Stoyan Venev. Characters
The exhibition presents a collection of previously unseen works by Stoyan Venev. Discovered only in 2016, these works fill an important segment not only of his biography, but also of a historical segment specific to Bulgarian art. The years of the cult (between 1944 and 1956) are almost inaccessible to modern researchers because a large part of the works created then have been erased from history. Stoyan Venev's experiments to formulate a truthful and politically applicable creative method of artistic realism have thus far not been the subject of separate research.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Stoyan Venev created his emblematic and overexposed compositions during the socialist era, such as "Welcoming the Soviet Army", "The First Tractor", "Forgiveness", "Return" and others. This iconography is widely used in the propaganda of the regime, and it seems that the stable presence of the artist in the history of Bulgarian painting is mainly due to this. Stoyan Venev's realistic compositions are a separate transitional stage between two distinct periods in his work. The first is the early pictorial-caricature style of the 1930s, which has all the characteristics of a modern worldview and synthesizes the critical acuity of German Expressionism with the poetic detachment of the Paris School. The second recognizable period in Stoyan Venev's work - from the beginning of the 1960s to the end of his life, again thematized rural life and these two clearly distinguished periods form the basis of the popular myth of Stoyan Venev as an artist of folk humor. But there are also attempts to look at Stoyan Venev in an aspect different from the mass of the caricature message and over the years he has been presented with landscapes, early works, portraits, so-called. "erotic" drawings and others.
The current exhibition in Gallery Loran brings to light another previously unknown part of Venev's work. The exhibition contains 28 studies for compositions from the 1940s and 1950s, including landscapes and still lifes. With this Gallery Loran offers its own contribution to the issue of the political use of art and its role in politically tense moments, which is gaining relevance again, regardless of its specific aesthetic qualities.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue. The author of the texts is Galina Dekova.
The works of Stoyan Venev can be seen from April 12 to May 7 in the exhibition hall of Gallery Loran at 16 "Oborishte" street in Sofia.