Vernissage on Thursday, 8 December, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The exhibition features 90 paintings, graphics and sculptures by Bulgarian artists from the stock of the National Gallery. The artists include Alexander Zhendov, Iliya Beshkov, Dechko Uzunov, Stoyan Venev, Iliya Petrov, Ioan Leviev, Marko Behar, Todor Panayotov, Lyuba Palikarova, and Yanko Pavlov.
The simple human truths of a mother’s love, the birth of new life, and hope for the days to come, determine the emotional charge of a generalised image of the child that can, without much difficulty, be ‘taken out’ of its temporal and ideological context so as to acquire the meaning of a metaphor for the world and the spirit of every epoch.
The theme of the child in art did not fall outside the ideological instrumentarium and propaganda functions of totalitarian systems, whatever the sign mounted on their facades. The ideologeme was strong enough not to be used. Roles were assigned to the child, which it had to perform. The typology of the image was clearly revealed: ‘the child-hero’ and ‘the child-victim’ of wars and social injustice; the child both as an object and a subject of the new social reality. For a period of almost fifty years, a significant corpus of thematic works was created in painting, sculpture, graphics, and all other spheres of Bulgarian artistic culture.
It was Alexander Zhendov who developed this theme most consistently. He was the first artist in Bulgaria—as early as the 1920s—to turn the children of the big city into his main characters. In the 1960s and 1970s, Georgi Pavlov – Pavleto, Lilyana Rousseva, Keazim Isinov, and Suli Seferov (to name but a few), placed the image of the child at the centre of their oeuvres.