30 December 2016

Highlights 2016 and Sneak Peek 2017

It has been an exciting year for us from SARIEV Contemporary and an even more exciting one is ahead for us! See some of our highlights from 2016 as well as a 2017 sneak peek. 


We started 2016 with the curatorial project Let Them Draw by our artist Pravdoliub Ivanov. In his show he presented 17 young and established artists and their various interpretations and approaches to drawing (Luchezar Boyadjiev, Mariela Gemisheva, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Nestor Kovachev, RASSIM®, Kiril Prashkov, Kalin Serapionov, Dimitar Shopov, Nedko Solakov, Kamen Stoyanov, Valio Tchenkov, Krassimir Terziev, Kosta Tonev, Iv Toshain, Ignacio Uriarte, Vitto Valentinov, Voin de Voin). 2016 was for us a year of discoveries - the first one was Sirma Sarafova-Orahovac (born 1937 in Sofia). Her show Objects and Illusions was curated by Maria Vassileva. Sirma Sarafova-Orahovac is a remarkable presence in Bulgarian art. For most of her life we remained unnoticed, but now SARIEV Contemproary introduced her to the contemporary art scene in Bulgaria and abroad. The other true discovery was young artist Martina Vacheva (born 1988 in Plovdiv) with her solo show Sereality, curated by Vera Mlechevska. We continued the year with Nedko Solakov's show Nature and finished it with Pravdoliub Ivanov's show On the Wrong Side


In 2016 SARIEV Contemporary had its debut at two art fairs - Art Rotterdam and Art Cologne. In Rotterdam we presented a solo booth by our artist Vikenti Komitski. We were the first Bulgarian gallery to participate in the oldest contemporary art fair - Art Cologne. We had the great honor to present for the first time Nedko Solakov's historic work "Politburo" from 1987. At our booth in Cologne there were works also by Pravdoliub Ivanov, Stefan Nikolaev and Valio Tchenkov. The next fair we participated in was Art Brussels. We presented there works by Vikenti Komitski, Valio Tchenkov and Turkish-born Hamburg-based artist Sakir Gokcebag as well as a large-scale work by Pravdoliub Ivanov from his emblematic series with "broken" carpets. 


In 2016 we expanded our education platform "Introduction to Contemporary Art" with new formats which allowed us to approach new and broader audiences. In April it took place for the second time in Plovdiv. Curator Vessela Nozharova held five lectures on history of contemporary art. In May we started the new format Walk & Talk with artist Luchezar Boyadjiev. He developed and presented four performance-walks-lectures in the city of Sofia in May, June, September and October. In November a series of lectures with guest lecturers took place in the space of the Sofia City Art Gallery. Curator Vera Mlechevska has chosen the provocative title Life Beyond the End of Art and invite four of the most prominent Bulgarian philosophers and theoreticians: Boyan Manchev, Todor Todorov, Svetla Kazalarska and Stanimir Panayotov. The edition of the platform for 2016 ended with a lecture from the Collectors' Forum series. Belgian collector Alain Servais held a lecture on curating and art market. In 2016 we  also started the column "Introduction to Contemporary Art" in Capital LIGHT magazine. 


In 2016 we continued the project "Wokring Visits for International Curators and Art Critics" and had the great pleasure to welcome in Bulgaria art critics Stephanie Bailey (Ocula, Artforum), Oliver Basciano (international editor at Art Review), Veronique Souben (director of FRAC Normandie Rouen) and top collector Alain Servais. During their stays in Bulgaria they visited Sofia and Plovdiv, met artists and curators, visited museums, galleries, independent spaces and art studios in order to get to know the Bulgarian art scene. Oliver Basciano had a lecture in Plovdiv on art criticism as a political practice. Veronique Souben presented in Sofia the regional collections for contemporary art in France and more specifically how she manages the collection in Rouen. Collector Alain Servais held a lecture on curating the frame of "Introduction to Contemporary Art". 



Since 2010 we have supported young contemporary artists and curators with the project BACKGROUND: Young Artists. This year we and curator Vera Mlechevska presented Martina Vacheva and her solo show "Sereality". Furthermore, we expanded the platform by developing two new formats for young artists: Portfolio Day (Participants: Nikolay Bozhinov, Viktoria Georgieva, Eli Joteva, Stefan Ivanov, Elena Kaludova, Marica Kolcheva, Miglena Yoncheva-Nikolova, Radostin Sedevchev, Radoil Serafimov, Petko Tanchev) and "15 Minutes of Fame" (Participants: Elena Kaludova, Kalina Terzieva, Kiril Ivanov, Maria Nalbantova, Martin Penev, Valko Chobanov). The first is a professional educational event and "15 Minutes of Fame" is a new presentation format which gives young artists the opportunity to present their work in front of a broad audience.  



Alain Servais: One of the strongest elements of art is to be open minded
Interveiw with Alain Servais about his visit in Bulgaria and public lecture in the frame of Introduction to Contemporary Art
BG on Air, 24.11.2016
Watch interview 
[in Bulgarian]

Night/Plovdiv 2016: Two nights in a future European Capital of Culture
Stephanie Bailey about her working visit in Plovdiv at invitation by SARIEV Contemporary
Ocula, 26.10.2016
Full text 
[in English]

From East to West 
Interview with Belgium art collector Hugo Voeten
Independent Curators, June 2016
Full text 

"The Bulgarian contemporary art scene is a young one. In 2011 the Sariev Gallery, which was founded in 2004 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city, developed into a real space for contemporary art and was renamed Sariev Contemporary. Since then, this is practically the only endeavor to support new collaborations and young Bulgarian artists such as Nedko Solakov, Valio Tchenkov and Pravdoliub Ivanov, both locally and internationally."

A Small Gallery on the Big Stage
Interview with Vesselina Sarieva on SARIEV Contemporary's participation in Art Cologne and Art Brussels 2016
Kultura Newspaper, 10.06.2016
Full text [in Bulgarian]
Top 10 Exhibitions in CEE | Vol. 4 
Sirma Sarafova-Orahovac's solo show "Objects and Illusions" at SARIEV Contemporary in the Top 10 exhibitions in Central and Eastern Europe of Vienna Contemporary Mag
Vienna Contemporary Mag, 01.06.2016 
Author: Tina Kaplar 
Full article
Let Them Curate
A review of the exhibition "Let Them Draw" at SARIEV Contemporary
Kultura Newspaper, 15.04.2016
Author: Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva
[in Bulgarian] 
Full text
Kunstmarkt mit Begeisterung
Art critic Annegret Erhard on Art Rotterdam 2016 and SARIEV Contemporary's solo presentation of Vikenti Komitski as one of the highlights
Neuer Zürcher Zeitung, 12.02.2016
Author: Annegret Erhard
Full text

The 7 Best Booths at Art Brussels
Artsy pick out the seven most compelling presentations on view at Art Brussels among 141 galleries from 28 countries. Sariev Contemporary booth was one of them. 
Artsy, 21.04.2016
Author: Molly Gottschalk
Full text


I Have Never Dreamt of Being an Artst...
Buger Collection presents an interview with Nedko Solakov in ArtAsiaPacific Magazine
ArtAsiaPacific, November issue
Author: Iara Boubnova
Full text
[in English]

20 questions: Nedko Solakov
Interview with Nedko Solakov
Capital LIGHT: 7.09.2016
Full article 
[In Bulgarian]
Double Ornaments. One of the Bulgarian artworks at Art Brussels
Pravdoliub Ivanov's artwork "Double Ornaments" in the column "The Eye" of Forbes Bulgaria
Forbes Bulgaria, July 2016
Full article

Interview with artist Stefan Nikolaev at Art Cologne 2016
Vernissage TV at SARIEV's booth at Art Cologne
Vernissage TV, 16.04.2016
Authors: K. Zupan-Rupp, H. Schmidt
Watch video

Kuenstler. Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst
Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst dedicated to Valio Tchenkov
1. quarter 2016
Author: Annegret Erhard


In 2017 SARIEV Contemporary will present solo shows by our artists Vikenti Komitski and Stefan Nikolaev. We will also present solo shows and projects by the associate artists and curators including the second edition of "Let Them Draw" by Pravdoliub Ivanov and Background: Young Artists. 

In 2017 you can expect new events and formats from our educational platform "Introduction to Contemporary Art" in Sofia as well as more visits and public lectures by international curators, art critics and collectors. We will also continue with the platform Background: Young Artists and the formats Portfolio Day and "15 Minutes of Fame".


In the first half of the year you can find us at Art Rotterdam 2017 (9-12 February presenting Rada Boukova) and at Art Cologne 2017 (26-29 April). 


Furthermore, we have exciting new projects which we will announce very soon! Stay tuned and follow our activities on our website and in the social media FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Image: Vikenti Komitski, BLOOOM, 2016, collage