Wilfrid Almendra is an artist of French and Portuguese origin who lives and works in Marseille. This year, he has been the first artist invited to participate in the new initiative for sculpture residency in Bulgaria, the Sariev+Markov Sculpture Project, which launched in March. The initiative aims at inviting international artists, who will create works of art and will present them in the public space in Bulgaria. This will not only enhance the presence of art in the city, but will also highlight its role for teaching attitude and developing the dialogue with the public. Vaska Emanouilova gallery is a partner in the educational part of the residency and was a co-organiser of a one-day workshop with students, which artist Wilfrid Almendra conducted at the end of March in the form of a long walk from the central part to Sofia’s northernmost residential quarter – Trebich.
Employing various materials, Wilfrid Almendra creates works in which the harmonious eclecticism of the shapes and matter originate from extensive observation, analysis and the artist’s experiences. Almendra is interested not only in the physical, but also in the social and cultural origin of the materials. In his works, they express economic and class relationships, historical motifs, political and cultural characteristics of architecture, etc. Within the sculpture residency in Bulgaria, the author created a new work, the sculpture VLZ310 Later, whose name was borrowed from a lawnmower model, expressing the consumer’s dream of a home and a garden as an embodiment of suburban happiness. The work itself will be exhibited and opened in the urban environment in Sofia in September 2019.
Within the current presentation at Veska Emanouilova gallery, the spectators will be able to familiarise themselves with the drawings and sketches showing the artist’s thought process, as well as with documents and texts about his work. They will also be able to see a short film showing the entire process of creating a work of art, the motivation of different people to support projects for art in the public space and sequences from the workshop held in March.
The event is part of the Sariev+Markov Sculpture Projects initiative of Sariev Gallery and Markovstudio, which is implemented in cooperation with the Art and Public Space programme of Veska Emanouilova gallery, branch of SCAG.
Wilfrid Almendra’s visit to Bulgaria is at the invitation of Sariev Contemporary gallery as part of the Sariev+Markov sculpture projects.
Sariev+Markov Sculpture Projects is a joint initiative of Sariev Contemporary gallery and Markovstudio, which aims at establishing a field for creation and presentation of sculptural projects for the public space, as well as an environment for discussion and development of such projects through various activities (residency, educational module consisting of conversations, workshop, doors open days, as well as exhibition and cooperation with public institutions).
The first of the Sariev+Markov sculpture projects are implemented in partnership with the French Institute, Sofia municipality, Sofia City Art Gallery and its branch Vaska Emanouilova gallery, and the Open Arts foundation.
The project is financed under the Culture programme of Sofia Municipality.
For more about the initiative and other events from the programme, see here
About Wilfrid Almendra: his recent solo exhibitions include exhibitions at Clark House, Bombay (2018); Centre Bastille, Grenoble (2018); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017); Fogo Island Arts, Canada (2016); Chelles art center; Paris (2014); Passerelle art center, Brest; Fondation d'Entreprise Ricard, Paris, and Parc Saint Léger art center (2013). His works are included as parts of a number of international exhibitions, including Singing Stones, Dusable Museum, Chicago, USA (2017); Souvenir du XXIème siècle, Paris (2016); MuThe Other Sight, CAC Vilnius (2015); Let's Play, part of Playtime, Les Ateliers de Rennes biennale; The Brancusi Effect, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Parapanorama, Palais de Тokyo, Paris (2014); Fieldwork, Marfa gallery, Texas, USA; Vue d’en haut, Centre Pompidou, Metz (2013); Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Prestige, Culture Communication Center, Klaipeda, Lithuania (2012); Making is Thinking, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011); Perpetual Battles, Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow; Retour vers le futur, CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux (2010).
More information about Wilfrid Almendra here
The Art and Public Space programme of Vaska Emanouilova gallery, a branch of Sofia City Art Gallery, aims at paying attention to the understanding of art in the public space, as well as of its social and cultural mission.
More information here
Sariev Contemporary is a gallery set up in 2011 by Katrin Sarieva and Vesselina Sarieva in Plovdiv. The gallery represents artists with international careers and supports the development of young artists. Sariev Contemporary is considered one of the most important places for presentation of contemporary art in Bulgaria and one of the most recognisable Bulgarian galleries internationally. The activities of the gallery have always exceeded its physical space, which can be seen from the large number of satellite projects and external initiatives in the Sariev history, united under the name LAB, including educational initiatives, public space projects, projects for young artists, research in the field of art, rediscovery of artists, work with archives, and development of publics.
More about the gallery here
Markovstudio was set up in 1999 as a family business by the sculptor Marin Markov. Over the years, Markovstudio has created a reputation owing to its high-quality production for some of the leading artists today, such as Paul McCarthy, Richard Jackson, Jason Rhoades, as well as Sam Durant, Vanessa Beecroft, Stefan Nikolaev, Nedko Solakov, and many others.
More about Markovstudio here