The sculptures fund contains 194 artworks, mainly by Bulgarian authors, created in the period of the first decades of the 20th century, to this day, as the 70s and 80s have the strongest presence. The collection is characterized with a great variety of the plastic materials: stone, metal, wood, plaster, terracotta. The portrait and figural composition genres are predominant. A large part of the artworks are with a separate character, and significantly smaller part with monumental.
The sculpture art in Bulgaria appears, as a new kind of art after the liberation. In the beginning of the 20th century, the names of the first Bulgarian authors, who lay the foundations of the basic tendencies in the development of the plastic culture at home, become distinguished. The “Hristo Tsokev” art gallery owns few, but notable artworks from this period, representing the work of one of the pioneers in the Bulgarian sculpture – Andrey Nikolov (busts of George Nurizhan, Barakova and Pencho St, Barakov), Marko Markov (portrait of Botio Barakov). They come into the fund of the gallery in 1993, as a part of the large donation of the famous Gabrovo art patron Botio Barakov. In that donation there are also eleven artworks by Kiril Anev, among which are portrait og Botio Barakov, bas-reliefs of Socrates and such of his teacher Marko Markov.
A larger part of the artworks in the sculpture fund come after awards and purchases from GAE “The man and the labor” mainly during the 70s and 80s. Among them are works by authors such as: Krum Damianov, Valentin Starchev, Boris Gondov, Nikolay Shmirgela, Aliosha Kafedzhiisky, Galin Malakchiev, Vezhdi Rashidov, Ivan Rusev, Ziatin Nuriev, Bogomil Zhivkov, Emil Popov, Angel Stanev, Pavel Koichev, Margarita Pueva.
Not a few authors connected to Gabrovo and the region, also have a contribution for the fund of the gallery, such as – Mitio Solakov, Kancho Tsanev, Petar Hadzhiganev, Nikolay Tsvetanov, Ivan Kanchev, Dimitrinka Grancharova, Iva Hadzhieva.
Among them the collection of 22 artworks (heads and figures) by Mitio Solakov, which is a good example for a classical building of the portrait image, is particularly interesting. Portraits of members of his family are distinguished – “My wife’s sister”, “Hristina” (1963, marble), “Veselina” (1973, plaster), “My father”(1984, bronze), “My son” (1904, bronze). All portraits are characterized with confidence between the physical resemblance and the psychological characteristic of the model with frugality of the detail and a restrained expression.
There is no way for us to not pay attention of the collection of sculptures and plastics by the wood carver Kancho Tsanev, who contributes to the foundation of the gallery and enrichment of its fund. Due to the years when he was chief of section of the “Hristo Tsokev” art gallery and a fund keeper, it’s not random that one of the halls in the gallery bears his name.
The gallery owns typical works, for his creative path, such as “Music” (1983). But also separate artworks, little known to the wide audience – Rest, Interrogation, Mother with child, portrait of Totio Ivanov, Relief. They show the characteristic for the author synthesis between the woodcarving and sculptural vision. Among them is also one of the favourite works of the author “Seated female figure” from 1972, about which his son Robert shares that with mercy he was calling it “The little monkey”.
Translation by Nikolay Georgiev
120 years of Bulgarian art (applied, decorative, monumental), C., 2014 UBA.
Kancho Tsanev, C., 2007
Solakov Mitio, Sculpture. C. 2006 – 2011