Between real and magical

An exhibition brings together the illustrations of the great Bulgarian artist, Dechko Uzunov

The exhibition Real and Magical - The illustration in the art of Dechko Uzunov, was opened in Sofia in the Dechko Uzunov Art Gallery, which is a branch of the Sofia City Art Gallery. The exhibition can be visited until February 2021.

Although Dechko Uzunov's rich and diverse oeuvre has been studied extensively, and presented through a large number of exhibitions and publications throughout the years, not all of his creations are well known to the public. Having lived almost nine decades, the artist left an inheritance testifying to his eagerness to discover various material and spiritual “universes”. One of them is the “universe” of books. Uzunov, like many of his contemporaries, dedicated quite a bit of time to exploring the connection between words and images.

Dechko Uzunov's studies in the Munich Academy of Fine Arts and his stay abroad gave him the opportunity to communicate with some leading foreign and Bulgarian artists not only in the field of fine arts, but also with some authors related to the world of literature. Having returned in Bulgaria, Uzunov expanded the circle of writers he interacted with, gradually becoming one of the most sought after illustrators for covers and books as well as portrait sketches of and for a number of authors.

In the current exhibition, an effort is made for the first time since the retrospective exhibition in honour of his 100-year anniversary at the end of the 20th century, to present both original illustrations but also such that were left out between the pages of old printed publications. One of the few early illustrations preserved in the gallery's collection was created around 1922 and shows an unprinted image to the collection of poems Moon Stains, by Nikolay Liliev. The other works are from the period 1940s - 1960s of the 20th century. Among them, there are different variations of illustrations from some of the most well-known stories and beloved tales.

The portrait sketches of over 20 different writers are included in the exhibition as reproductions from the literary collection Five Years, Dimcho Debelyanov's famous collection Poems, the children's collection Feathers for Peacock, Hans Evers' book An Orange Tree's Diary and Eugene O'Neill's The First Man, since the originals were not preserved. The exposition shows the original copies of a few of the books, illustrated by Dechko Uzunov in different periods of his life.

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