First Bulgarian participation at the LISTE Art Fair in Basel


The Sariev Gallery in Plovdiv will be the first to present Bulgaria at the LISTE Art Fair Basel which will take place this year in the period June 10 –June 16. The participation of a Bulgarian gallery means that influential people in contemporary art would get acquainted with part of Bulgarian creativity. In order to ensure participation in LISTE, hard work and a strategy are needed for the overall profile of the gallery, says gallerist Vesselina Sarieva:

"First of all, this is a great recognition for our gallery. LISTE is not just an exhibition of contemporary art, it is a platform featuring galleries from all continents and showing the youngest, most successful and most promising galleries and authors at the moment. Every year the fair is visited by many people from around the world, including curators, museum directors, collectors, artists and gallerists, who want to see the new trends. LISTE is a global fair that not only shows trends but imposes them. Taking part in this fair is a very big responsibility."

Organizers of the Basel Contemporary Art Exhibition want to equally focus on the main art scenes in the world. Among the conditions for participation is having previous participation in prestigious international exhibitions and focus on young artists. The Sariev Gallery, but also the Open Arts Foundation, led by Vesselina Sarieva, have been working actively in supporting young artists. Part of the projects are the book "Introduction to Contemporary Art", published in Bulgarian and in English; the Open Art Files website, shedding light on Bulgarian artists and galleries, publishing criticism and offering a database of contemporary art.

International media have already showed interest in the Bulgarian participation, whose main goal is to be noticed.

"We want to continue participating in LISTE and set an example to other colleagues because the breakthrough has already been made. Years ago there was a great interest in Romanian galleries. There are three or four participating at the moment and they receive much attention. My dream is for this to happen with Bulgarian contemporary art, too."

According to Veselina Sarieva, the more active presentation of Bulgarian contemporary art would bring collectors to this country.

For the exhibition in Basel, Sariev Gallery chose to present artist Vikenti Komitski, who works in Sofia and Berlin. Komitski is best known for his assemblage work. Why was the artist chosen and what is impressive about his style? Vesselina Sarieva told us more:

"He is a Bulgarian artist, the winner of the ‘Base’ Prize for young artists. He is currently working actively and has a new, interesting series of household-related assemblages, which he describes as ‘internet vandalism’ and ‘bauhaus constructivism.’ Natural elements or animals are very often present in them. There are questions about the role of animals today and what exotics mean. In connection with his participation, we are preparing his first small catalog. Komitski will not only be featured in the main section of the fair, where our stand is, but he has also been chosen for the video program of the fair where he will present his own video. "

30 square meters will be needed for the six large assemblages and five collages by Vikenti Komitski to be put on display at the LISTE exhibition in Basel.

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: courtesy of Sariev Gallery

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