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Paintings, graphic works, cartoons
/ February 5 - April 30, 2015, Room 5 /

No, the title of the exhibition does not suggest a literary display of printed edtitions

of the verbal wealth that has hallmarked the history of the town of Gabrovo.

It is a fact that in the form of jokes and anecdotes Gabrovo folklore humour has travelled

round the world in more than 25 languages reaching even the Land of the Rising Sun two years ago.

However, the current exhibition has a different aim.

It is to reveal the influence of this local intangible cultural heritage on artists from

Bulgaria and abroad who have been inspired by the jokes and anecdotes told about Gabrovians.

The themed collection Gabrovo Jokes celebrates 155 years since Gabrovo was proclaimed a

town and features 230 canvases, graphic works and cartoons by 28 artists from 5 countries.

One can say that the exhibition focal point is the work of Bulgarian artist

Boris Dimovski - over 200 drawings, illustrations and cartoons which seem to be

disclosing the unwritten history of the House of Humour and Satire.

Infallible in detecting the initial ups and downs, insights, hopes and ambitions

at the very dawn of institution, Dimovski has perpetuated the time-tested traits of the

Gabrovo dweller that have made him a tough and resilient Bulgarian character.

It is in Dimovski's early caricatures (1973) that the House's first director Stefan Furtunov

is portrayed as a lonesome Sisyphus shouldering the heavy burden of building up

one home for satirists and humorists from across the globe.

The exhibition encompasses illustrations of Gabrovo anecdotes by Plamen Penov

and Rositsa Racheva; paintings by Gabrovo artists Mara Atanasova, Dragan Nemtsov,

Minyu Bonev and Yordanka Shiyakova.

Imaginative interpretations of the phenomenon Gabrovo jokes have been made by

Bulgarian cartoonsits Georgi Chalakov, Rumen Dragostinov, Ivaylo Ninov,

Stoyan Dechev,Ivailo Tsvetkov and Dosyu Stolarov.

And if for Bulgarian artists the humour of Gabrovo is by far more familiar to understand,

artists like Feliks Buttner and Wolfgang Schlege from Germany and Gilda Solis from Mexico

have resorted to a pinch of magical realism in order to convey the wisdom encoded

in the Gabrovo jokes and anecdotes



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