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Vasil Evtimov, Down With Race Segregation, 1944, oil, canvas, 48/57 cm Vasil Evtimov, Down With Race Segregation, 1944, oil, canvas, 48/57 cm

The current exhibition of Loran Art Gallery is provoked by art in Socialist Bulgaria, created between 9 September 1944 and 10 November 1989. Bulgarians still struggle with their understandings of the period, trapped between sweet nostalgia and memories for violation of basic human rights. The notion towards Socialist art is equally ambiguous.

In such an atmosphere, it is hardly a surprise that only two months after Loran Art Gallery nurtured the concept for the exhibition, the gallery gathered more pieces of Socialist art than it could accommodate on its premises. So, the online exhibition in the gallery's website is much richer than the actual one.

Bulgaria Socialist ArtVladimir Dimitrov – Maystora, Portrait of Georgi Dimitrov, oil, canvas, 97/83.5 cm

The Socialist or Totalitarian Art exhibition doesn't aim to vindicate the art of the period, or to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Communist coup. The gallery wants to demonstrate that the useless propaganda art of the past, today holds a significant artistic and market value.

The diverse collection includes many genres and styles, and is representative for the period. The earliest exhibits are the All for the Frontline, All for the Victory sketch by Vladimir Dimitrov – Maystora, and Down With Race Segregation by Vasil Evtimov. Specific attention deserves the oil portrait of dictator Georgi Dimitrov, painted by Maystora in his trademark style. The exhibition includes compositions dedicated to the Brigadier Movement, the collectivisation of the agrarian lands and the 1923 September Uprising. An accent, not only because of its size, is a painting by Ioan Leviev denouncing the Pinochet regime in Chilli.

Bulgaria Socialist ArtKiril Mayski, Brigadiers, the 1950s, watercolour, paper, 72/89.5 cm

The main message of the exhibition is that the art of the period deserved not only to be remembered, but also to be surveyed and cherished. The Loran Art Gallery is aware of the controversy of the exhibition, but it stands by it believing that history, whatever it was, should be known and remembered.

Sofia, 16 Oborishte St
(entrance from Vasil Aprilov Street)
Monday-Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm
Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm
phone: 02 483 0877

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Read 2799 times Last modified on Friday, 12 September 2014 03:34

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