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Alexander Kaprichev Endless Facets of Fierce Artistry

International Confederation of Art Critics 1


Alexander Kaprichev

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Front Cover: Detail of “Nocturne” by Alexander Kaprichev - Oil on canvas


Alexander Kaprichev

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Alexander Kaprichev

ICAC

International Confederation of Art Critics

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Alexander Kaprichev Endless Facets of Fierce Artistry

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Alexander Kaprichev

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CONTENTS THE ARTIST

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EXHIBITIONS

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PICTORIAL EFFUSIONS OF MELODIC SONATAS

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Elena Foschi, Art Historian at Chianciano Art Museum

“INSPIRING SPACES” - SOFIA, 12th - 28th NOVEMBER 2014 Prof. Chavdar Popov Ph.D, Art Historian at the National Academy of Arts, Sofia

SYMBOLIC WHIRLS OF MEDITATIVE HUES Karen Lappon, International Confederation of Art Critics

EXHIBITION REVIEW - “WATERCOLOURS” Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva, Art Critic

A LYRICAL FLOW OF COSMIC ENERGY Timothy Warrington, International Confederation of Art Critics

“INSPIRING SPACES”- SOFIA, 12th - 28th NOVEMBER 2014 Prof. Svilen Stefanov Ph.D, Art Historian at the National Academy of Arts, Sofia

CRITICAL REVIEW, AUGUST 2015 Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva, Art Critic

ARTWORK ANALYSIS Christopher Rosewood, International Confederation of Art Critics

RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION - VARNA CITY ART GALLERY, JULY - AUGUST 2010 Prof. Chavdar Popov Ph.D, Art Historian at the National Academy of Arts, Sofia

LIST OF WORKS

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Edited by the International Confederation of Art Critics 7


Alexander Kaprichev

Viktor Majdandžic at his own retrospective exhibition at the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery in London, 27 January – 14 February 2014.

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Alexander Kaprichev

“Figurative expressions, or ethereal abstractions, delicate work on paper, or bright and oneiric acrylics… In Alexander Kaprichev’s creations one is continually enthralled in a maze of majestic contrasts and sophisticated shades. The artist is an eternal example of timeless talent.” Christopher Rosewood International Confederation of Art Critics

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2006 - Acrylic on board

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Alexander Kaprichev

Alexander Kaprichev in his studio, Leicester, 2000 - 2003 Courtesy of Peter Scott

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THE ARTIST Alexander Kaprichev was born in Varna in 1945 where he graduated at the Second High School of Varna and then at the Academy of Arts, Sofia, where he obtained a degree in Mural painting with Prof. Georgi Bogdanov and Prof. Mito Ganovski. After completing the Academy, he started his career as a freelance artist in “Vulkan”, a former factory turned into artist studios. From 1976 to 1978 Kaprichev was elected as Chair of Varna Society of Young Artists and in 1980 became Member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists. Between 1999 and 2006 he lived and worked in the U.K. joining the Independent Studios in Leicester and Birmingham. In 2006 Kaprichev returned to his home town of Varna with plans for new creative work and the intention to have a retrospective exhibition, which unfortunately, he could not see through due to his sudden death in 2008. Alexander Kaprichev‘s art comprises fine art paintings and monumental works and he has left a considerable number of oils, watercolours, drawings, etchings, projects for monumental art, murals, stained glass and tapestries. His style, if it were to be defined, can be related to the lyrical abstraction and abstract expressionism. Alexander Kaprichev, however, drawing on the Bulgarian and world art traditions, which he has studied in depth, has created an individual and discernible style of his own. In recent years Alexander Kaprichev’s art was shown in several exhibitions: a retrospective exhibition of paintings, watercolours and drawings created prior to 1999 was curated by Vanko Urumov at Varna City Art Gallery and took place between 1st July and 3rd August 2010. Subsequently, between 1st and 15th September 2010, a selection of his artwork from the same period was exhibited at Sredets Art Gallery of the Ministry of Culture, Sofia with curators Georgi Trifonov and Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva.

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Alexander Kaprichev

Alexander Kaprichev in his studio, Leicester, 2000 - 2003 Courtesy of Peter Scott

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THE ARTIST

Kaprichev’s watercolours created in England were exhibited for the first time at Gallery 8 from 1st until 30th April 2011. In April 2013, Gallery 8 presented some of the artist’s graphic art, etchings and lithographs, some of which were showcased to the public for the first time. Between 26th November and 6th December 2013, the eminent exhibition “Colourful

Contemplations” at the Sofia Art Gallery of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in London featured paintings and watercolours created in England between 1999 and 2006. The curator was Professor Chavdar Popov PhD. In the show “Inspiring Spaces”, both paintings and watercolours were exhibited at the Academia Gallery, Sofia, in November 2014. Curators: Prof.Chavdar Popov PhD and Prof. Svilen Stefanov PhD. At the London Art Biennale 2015, with 140 participating artists from 40 countries, Alexander Kaprichev’s work was awarded a Special Mention for Excellence in painting. The Inspiring Spaces exhibition was again shown at Varna City Art Gallery, between 30th July and 30th August 2015, then dedicated to 70 years of the artist’s birth. Alexander’s work has also been selected for the X Florence Biennale 2015 and for the London Art Biennale 2017.

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Alexander Kaprichev

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“Untitled” Oil on canvas, 80 x 120 cm, 1980s

1980s - Oil on canvas, 80 x 120 cm

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Alexander Kaprichev

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EXHIBITIONS, COLLECTIONS AND PUBLICATIONS Exhibitions • • • • • •

Group exhibitions of Varna artists in Saragossa, Spain in 1993; One-man show at Varna City Gallery “Boris Georgiev” in 1996; Print Biennale, Varna, 1997 and 1999; Art Fair “Impression”, Plovdiv, 1997 and 1999; Mall Galleries, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, London, 2000; Annual exhibitions of Independent Studios in Great Britain in 2002,2003,2004 and 2005.

Retrospectives • • • • • • • • • •

Varna City Art Gallery, 2010; “Scores of Colours” MK Sofia Gallery - Sredets, 2010; Watercolours, Gallery 8 - Varna, 2011; “Unity of Muses”, Gallery 8 - Varna, 2013; Sofia Gallery - London, 2013; Inspiring Spaces, painting and watercolour at the Academia Gallery of the NAA, Sofia, 2014; London Art Biennale 2015, Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, 2015; 70 Years of Alexander Kaprichev’s Birth, Varna City Gallery, 2015; X Florence Biennale 2015 London Art Biennale 2017, Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, 2017.

Collections • The National Gallery of Arts, Sofia; • The Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria; • Varna City Gallery and many other private collectors. Publications • “Alexander Kaprichev - Varna, June 2010”, Curator: Vanko Urumov; Photographs: Alexander Nikolov and Peter Scott; Editors: Rumyana Stancheva, Robert Clark, Annie Kay; Design: Emil Spasov, 2010 • “Alexander Kaprichev - Both Known and Unknown”, Curator: Chavdar Popov; Photographs: Nick Parson, Peter Scott, Alexander Nikolov; Editors: Rumyana Stancheva, Dr Annie Kay. Bulgarian Cultural Institute of London, 2013.

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Alexander Kaprichev

“Untitled” Acrylic on paper, 196 x 150 cm, 2004-05

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“Untitled” Acrylic on paper, 208 x 150 cm, 2004-05

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Alexander Kaprichev

“Untitled” Oil and acrylic on canvas, 128 x 117 cm, 2004

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“Untitled” Oil an acrylic on canvas, 107 x 92 cm, 2004

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Alexander Kaprichev

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PICTORIAL EFFUSIONS OF MELODIC SONATAS Elena Foschi Art Historian

On admiring the eclectic range of Alexander’s artistic creations, from sensational watercolours to dramatic oil on canvases, one is struck by the finesse and eloquent touch of the artist, whose personality transpires through marvellous and multi-faceted paintings. Since the early 80’s, when Alexander Kaprichev began his career as an artist, he has left a notable imprint on Art, duelling and intertwining with the Great Masters of the past through his vision and exquisite execution. Alexander transmits a spectrum of conflicting and reflective emotions in his diverse works of art. The viewer can admire a profound delicacy reinforced and enriched by a profusion of meanings that, In fact, offer a complex multiplicity perceivable in the texture of Alexander’s artistic touch. Despite the abstraction of the pictorial depictions, the viewer is always capable of identifying different perspectives and distinct but interconnected interpretative planes. Analysing the intriguing foregrounds, punctuated by dancing geometries and mysterious sinuous forms, our senses are captured by an orchestra of sensory stimuli as each soft-hue transforms into a concert of sweet sonatas. “The harmony of color and form must be based solely upon the principle of the proper contact with the human soul” wrote Wassily Kandinsky, pioneer of non-figurative art. Alexander Kaprichev perfectly reflects this notion in his overwhelming watercolours through an elegant ensemble of shapes that vibrate in a timeless aura. In fact, as in Kandinsky’s “Improvisations” and “Compositions”, Kaprichev’s conceptions astound the viewer who is faced by an emotional synaesthesia provoked by rainbows of pale tints, musical connotations and symmetrical structures: a poem of shapes and atmospheres that seem to arise from distant worlds.

Opposite page: “Untitled” (with detail) Oil on canvas, 153 x 153 cm, 2004-05 25


Alexander Kaprichev

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PICTORIAL EFFUSIONS OF MELODIC SONATAS

Kaprichev’s artistry succeeds in creating a similar breathtaking effect on the spectator of creative comprehensive and admirable communication of spirit conceived not only by the Russian Masters but also by the abstract expressionists. Among his watercolour works, Alexander features abstract interpretations of magical surroundings and a distinctive set of symbols capable of capturing subtle expressions with just a few lines. He explores his inner thoughts through colours and forms, creating compositions characterised by a timeless and unique elegance. In addition, Alexander’s original paintings are characterised by energetically fractional brushstrokes that testify a sensitivity toward portraying light through the use of contrasting warm and cool hues. The immersive fields of colours in many of his paintings often remind us of the Abstract Expressionist movement, in particular Barnett Newman, in that Kaprichev’s skillful touch inspires a similar effect of completeness and harmony. Resolute blocks of correlative colours that possess their own life force, capturing the viewer in a maze of contrasting emotions. Each shade contains a “breath of life” through which the viewer relives the densely structured compositions depicted by Mark Tobey as well as the emotional atmosphere of Willem de Kooning’s abstract masterpieces. Kaprichev’s art has no boundaries in experimentations, styles and spirits, ranging from symbolic oils and vibrant acrylics to meditative watercolours and dynamic drawings. The incredible legacy of this gifted painter will be cherished for years to come.

Elena Foschi Art Historian

Opposite page: “Untitled” Oil and acrylic on canvas, 80 x 64 cm, 1990s 27


Alexander Kaprichev

Above: “The Ladder” Oil and acrylic on canvas, 152 x 137 cm, 2002-03

Opposite page: “Untitled” Mixed media on paper, 100 x 70 cm, 1990s

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Alexander Kaprichev

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“Untitled” Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 57 cm, 2005


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Alexander Kaprichev

“Inspiring Spaces” - Academia Gallery of the National Academy of Arts Sofia, 12th - 28th November 2014

“Untitled” Acrylic on canvas, 66 x 66 cm, 2005

Alexander Kaprichev occupied quite a distinct place in our artistic culture. He can be positioned to a certain extent outside the mainstream trends of the last four decades of the 20th century. Along with that though, in his work we can certainly trace all those concerns and trends which comprise some of the most important, and moreover, avantgarde features of the outlook of the Bulgarian plastic arts from the end of the last and the beginning of the new century. The exhibition at the Academia Gallery of the National Academy of Arts, features works created in England between 1999 and 2006. We can say that this late period of Alexander Kaprichev was a period of true creative maturity and thorough expression of his significant potential as an artist. The large format paintings reveal simultaneously the mastery and dialogue he held between the traditions and the directions of certain trends in modern and contemporary art. The expressed energies, impulses of interfusion and inter-detraction of the colour field and zones are important. The pictorial substance reveals the forces and energies which express visual defined feelings and emotional states, the artist’s spiritual surge, difficult to identify and hidden inner conflicts. Most of those paintings feature bands of colour, frieze-like compositions with active intertwining of vertical and horizontal planes. 32


Kaprichev’s ultimate task was obviously to achieve expressive colour structures by stretching that to the limit. The artist’s hand runs parallel to the natural formative creation. In the large pictures we trace also the dynamic presence of stripes and fringes, as the paint had been left to drip freely. This way of building up the pictorial plastic work embraced the force of gravity together with some of the principles and laws for spontaneous creation. Noteworthy are the small oil paintings, with square or prolonged diagonal formats. Alexander Kaprichev also left for us even smaller square pictures, painted in bands, blended with image elements, which in their improvisational and virtuoso manner of applying the paint are reminiscent of Far Eastern calligraphically drawn hieroglyphs. The late watercolours are lyrical, created with a light wash of paint. Here and there spontaneous lines appear, with brush stroke and plastic emphasis. In some parts the artist leaves the message to the uneven surface, the coarse paper, to the sheet of paper on which the watercolour was placed. Alexander Kaprichev brilliantly demonstrated the boundless expressive options of the non-figurative. The elements of his pictorial language – the dot, the line, the spot, the plane, the form, the colour, the texture – all in numerous, often unpredictable combinations, created a complex, rich, saturated, polyphonic orchestration, building pulsating, dynamic space, continuous metamorphoses of thickening and dispersing of the pictorial substance. Prof. Chavdar Popov Ph.D

“Untitled” 2005 Oil and acrylic on canvas, 51 x 58 cm, 2005 33


Alexander Kaprichev

Above: “Untitled” Oil on canvas, 120 x 98 cm, 1972

Opposite page:“Untitled” Mixed media on paper, 100 x 70 cm, 1990s

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Alexander Kaprichev

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SYMBOLIC WHIRLS OF MEDITATIVE HUES Karen Lappon International Confederation of Art Critics

Alexander Kaprichev’s oeuvre satisfies the finest art lovers: remarkable compositions gracefully combine illusory scenarios and poetical representation in an intense and emblematic optical dance of shades. Every brushstroke captures light, culminating in a faceted and composite pallet reminiscent of the neo-impressionist Ludvig Karsten. Similarly, Kaprichev’s works on canvas recall the innermost sensations inspired in man, giving the observer an intense and deep perspective into the innermost recesses of the soul. Complementary and analogous chromatisms adorn Kaprichev’s pictorial forms, donating an almost mystical touch to his elongated figures that radiate sublime grace and poetic delicacy. The great brilliance and depth of colour highlights the gestural, vibrant and hatching brushstrokes that stimulate our senses consequently completely overwhelmed by the harmony and beauty of Kaprichev’s emotional communication. In fact, his artworks govern an unconventional universe consisting of lost forgotten souls from ancients novels. Angelical figures appear to meander on the pictorial surface with an unforgettable grace and lyricism. Contrasting affections surge in the observer: placidity, nostalgia, joy, impetuosity, apprehension and warmth. Kaprichev deliberately invites us to surrender to the rhythm of universal emotions he interprets with such amiable ability, shaping a new world with such clarity and intellectual integrity. Alberto Giacometti stated: “The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” Kaprichev was a worthy heir to the Great Masters and a lasting legacy to future generations.

Opposite page: “Untitled” Oil and acrylic on canvas, 1990s 37


Alexander Kaprichev

“Untitled” Oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm,1978

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“Untitled” Acrylic on canvas, 45 x 54 cm,1990s

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Alexander Kaprichev

EXHIBITION REVIEW: “WATERCOLOURS” Following the two major exhibitions in 2010, the retrospective exhibition at Varna City Art Gallery and Coloured Music Scrolls of Pictorial Worlds at the Ministry of Culture’s “Sredets” Gallery, this is the third show in which art connoisseurs can see a carefully chosen selection of previously unseen works by the enigmatic artist Alexander Kaprichev. The intimate space of the gallery is vibrant with the artist’s abstract watercolours of varied sizes. They were created in Great Britain between 1999- 2002 while he had the opportunity to work in the artistic atmosphere of studios in Leicester and Birmingham. Developed “as the allusion to or impression of the experience of time lived or time as a continuous process” (in the words of the artist), Alexander Kaprichev structures space in his watercolours harmoniously within purely emotional and intellectual parameters. The artist, constantly trying to pin down the resonant moment, expresses his artistic vision in a harmony of colour, line and the cerulean, spatial geometries of shapes. In these series of watercolours he expresses complex, emotive and meditative dispositions. Some esoteric references can be spotted hinting at the author’s intimate familiarity with the semiotics of shapes and the symbolism of colours characteristic of the modernism of the last ten years.

“Untitled” Watercolour on paper, 2000s 40


GALLERY 8 - VARNA, 1ST - 30TH APRIL 2011 Alexander Kaprichev’s watercolours, left untitled by the artist, are imbued with an air of lavish improvisation, reminiscent of classical music, jazz, poetry or ballet – art genres of which he was both connoisseur and great admirer. The varied format of the exhibited watercolours introduces further diversity and a different rhythm of perception. We devote more time to some of them, while others strike an instant chord with us. In either case, they all transmit the pulsation of the intimate, truly universal and emotive experience of the artist. The pictorial space of his abstractions is strewn with enchanting creativity and deep thought. At times his signature, A.Kaprichev, appears to float in an aura of colour, light, shadows and reflections and thus the abstract world justifies itself to become his unique artistic expression. The more dynamic compositions encode the expression and the inner rhythm of the emotion through free drawing and colour. The selected works from the so called English period include some of the watercolours, shown at the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Artist in Watercolour, London. They are all significant and of great value as in them Sasho Kaprichev has furthered the exquisite skills and techniques of this fine genre in which the sense of colour and the hand of the master come together to achieve full poetic expression of the aesthetic suggestion. The artist enriches the pictorial texture by adding copper, gold, silver and bronze, and he occasionally emphasizes the colour lines with the bright hues of acrylics. The brush lines move over the vibrant, washed surface of the colours on the soft paper, thus liberating our imagination. So discernible is the world of each one of his pictures that while observing them, we feel at one with the artist and his work that impresses with its searching thought, modernist sensitivity and captivating inspiration. Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva Art Critic

“Untitled” Watercolour on paper, 2000s 41


Alexander Kaprichev

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“Untitled” Watercolour on paper, 2000s

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Alexander Kaprichev

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A LYRICAL FLOW OF COSMIC ENERGY Timothy Warrington International Confederation of Art Critics

Alexander Kaprichev’s impressive corpus of paintings shows an evolution in language, style and poetry. Completely astounded, the viewer is impressed by the heterogeneity of pictorial results communicated a whirlwind of brush strokes and intuitive spontaneity of this Bulgarian master. Sometimes reasoned, other times instant, tumultuous and passionate, Alexander navigates his canvases with delicate chromatic harmony alternating between ardent and creative ferocity. The brush strokes never rest, in an endless struggle between curvilinear riddles and angular plasticity. Kaprichev’s artistic influences, parallel and enhanced by his innate passion for music, connect his work to the delicate watercolours by Jean Miotte, one of the founders of pioneering Abstraction Lyrique, a Post-war Modernist movement. Similarly, these two artists materialised and give life to the lyrical flow of jazz, echoing the dynamic art of dance with their inventive lines and gesture. Kaprichev’s forms radiate and vibrate from the canvases, a magical place in which his creative mind gives life to unexpected beauty, producing mysterious scenarios inspired and within the scope of Art Informel. Stylistically speaking, Alexander cannot be said to have identified with a single school or movement. Rather, his artistic career has been characterised as one of persistent research and a lifelong attempt to overcome himself and investigate new artistic mediums. Kaprichev’s gestural nature bears resemblance to Miró’s nebulous forms, spatial shapes, and abstracted objects, floating in a mysterious background impregnated with possibilities and vibrations.

Opposite page: “Untitled” Oil on canvas, 185 x 142 cm, 1980s 45


Alexander Kaprichev

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A LYRICAL FLOW OF COSMIC ENERGY Indeed, Kaprichev’s pictorial space is constituted by recognisable objects and perspectives wisely amalgamated within a realm of hypnotic illusions and fictitious elements. This artist has kept his boundless fantasy within the realm of the “ordinary”, leaving the observer the perception that subjects depicted have always coexisted both in the material sphere and in the evocative pictorial space of Kaprichev’s art. Kaprichev skillfully balanced improvisation with scrupulous precision availing of an elegant, ethereal and multifaceted palette, albeit with the colours that are frequently audacious and highly expressive, in an inexhaustible alternation of divergences. Ergo, Kaprichev’s paintings become mirrors of the artist subconscious, a cryptic nook where the spontaneity of evocative brushwork integrates with a thoughtful compositional structure. Thus, the spectator is absorbed by contemplative paintings enhanced with perspective, depth and glimpses of exquisite technical mastery. Kaprichev directly conveyed emotional impulses on each work, with the veiled aim of moving our senses and influencing the environment around them. Kaprichev’s genius is about liberty of expression, disclosed through primal and instinctual sensations that speak directly to our collective consciousness. The magnificent absence of contrived structures, conceptions and approaches leads to a striking aura of exuberance and vitality where cosmic energy and subjective vigor inescapably intertwine.

Timothy Warrington International Confederation of Art Critics

Opposite page: “Music Cycle” (with detail) Oil and acrylic on canvas, 73 x 56 cm, 1980s 47


Alexander Kaprichev

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Above: “Studio” Oil on canvas, 142 x 192 cm, 1979-80

Opposite page: “Music Cycle” Drawing on paper, 100 x 70 cm, 1989-90

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Alexander Kaprichev

“Untitled” Oil and acrylic on canvas, 43 x 43 cm, 2003-04

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“Untitled” Oil and acrylic on canvas, 66 x 66 cm, 2004

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Alexander Kaprichev

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“Inspiring Spaces” Academia Gallery of the National Academy of Arts Sofia, 12th - 28th November 2014

Prof. Svilen Stefanov Ph.D

Presumably, a great deal can be said about the means of expression and pictorial language in the work of Alexander Kaprichev, about the skilful combinations created through the interaction of lines and brush strokes in his paintings, as well as his complex and expressive colour schemes. Good research has been made and written in this respect by some art critics. However, for some reason his art, remains underestimated to a certain extent. This fact could raise issues, much broader than those of the line and the coloured space in abstract painting. The problem is rooted in the overall understanding of abstraction as such in the development of new and contemporary Bulgarian art, because none of the periods of the twentieth century art and the artistic language in this country reveals the presence of the non-figurative. Moreover, since the middle of the last century, Bulgarian art, traditionally has developed following a course characteristic of the mainstream, ideologically motivated figurative art. Consequently, the idea of abstraction never enjoyed great popularity, not only because of the presence of the socialist realism doctrine, but also due to the complete lack of awareness of the concept of such an art form, in the then limited access to world art. The trend continues through to the 1960s and late 1980s, when innovative approach is traced only in the purely figurative plasticism. Years later the art scene remained the same with only few exceptions. When political changes made their way in the country, one of the alluring opportunities to express opposition turned to be abstract art which until then was considered an inconvenient art form. Yet, the very opportunity to create a non-figurative painting was limited. It seemed, somehow, devoid of the basic “common sense”, lacking the practical concerns of social functioning. In a country in which all graduates with specialised education considered themselves professionals, with certain visual skills, the objectless visual thinking still appeared rather strange.

Opposite page: “Untitled” Acrylic on paper, 212 x 150 cm, 2004-05

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Alexander Kaprichev

“Untitled” (with detail) Oil on canvas, 49 x 49 cm, 1980s

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“Inspiring Spaces” Academia Gallery of the National Academy of Arts Sofia, 12th - 28th November 2014

A characteristic feature of the local understanding of abstraction is that it is not thought of as an act of spontaneous action, or a way of finding means, or a “key” to involve the viewers’ consciousness and sub-consciousness. In this country the abstract was generally interpreted as a continuation in tackling certain plastic principles and problems related to the line, the splash and the colour - considered solely as a combination of all those formal elements. Thus for a long period of time, even fearful thinking of the abstract in Bulgarian art has been related more to the non-figurative decorative art, rather than within the dimensions and impact of idealism and spirituality, that this art form has been traditionally charged with since the appearance of its classical examples in the early twentieth century. Alexander Kaprichev’s art is rather different from the above mentioned conclusions and that is why it has entered an active phase of being shown and critically reviewed. The first thing that impresses us, is the author’s in depth knowledge of the history and development of abstract art. We can talk about a learned painting and knowledgeable abstraction. In modern times, that is the delicate divide between good and mediocre art. There is no way in today’s world, overloaded with information, historical references, quotes and cross-references, to play the role of an outsider, a simple and therefore, sincere artist. Kaprichev’s attitude towards art is clearly intellectual, charged with dynamic sensitivity expressed through the composition and colour. I am not certain which one should come first but then it hardly matters. More important is that we see a unique artist thanks to the fact that he had not only felt the abstract as a combination of shapes and forms in space, but had found that specific spirit of intellectual knowledge which blended with his brilliant individuality. That is the very essence, the hidden meaning of abstract art - to stretch beyond the simple and logical and not to reflect only the ‘socio’ but primarily the individual empathy.

Prof. Svilen Stefanov Ph.D

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Alexander Kaprichev

“Untitled” Oil on canvas, 82 x 120 cm, 1980s

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“Untitled” Oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm, 1980s

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Alexander Kaprichev

I knew Sasho Kaprichev, as we, his friends and colleagues, used to call him, for many years and looking at one of his last photos, with some irony in his smile and a cigar in his mouth, I hear his unspoken words, coming from his writings, catching up with us and time: “The notes you put to paper represent The glance “beyond” And where shall the soul see its reflection? A shadow of a smile followed A hand was stretched out The expression of the eyes, I remember The hand I judged by its… ……Fingers Written in honour to a creative spirit.” Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva Art Critic, National Gallery of Fine Art

Above: “Garden Cornets” Oil and acrylic on canvas, 65 x 55 cm, 1998 Opposite page: “Untitled” Oil on canvas, 45 x 35 cm, 2008

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Alexander Kaprichev

"Art in our century is gasping for tenderness. Abstract art helps in seeing the invisible, To discern the infinite from the defined." Arhile Gorky

“Between 1999 and 2005 [...] Alexander Kaprichev created purely abstract and Informel paintings. They are predominantly large canvases, saturated with the energy of the liberated space, the light and rhythm of the brush strokes, in a plastic language which in style is close to the Tachism and the sweeping gestural brushwork of Georges Mathieu and Hans Hartung as well as the automation of Andre Masson. His paintings are discernible with their complex structure, with the clearly defined geometry of the lines and shapes which interrelate with the colour schemes. That is also the principle in music compositions achieved by harmonising sound, rhythm and volume. His abstractions convey certain associations with the figurative or the landscape, yet focusing on the intensity applied in covering the canvas by masterly painted outlines, lines and colour splashes. They are like vibrating squares and circles, parallel lines, optical and static shapes turning into signs and symbols. The artist’s concept is visually built up by virtual constructions of combined abstract and geometrical elements, thus expressing his ever sensitive spiritual energies in colour. We encounter intellectually charged and philosophically thought over paintings which resound through the liberated pictorial space of the canvas, thus reflecting the creative energy of the artist.� Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva Art critic - August 2015

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Opposite page: “Untitled” Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80 cm, 2004-05

Above: “Untitled” Acrylic on canvas, 121 x 110 cm, 2004-05

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Alexander Kaprichev

“Untitled” Watercolour on paper, 41 x 57 cm, 2000

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“Untitled” Watercolour on paper, 2000s

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Alexander Kaprichev

“[...] The viewer is continuously fascinated by his rich and dynamic vision in which soft shapes and curved lines melt into an intense maze of unknown worlds and unexplored boundaries. We dive straight into the soft hues inspired by the innermost dreams of a painter who amazes in each genre and style he has faced. The texture and the shades could be completely different, but the entire line of work finds a perfect balance and consistency thanks to the endless creativity of this Bulgarian genius. Alexander Kaprichev has the power to reveal a deep and meaningful beauty in few touches of skilled brushwork, enforced by a marvellous palette choice. Whether it’s a watercolour, a drawing or an oil on canvas, one will be influenced by the positivity of Alexander Kaprichev’s masterpieces.” Elena Foschi, 2016 “Alexander Kaprichev: An Endless Talent “, Art News Report

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“The Piano” (with detail) Oil on canvas, 128 x 125 cm, 1980s

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Alexander Kaprichev

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Alexander Kaprichev


ARTWORK ANALYSIS Christopher Rosewood International Confederation of Art Critics

Kaprichev’s inscrutable abstracts appear as poetic metaphors pondered by a sophisticated and reflective creative mind. Chromatic explorations emphasise the potential for intercommunication between distinct states of mind through conflicting and unblended colours who are the nameless protagonists of a captivating pictorial journey into this artist’s deepest subconscious dimension. Echoing Mark Rothko’s priceless masterpieces, Kaprichev’s evocative horizons can be freely interpreted by spectators, in their soft and geometric forms floating on rich fields of hues. Contrasting drops of pure paint slip onto other shades, creating a stimulating window into the consciousness of a multifaceted soul. Alexander’s artistic pathways convey an evolving journey imbued with emotional meanings that he articulated through a diverse range of methods and techniques that enclose elements ranging from symbolism to pure abstraction. Analysing “Untitled”, an acrylic on paper executed in Kaprichev’s British period, specifically between 2004 and 2005, the viewer can clearly perceive a sense of spirituality and mysticism radiating from the explosive pigmentations. On deeper reflection, the luminous and unique palette electrifies the framework, in an enthralling gravitation of cool colours towards warmer chromatisms. Nevertheless, the verticality of the leaking down shades of yellow interrupts the horizontal parallel lines that assemble the background, establishing a balanced grid rich in symbolic appearances and cultural references. Unexcelled Master of colour-field painting Mark Rothko famously describes one’s alliance with colour: “If you are only moved by colour relationships, you are missing the point. I am interested in expressing the big emotions tragedy, ecstasy, doom.” In this way Alexander Kaprichev imagined an absolute communion between himself and the viewer, who has to be moved, excited and amazed by an art form that goes beyond the boundaries of mere aesthetic beauty, tending to a higher substance. Enduringly, Alexander’s radical and inventive style will survive as an eminent contributor in the contemporary art world.

Opposite page: “Untitled” Acrylic on paper, 208 x 150 cm, 2005 69


Alexander Kaprichev

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“The overall impression of Alexander Kaprichev’s art is that it goes beyond abstraction, a step further from the formative relation between colour and shape. It reveals their messages and thus urges us to ‘read’ them, either verbally or visually, to feel the emotion, usually coded in the title or the meaning of the symbols, shapes and colours. When examining the paintings, we can touch upon their profound poetry, to see a wealth of thoughts hidden behind the abstraction. This individual strategy of using the symbols to solve purely artistic problems, creates within Alexander Kaprichev’s art, a kind of dialogue with his creativity which is set to continue over time.” Plamena Dimitrova-Racheva Art Critic

“Untitled” (with detail) Oil and acrylic on canvas, 147 x 137 cm, 2005

Fear, May 1990 71


Alexander Kaprichev

Above: “Untitled” Watercolour on paper, 2000s Opposite page: “Untitled” Watercolour on paper, 2000s

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Alexander Kaprichev

“Untitled” Oil on canvas, 1990s

“[...] One of the most characteristic, distinctive features of Alexander Kaprichev’s artistic style is the balance he achieved between the intellectual content of the imagery and the clearly defined artistic forms through which the content was visually expressed. He never limited himself in the field of purely artistic problems, nor indulged in formative creations and experiments for their own sake. For him every stroke, every line or coloured surface, relates to the specific problem to be tackled in a particular painting, thus being simultaneously a structural component of the language of expression, of the artistic form, and along with that being connected to a significantly broader intellectual sphere [...] 74


In my view, the deep resonance of the greater part of Alexander Kaprichev’s artistic opuses is the contrast and interaction between the forces of attraction and retraction, between the abstract and the figurative principles. I believe this specific “duality” is the hidden, subtle core of the majority of his paintings, particularly of the non-figurative ones. The binary contrasts, formulated as harmony versus conflict, hue-blending versus contrast and so on, are those simultaneously intellectual and artistic, formative elements of the syntax of his pictures, by which means the essence of their visual expression is achieved, as well as their impact on the receptive observer. The pictures are composed of coloured structural surfaces, sometimes geometric, more frequently undetermined. The line in most cases bears an autonomous, architectonic function, the freely splashed coloured surface sometimes acquiring the characteristics of an improvised but masterly painted hieroglyph, while at other times it is left to the whims of the moment.[...] Prof. Chavdar Popov, Ph.D. Varna City Art Gallery, Retrospective Exhibition, 2010

“Untitled” Oil and acrylic on canvas, 1999 75


Alexander Kaprichev

Above: “Untitled” Oil on canvas 131 x 131 cm, 1980s

76

“Untitled” Acrylic on canvas, 152 x 138 cm, 2005


“Untitled” Acrylic on canvas, 47 x 48 cm, 1990s

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Alexander Kaprichev

Alexander Kaprichev at Varna Studios, 1990s

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LIST OF WORKS Untitled - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 73 x 56 cm, 1990-98

5

Silence - Acrylic on canvas, 47 x 37, 1990s

6

Untitled - Watercolour on paper, 41 x 57 cm, 2000

10-11

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 80 x 120 cm, 1980s

16-17

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 185 x 154 cm, 1982-86

18

Untitled - Acrylic on paper, 196 x 150 cm, 2004-05

20

Untitled - Acrylic on paper, 208 x 150 cm, 2004-05

21

Untitled - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 128 x 117 cm, 2004

22

Untitled - Oil an acrylic on canvas, 107 x 92 cm, 2004

23

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 153 x 153 cm, 2004-05

24

Untitled - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 80 x 64 cm, 1990s

26

The Ladder - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 152 x 137 cm, 2002-03

28

Untitled - Mixed media on paper, 100 x 70 cm, 1990s

29

Untitled - Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 57 cm, 2005

30-31

Untitled - Acrylic on canvas, 66 x 66 cm, 2005

32

Untitled - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 51 x 58 cm, 2005

33

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 120 x 98 cm, 1972

34

Untitled - Mixed media on paper, 100 x 70 cm, 1990s

35

Untitled - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 1990s

36

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm, 1978

38

Untitled - Acrylic on canvas, 45 x 54 cm, 1990s

39

Untitled - Watercolour on paper, 2000s

40

Untitled - Watercolour on paper, 2000s

41

Untitled - Watercolour on paper, 2000s

42-43

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 185 x 142 cm, 1980s

44

Music Cycle - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 73 x 56 cm, 1980s

46

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Alexander Kaprichev

LIST OF WORKS Music Cycle - Drawing on paper, 100 x 70 cm, 1989-90

48

Studio - Oil on canvas, 142 x 192 cm, 1979-80

49

Untitled - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 43 x 43 cm, 2003-04

50

Untitled - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 66 x 66 cm, 2004

51

Untitled - Acrylic on paper, 212 x 150 cm, 2004-05

52

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 49 x 49 cm, 1980s

54

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 82 x 120 cm, 1980s

56

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm, 1980s

57

Garden Cornets - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 65 x 55 cm, 1998

58

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 45 x 35 cm, 2008

59

Untitled - Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80 cm, 2004-05

60

Untitled - Acrylic on canvas, 121 x 110 cm, 2004-05

61

Untitled - Watercolour on paper, 41 x 57 cm, 2000 Untitled - Watercolour on paper, 2000s

63

The Piano - Oil on canvas, 128 x 125 cm, 1980s

65

Untitled - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 50 x 78 cm, 1990s Untitled - Acrylic on paper, 208 x 150 cm, 2005 Untitled - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 147 x 137 cm, 2005

80

62-63

66-67 68 70-71

Untitled - Watercolour on paper, 2000s

72

Untitled - Watercolour on paper, 2000s

73

Untitled - Oil on canvas, 1990s

74

Untitled - Oil and acrylic on canvas, 1999

75

Untitled - Oil on canvas 131 x 131 cm, 1980s

76

Untitled - Acrylic on canvas, 152 x 138 cm, 2005

76

Untitled - Acrylic on canvas, 47 x 48 cm, 1990s

77


www.alexanderkaprichev.com

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Alexander Kaprichev

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Profile for Chianciano Art Museum

Alexander Kaprichev - Endless Facets of Fierce Artistry  

Artist Publication

Alexander Kaprichev - Endless Facets of Fierce Artistry  

Artist Publication

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