovators was the ‘magician of textiles’, Prof. Marin Varbanov, who introduced spatial three-dimensionality to the wall carpet. The artist has left a lasting mark in the development of textile art, not only in Bulgaria but also around the world. He created and led the Textile Art Department at the Academy of Arts in Bulgaria. In 1975, he established the School of Art Textiles in Sydney, Australia, and in 1986, he headed the Institute for Art Textiles founded by him in Hangzhou, China. Marin Varbanov and his followers ‘translate’ fine art into textile language: their works are worthy of any world art museum.

In contemporary artistic textiles, the normally sharp line between genres and styles, between tapestry and plastic fabric, is blurred. The decorative and exquisite intertwine by mixing materials and devices of different nature, through different methods and techniques. The tolerance of textile art to different types of materials gives freedom to its creators for new ideas, directions and experiments, for a new interpretation of the visible/invisible in their works.

Contemporary artists use textile installation as an expressive form and include the unconventional in the content and realisations of their works. Examples among many in this respect are the works of Anna Boyadzhieva, Laura Dimitrova, Verzhinia Markarova, Maria Kirkova, Mila Stoeva, Margarita Dopcheva, Yana Petkova, Elisaveta Angelova, and Antonia Tabakova. These artists turn the weaving process into a performance, and their works, with emotional and meaningful references, with the new, non-standard materials, acquire an avant-garde character.

Dr Dochka Kisyova-Gogova