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Lyrical painter Vladimir Penev presents new exhibition

БНР Новини
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Photo: Vida Pironkova

One of the important cultural events these days in Bulgaria is the exhibition of artist Vladimir Penev in the Nuance Gallery in Sofia. The works of Penev are saturated with romantic nostalgia, poetic atmosphere and are characterised with fine precision. Art is a language of signs, shapes and conditions, controlled by the author in the framework of quiet timelessness. "This exhibition whispers but it can be heard loud in our undreamt dreams, illusions and hopes," curators in the gallery say. Here is what Vladimir Penev told us about his paintings:

"This is an anniversary exhibition. It is quiet and whispering. The principle on which it was built is softness of expression and whispering. I spent a lot of time planning and thinking over it. There are works especially created for this gallery, as well as works from the past five years. Each year I try to have exhibitions. I work in cycles that express my attitude: “Past Routes", "The Street", "The City", and “The Coast." The coast is not only a geographical concept, just like umbrellas in the city are not only for protection from the rain, but are used as a means of anonymity. I put symbolic meaning into reality and this meaning is the reason for creating my paintings. A house, a tree or street are starting points for presenting my understanding of shape, colour and space. This may sound a bit archaic in this age, but I firmly believe it this.  I am part of my own time and I am supporter of mastered emotion. I draw slowly and laboriously."


Vladimir Penev is the son of the great Bulgarian poet Penyo Penev and lyricism is in his blood and part of his paintings. On the occasion of the 85th birthday anniversary of his father, the artist published a book entitled "I, Voice and Conscience of an era" with selected poems by Penyo Penev. It is part of the exhibition and is intended for collectors of rare works of art. Each poetic cycle of the great poet, who passed away at a young age at the end of the 50s, disappointed by the "new reality," is accompanied by an original illustration. This is a personal reading and understanding of Penyo Penev’s poetry coming from the poet’s son.

The book includes a CD with archive recordings of poems by Penyo Penev, read by the author himself and preserved by his friend - sculptor Nikolai Schmirgela. The recordings are now also part of the Golden Fund of the BNR.

“Critics say I am a poetic realist. I read a lot of poetry and poetry means words that are in love with each other. The same is valid for the art of painting – colors in love with each other. Presenting these 33 copies of a bibliophile edition of the poetry of my father is something I do for the first time and it is very important to me. Each book is a separate album and contains 5 of my pastel drawings. Each book is unique and not like the others. The CD contains poetry readings recorded in the studio of Schmirgela, who used to have an UHER tape recorder back then at the end of the 50s. The great sculptor showed kindness and responsibility and gave the rolls of tape to the BNR where noise was cleared. The exhibition shows us – the Penevs,” says in conclusion Vladimir Penev - the lyrical painter of his time, who says he cannot live without poetry.


English: Alexander Markov

Photos: courtesy of Vladimir Penev


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