Kiril Mateev (1920 - 2006). Refuge.
In the salon of Gallery Contrast at "Tsar Samuil" street 49 in Sofia, "Loran" presents its new exhibition "Kiril Mateev (1920 - 2006). Refuge".
In the hectic course of everyday life, the viewer will be able to be touched by the majesty and beauty of nature, to immerse himself in the uninhabited, quiet and silent world of the mountain, in which the author finds comfort and refuge. Created from the 1940s to the 1990s, Kiril Mateev's works are not a superficial reflection of reality. Mostly mountainous, the landscapes reveal the author's passion and adoration for this subject. Climbing high, he enters the heart of the mountain ranges and reveals the essence of nature in its various states.
The eerie landscape with its high ridges shrouded in mist in predominantly cold tones that evoke awe and respect ("Winter in the Mountain") seems to distance the viewer, and the sunny, welcoming flat view in a warm range "Landscape with a Lake", 1982 invites nature lovers for a visit.
Along with the panoramic landscapes, characteristic of Kiril Mateev are also the fragmented, closer plans of one or several ridges depicted in depth. This can be seen in "Mountain landscape with snow-capped peaks", 1995, "Rila lake" and others.
It is amazing how this master of the brush conveys the density and materiality of the hills with a pasty build-up and at the same time renders the softness and airiness of the surrounding clouds and sky. It captures the depth and transparency of the smooth water surface in the Rila lakes and recreates their inimitable blue, absorbing and captivating turquoise-emerald hues reflecting the sky, the high ridges and vegetation.
Kiril Mateev explores the richness and modifications of color under the influence of the air environment - the lights and colored shadows, contrasting and harmonizing at the same time. The sun's rays and the reflections of the setting sun bring a bright color accent. The author pays special attention to the composition, which is balanced and built with a sense of symmetry.
The brushwork and stroke in his paintings, often loosely applied but confident, display the trained hand of a skilled artist. The color harmonies are fascinating. In the later works, larger strokes create the volume and structure and the color becomes brighter and sonorous.
Although the landscape, and more specifically the native landscape, is a preferred genre for Kiril Mateev, it is not the only field in which he works. He develops genre scenes and portraits. The "Loran" collection includes a male portrait with a sketchy character, radiating the dignity and proud bearing of the portraits. The individuality of the model is captured with its distinctive marks, which amazingly resemble the silhouette of the artist's teacher - Dechko Uzunov. In “Vase with flowers”, the viewer can almost feel the liveliness of the daisies and poppies stand out against the neutral, flat background.
Kiril Mateev has not yet taken his rightful place in the history of Bulgarian art. Forgotten for a long time, his work as a whole remains unexplored. We hope that this exhibition will mark the beginning of the presentation of the artist's rich legacy.