09.10. – 30.11.2014
opening reception: 18.00, NAG, Ball Hall

On 9 October the National Art Gallery opens the exhibition “A Parisian in Sofia”, which will show paintings, graphic works and drawings by Nikolay Nikov - Nicheto (1924-1989). The exhibition is organised on the occasion of 90 years from the artist’s birth and is his first retrospective exhibition.

Nikolay Nikov, called Nicheto by everybody, was born in Sofia in 1924. His mother, Rayna Rakarova, was the founder of the first Bulgarian Applied Arts and Crafts School “IZA”, whose teaching staff included renowned Bulgarian artists and applied artists.

Since his childhood, Nicheto had been surrounded by his mother’s intellectual circle including their relative, artist and occultist Emanuil Rakarov, Nikolay Raynov, Boris Sharov, Dechko Uzunov, the young Pavel Vezhinov, Bogomil Raynov and many other artists, musicians, writers and journalists.

As a child, Nikov had enviable education in the field of fine and applied arts, music and languages. That allowed him later to work freely in all painting and graphic arts genres and techniques, to play the piano, the guitar, the mandolin and the trumpet, to sing jazz and opera pieces, popular songs and ballads with his trained voice, as well as to use freely 8 European languages (Latin and Old Greek included).

Later, his education involved thorough knowledge of European art history and literature (with a preference for French literature), occultism and esoteric sciences, which laid the foundation of an impressive, well cultivated and rich in themes and styles work. Most of his work would remain unrevealed for the public, even for his closest friends, until his death in 1989 and up to now. In this sense, we should take the words of his friend, the artist Atanas Neykov – Nayo, literally “Nikov’s art is hidden”.

For the first time, the viewers will have the opportunity to get to know the artist’s deeply hidden and personal work, created in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. His work is a kind of a style and thematic compendium of Bulgarian art from that period and unique evidence of the epoch.

Always impeccably and elegantly dressed, a Dandy and Bohemian, everybody’s favourite, Nikov was emblematic with his presence in the cult clubs from the 1960s such as “The Bamboo”, “Production” restaurant, “Slavyanka”, “The Journalists’ Club” and others, where he used to be the life and soul of the company.

The first visitor to the exhibition on 23 September this year was the French intellectual of Bulgarian origin and a close friend of Nikolay Nikov from Sofia and Paris - Tzvetan Todorov, during his short stay in Sofia.

The exhibition is accompanied by an album-catalogue, which contains 500 pages, a monograph on Nikolay Nikov and a foreword especially written for the edition by Tzvetan Todorov.