The Breath of the Sea
Exhibition of Georgi Lechev at Contrast Gallery
Together with Stoimen Stoilov, Ventsislav Antonov, Vanko Urumov, Petyo Marinov, and Milko Bozhkov, Georgi Lechev is one of the founders of the group of Varna artists at the emblematic Vulcan Factory. Being a person who perceives ‘life as a beautiful game’ and an ardent admirer of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, as well as of Dostoyevski, Jack Kerouac, Steinbeck, Somerset Moam, he began his career with impressive surrealistic works of graphics and nostalgic stylish interiors. However, for more than three decades he has worked mainly in the field of landscape and still-life genres. His blue and white landscapes exhibited at the Contrast Gallery depict infinite sea expanses and bays, coasts and sand strips with boats flooded with light and balmy sea breath, while his still-life works feature in the foreground and disproportional in space oversize fruits and flowers in his favourite green and orange colours devoid of human beings. And this is a conscious act.
Zhoro Lechev never paints without a preliminary thematic design and for this reason his works can be easily arranged in cycles (e.g. Evening Harmony, Clouds over the Pier, October Calm, the Dance of Cranes). To put it in his words: ‘I work on several of them simultaneously, but I do not go to any extremes’. What he displays this time, i.e. pictures of the last ten years, reveals explicit maturity as far as rationalization of several developed in the past years topics of his via his favourite approach – blending of the interior and the exterior. His still-life works with open chestnuts, pomegranates and paradise apples are not depicted in the closed space of an interior, but against the background of an infinite horizon. Every fruit symbolizes the respective season with its hopes, sorrows and revival for new life. In this way their magnified forms function as the symbolic markers of energy loaded by time and human ideas and the autumn leaves are a part of the Garden parting during this season with live nature and getting ready for its winter sleep. With its signal purple the works of the Irises in the Garden cycle imply the intelligence carried by these flowers according to the artist. The landscapes of cypress trees and the evening harmony in blue and green (Dialogue in white and blue), the pure Byzantine blue in combination with the green – his favourite two colours of the sunrises and the sunsets and of the scattered on the sand boats and the Varna Lighthouse together with the landscapes of Santorini, the Pound Net and Dancing with the Waves are his unique interpretation of sea themes where he does not forget to include also ‘Traces on the Sand’ - the waste left by people on the beach. And his pictures of the Penguins cycle correspond to specific human states and passions in the pictures: ‘I Am Alone Again’, ‘Silent Dialogue’, ‘They Say It’s Going to Rain’, ‘Let Them Do as They Please’.
This exhibition of Georgi Lechev at Contrast gallery features works produced in the last ten years of his artistic journey (2007 – 2017) – a journey he has undertaken to occupy his own place – recognizable, lyrical, flooded with light, with the breath of the sea, and with his long remembered unique colours.