Genko Genkov in Search of the image
100 Years Since the Artist’s Birth
14 June – 19 November 2023

In 2006, the Sofia City Art Gallery presented Genko Genkov with an exhibition featuring works created mostly over the period between 2002 and 2006. This was the artist’s last solo exhibition.

Seventeen years later, the gallery team has come up with a couple of exhibitions commemorating the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth, at the mothership and one of its branches, namely the Dechko Uzunov Gallery, respectively. The exhibitions at the two venues allow viewers to get acquainted with various aspects of the artist’s work.

The SCAG retrospective features more than a hundred works by Genko Genkov created over the period between 1949 and 2005. His artistic output includes a huge number of oil on canvas and fiberboard paintings, and also works on paper where the artist perfected his watercolour technique, complemented by the use of gouache, pastel, printing inks and pigments, as well as by various tools and techniques to boost colour contrast and vibrancy. The artist also experimented in the field of graphic art and sporadically in sculpture, yet oil painting remained at the centre of his art. His painting was constantly evolving, changing in terms of colour use, form and intensity.

Genko Genkov painted very few still lifes, nude bodies, portraits of family and friends, or individuals he was impressed by. He would often take a closer look at himself through the years, leaving us various self-portraits as a result. The artist created countless landscapes that are not so much realistic as visionary, sometimes solidly composed, other times fiercely expressive, oftentimes melancholic, created using both the most distinguishable vibrant palette and subtle colour combinations.

The SCAG will be making a weekly addition to the works on display in the course of the exhibition.

The exhibition put up at the the Dechko Uzunov Gallery, Searching for the Image, features surviving academic studies by the artist, early and later pencil, charcoal and chalk drawings, as well as works revealing the artist’s attempts in the field of graphic art, more precisely lithography and etching.

The anniversary will also be marked by a printed edition featuring a photo album, the artist’s biography and a catalogue of works of his. This is the first attempt to systematize the artist’s prolific artistic output. The bilingual catalogue was published within the framework of the Culture programme of the Sofia City Municipal Authority.

The exhibition was organized in partnership with the Archives State Agency, 13 Centuries of Bulgaria Endowment Fund, with the media partnership of the Bulgarian News Agency, as well as in cooperation with state, municipal and private collections based in Sofia and throughout the country.

The works in the exhibition from the collection of the Sofia City Art Gallery have been restored with the financial support of the National Endowment Fund “13 Centuries of Bulgaria”.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications will issue a postage stamp set commemorating the anniversary.

Exhibition team:

Curators: Adelina Fileva, Krasimir Iliev, Natasha Noeva; assistant curator: Ana Topalova

Exhibition space design at SCAG and Dechko Uzunov Gallery, promotional materials: Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova

Painting conservators: Ilinka Chergarova, Milan Mihaylovich, Svetlana Hristova.