NIKOLA KOZHUHAROV /1892-1971/ - A TEMPORARY EXHIBITION IN DOBRICH GALLERY
On Sep 25th – the Day of Dobrich, at 11.30 am the Dobrich gallery openes an exhibition “Nikola Kozhuharov /1892 – 1971/”. He was a painter and drawer, graphic artist and illustrator, wall painter and decorator, scenographer, sculptor, pedagogue, he become a part of the image notion of the millennial history, our myths, legends and fairy-tales for four Bulgarian generations.
He was born on Jan 11th 1892 in Kazanlak. His family moved to Stara Zagora where he graduated Secondary school. In 1910 he was admitted in the High School for Industry and Art in Sofia and he studied art under prof. Ivan Markvichka and Tseno Todorov. Together with Dimitar Gjudzhenov and Vassil Marinov in 1911 he exposed an exhibition in the Stara Zagora School for Girls. In 1914 he won a contest for a curtain for the Stara Zagora Theatre Association “Theatre”./ In 1991 a fire in the Opera theatre destroyed the curtain./ Nikola Kozhuharov and Dimitar Gyudzhenov went to France to specialize in the Paris Academy of Fine Arts under prof. Fernan Kormon. After coming back to Bulgaria Kozhuharov became a member of the “Contemporary Art” organization. During the First World War he was a military artist and in 1916 he took part in the Great Joint Exhibition in Berlin. In Bulgarian art he is known to be one of the originators of the battle and historical genre. In 1917 together with Dimitar Gyudzhenov he designed and accomplished the project for the settings of the Stara Zagora theatre productions.
The subjects of many of Kozhuharov’s paintings in 20s were the myths, folklore and mystical rites. Together with Gyudzhenow he organized a major exhibition where he exposed a part of these works, some paintings from the war period and a self-portrait. In 1924 he also won the contest for the scenograthy of “Dragon’s Wedding” after Petko Todorov in the National Theatre. He was appointed as a lecturer and in 1929 he became a professor in the Art Academy. During this period he illustrated children books. For decades his illustrations to the “Zlatka, the Golden Girl”, “Master Manol”, “Krali Marko”, “The Three Musketeers”, The Wretches” etc. were reprinted. He printed graphics, lay out magazines and books, made projects for post stamps, honorary diplomas, banknotes. There are sculptural memorial works of his in Plovdiv and Vidin and in Stara Zagora he made the gravestone embossed image of Bishop Metodii Kussev.
In 30s Kozhuharov created compositions of painting genre and in 1937 at the World Fair in Paris he was awarded a Golden Medal for Art for the painting “Masters”.
Between 40s and 60s he changed the folk - mythological subjects to events from our history and created paintings dedicated to the Middle Ages and Revival Period. He devoted to them with an enviable consistency, research persuasiveness and artistic training. He also drew series of naked female bodies and in 40s and 50s he created landscapes - from Bachkovo, Zemen, Karlovo, Stara Zagora, Troyan, Varna, Kratovo, Kavala, Tasos, Ohrid, Banya Luka.
After Sept 9th 1944 he was arrested for 5 months because of the subject of a painting, but after that he was released and exculpated.
From 1962 until 1967 Nikola Kozhuharov was in charge of the “Art” department in Veliko Tarnovo University. In 1965 /together with his wife Nevena Kozhuharova/ he opened his major exhibition in Sofia.
In the period 1925 – 1969 he made the icon paintings in 27 churches in the country /Stara Zagora, Sofia, Varna, Burgas, Tyrgovishte, Russe etc. The works of Kozhuharov were exposed in a range of international exhibitions in Berlin, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Stockholm, Prague, Fiume, New York. In 1962 he was honored with an order “Cyril and Methodius” first degree for outstanding merit to the Bulgarian culture.
The painter died on June 1st1971 in Sofia.
The exhibition includes fifty five paintings, drawings, illustrations, graphics. 48 works belong to the Stara Zagora gallery and the rest of the exhibited works are submitted by the gallery in Kazanlak. Works from different periods are delivered in the exposition. The visitors will see several self-portraits from the early period, landscapes and compositions from 20s; projects for book and magazine covers, a post stamp dedicated to the painter Yaroslav Veshin; illustration to “The Wretches”, “The Free Musketeers” etc. One can also enjoy his emblematic paintings with a historical subject – “Ivaylo in Front of the Fortress Walls of Tarnovgrad”, “Ivanko Kills Tsar Assen”, “The Capture of Vassil Levski”, “Levski in Front of the Judge” etc.
The exposition will be at the disposal of our visitors within one month.