The Night

13 - 23 March 2023

Man’s memory is fragile, variable, selective, and forgetfulness is the constant companion of the information that overwhelms us. How do we sift through, what do we remember and why, what is hidden, tucked deep into our consciousness, waiting to appear or to disappear forever? In our (perhaps desperate) attempt to preserve parts of a bygone world, relentlessly buried by the layers of time, we hope that it can be preserved and recognized by those after us through art and its experience.


THE NIGHT – an exhibition by Dimitar Iliev – is such an attempt. We could interpret it as part of the big picture of the passing of time. Also as a reflection of the past, without which the present would be incomplete. It is also an attempt at continuing the communication with Dimitar Iliev’s art across time, as well as an extramural conversation with the artist.


The artist Dimitar Iliev (1959 – 1992) has been almost forgotten by his contemporaries. He is completely unknown to the younger generations. However, the paintings he created are a testament to the power of his talent.


Dimitar Iliev was one of the artists who transformed the energy and the dramatism of the 80s and early 90s of the 20th century into oeuvre, full of dark premonitions, but also anticipation and hope. He painted intensely and opened one of the first private galleries in his home. In the short span of his 33-year life, the artist expressed maturity and a searching, restless, and innovative spirit in his art.


Dimitar Iliev often painted in the quiet of the night. The night – the time of impenetrable darkness, of dramatic torments of the soul, of passion and self-destruction, the time when black thickened to the point of producing light, the time thatwas not enough.


Even though death interrupted his creative life early, today, three decades later, Dimitar Iliev’s paintings still have an intense impact; they continue to radiate their dark power and tension, to evoke emotion and reflection.


The exhibition THE NIGHT is dedicated to his memory. It is also a chance for his work to be revived            , to be rediscovered by the young, to be present, to be studied and not forgotten. The curators Nadezhda Lyahova and Prof. Stanislav Pamukchiev, whom the artist considered his teacher, have selected works from the collections of the National Art Gallery and the Sofia City Art Gallery.

                                                                                                                                  Silvia Choleva







The author

Dimitar Iliev