Mostly vertical

Nikolay Petkov
Curated by Peter Tzanev
06.03 - 29.03.2024

Nikolay Petkov’s exhibition “Mostly vertical” presents an unseen series of 40 watercolor works completed in 2019 just before the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic. With their uniform small size and peculiar writing technique, the works can be compared to letters. Some of the titles written on these small paper letters, such as “Window of Opportunity”, “Public Field”, “Fragile Support”, “Sustainable Growth”, “Next Future” or “Missing Horizon” today seem to allow us to read the entire watercolor cycle as a strange and never-sent warning message. At the same time, Nikolay Petkov is an artist of “hidden ritual thinking” and the “ostentatious personal inaction” that uses the formal characteristics of art to subvert and negate the usual normative expectations regarding one’s actions. The exhibition is an apotheosis of the unnoticed and of the refusals to participate in the games of the world. An apotheosis of artistic gestures that cannot change the rules of the game, but which silently change the perception of its merciless course.

Nikolay Petkov

Born 1967 in Vratza. Finished Fine Arts high school in Sofia in 1986. Graduated M. F. A., 1994 in National Art Academy, Sofia, Department Mural Painting. 1995-6 studied Art History and Art Theory with prof. Allen David and prof. John Moore at The New School for Social Research, New York. Ph. D., 2010, National Art Academy, Department Art History, dissertation Painting picture in the second half of the 20th Century – visual parameters and cultural grounds. Interpretation of the Western experience and Bulgarian art practice and theory.

   Solo exhibitions: First one, 1994, Sofia, Boyana church gallery; Sssentiments, 1997, Sofia, Arena gallery; Recreation Zone, 1998, Sofia, Arena; Geometry/ Sensibility, 1999, Varna, Areta gallery; Projections, 1999, Sofia, Irida gallery; Oil, 2000, Sofia, Irida; Points, 2001, Sofia, Tzar Osvoboditel 6 gallery; Surfaces, 2001, Sofia, XXL gallery; Eleven works, 2002, New York, Flux Factory; Pauses, 2002, Sofia, XXL; On Boudoir, 2002, Sofia, XXL; Orders, 2003, Sofia, Ikar gallery; Chamber Exhibition, 2004, New York, Flux Factory; Chamber exhibition, 2005, Sofia, National Art Gallery; Notes on the margin, 2006, Sofia, Irida; Epical Abstraction, 2008, Sofia, Sofia press gallery; Slow brush, 2010, Sofia, Sofia press; Studies, 2011, Sofia, Arosita gallery; Responses, 2012, Sofia, Arosita gallery; Figure -Ground, 2013, Sofia, Arosita gallery; Motives, 2014, Sofia, Arosita gallery; Gray area, 2015, Sofia, Arosita gallery; Couples, 2016, Sofia, Arosita gallery; A Small time Back-door Plain air Exhibition, 2017, New London, Connecticut, Griffis Art Center; Figures, 2018, Sofia, Arosita gallery; Slav suite, 2020, Sofia, Arosita gallery; Samples, 2021, Sofia, Arosita gallery; Elements, 2022, Sofia, Arosita gallery; Silent mode, 2023, Sofia, Arosita gallery.    

   Participation in group exhibitions: 10х5х3, 2003, Sofia; I International Biennial for contemporary art, Shumen, 2004; Beyond paper, 2004, Dobritch; Support systems, 2005, Sliven; Contemporary Art from Bulgaria, 2006, Nish, Serbia;  10х5х3-2, 2006, Sofia; nomination for M-tel Awards for Contemporary Bulgarian art 2006, Sofia;  nomination for National Award Allianz Bulgaria for Painting, Sculpture and Graphics 2008, Sofia; Two Brothers. Contemporary Bulgarian and Slovak Painting, 2009, Bratislava, Sofia; 10x5x3-3, 2010, Sofia; Zone Urban, 2011, Sofia; Idea of Home/ Library, 2012, Sofia; Untold Abstraction, 2014,Sofia; What  Happened?, 2014, Sofia; Color, Sound, Movement, 2015, Sofia, Credo Bonum gallery; Sofia Underground/ Common Ground, 2017, Sofia, Arosita gallery; Orthogonal 16, 2017, Sofia, Red House; Contemporary Painting, 2017, Art center Bankia, Sofia; The Debate on Reality, 2017, Sofia; Orthogonal 18, 2018, IKKP Kumsthaus, Rehau; Minimalism – BG, 2020, Sofia; The Invisible, 2020, Raiko Alexiev gallery, Sofia.