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Breakthrough (an exhibition catalogue)

Sasho Stoitzov, Sofia

Sasho Stoitzov was born in 1952, in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. In 1971, he finished the National School of Fine Arts in Sofia. Since 1998, he has been living alternately in New York City, the United States, and in Sofia, Bulgaria. In 1988, he was one of the curators and participants in the legendary art action and exhibition entitled 11.11.88 – one of the first conceptual art forums in this country, and in 1989 he organized the first national unconventional art exhibition, 11.11.89, in the Blagoevgrad Art Gallery. His were perhaps the only authentic soc-art presentations in Bulgaria. Starting his career as a painter, he was one of the first artists who acted on the changed conditions in the late 1980's. His works from that time have become classics of Bulgarian vanguard.

He participated in some of the exhibitions of real importance in the development of Bulgarian art: Earth and Sky (1989), Kaymak-Art [Cream-Art] (1992), N-forms, Reconstructions and Interpretations (1994), VideoHeart (1995), First International Biennial Africus 95, Johannesburg, South Africa, Export-Import (2003), the August in Art Biennial (2004), Why Duchamp? (2012) and numerous others. He organized a number of individual shows and won the M-Tel Award for Contemporary Bulgarian Art (2008).


Maria Vassileva

Email: stoitzov@yahoo.com


Sasho Stoitzov
Photo: Rositsa Getsova

Sasho Stoitzov


National Art Gallery, Sofia

9 February – 27 March, 2917


Curator: Maria Vassileva


This is the first retrospective exhibition of Sasho Stoitzov's works. It features some significant pieces from the 1970's up to the present: paintings, drawings, collages, objects, installations. Some of these are now displayed for the first time ever. For more than 3 decades, Sasho Stoitzov has been in the vanguard of some of the most intriguing explorations in the world of art. He was one of the few Bulgarian artists who anticipated the great changes that would take place in art after 1989, and continue to surprise with their innovative approach to this day.

His active artistic career began in the early 1980's. He came up with a series of large photorealistic portrait compositions. His painting Bratanov Program was rejected by the selection committee for his first one-man show as being alienated and inappropriately pessimistic. Irrespective of this, Sasho Stoitzov quickly established himself as one of the most interesting artists.

In the late 1980's, the eve of the political transition, he participated in some of the exhibitions that were most emblematic for the period and also organized some of these in his capacity of one of the leaders of the Blagoevgrad Artists' Group. Sasho Stoitzov is the only Bulgarian artists who finds reason and motivation to address the past and its visual rhetoric. He does this through its symbols (pentacles, pickaxes, shovels) in paintings, wood carvings and aquarelles. The familiar tools are turned into icons and altars, adorned with gold-foil. The socialist symbols are now “tamed” and look beautiful. Sasho Stoitzov has created a local pop-art based on recent history. 

Following his sojourn in New York, in 1998, he started using a new technique – polystyrene boards, colored papers and adhesive tapes. The artist has created a parallel reality which very much resembles his portraits from the Program series in their drawing a borderline between visible and irrational.


Maria Vassileva