Streich

The sixth exhibition from the programme of SOFIA PAPER ART FEST 2021 is the jubilee exhibition of the sculptor Todor Todorov – founder of Amateras Foundation. Todor Todorov has been a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists since 1984 as well as of 10 international professional organizations in Europe and Asia. During his 70-year journey he has won 21 prizes and he is known mainly with his monumental works around the globe. His art is characterized by а non-traditional approach in his small-scale and monumental works. He created a theory for the sculpture and the classical elements – “The Elemental Sculpture”.

His last series will be presented at the marvelous space of Rayko Alexiev Gallery. In recent years, Todor has started to create interactive soniferous sculptures, thus the series “Streich” was conceived. The collection has been realized for the last three years and reflects the love of the artist for the music that had been an important inspiration during his student life. The artworks are encouraged by the symbiosis between the performer and the instrument and Todor himself says:

“I noticed that many musicians start to resemble their own instruments.”

Here is what his longtime friend and sculpture connoisseur, the art historian Boris Danailov has written about Todor:  

“…It is hard to generalize about the universe which is Todor Todorov’s oeuvre. That is due in part to the idiosyncrasies acquired along the road already behind TT. Another reason is the sheer magnitude and diversity of that universe: a diversity in materials, functional characteristics, social dimensions, technical and tеchnological specificities.

Todor Todorov looks at the world and talks with the world via his sculptures. That’s why there is in their fire and light, water, stone, and metal – but also statics and dynamics,  movement and stillness, and small and large forms, and figurative and abstract, lightness and heaviness, balance and breathtaking imbalances.

Curiously enough, and unlike most cases, TT’s place in our artistic and cultural space is not due to some repetitive stylistic manner (or mannerism), easily recognizable as a trademark would be. On the contrary: it is realized that at a certain juncture, in certain complicated and singular circumstances, only Todor Todorov could have produced that singular piece of art.

In this exhibition Todor Todorov surprises – again. On two fronts. The first is that we are presented with a sculptural series, openly constructed around one and the same theme; and not vv.: a multitude of works that gradually build up and flesh out some thematic announcement. With authors such as Todorov, a series dedicated to a single theme is a rare thing. The second surprise comes from the treatment. It is tied to the specific meaning of the musical term Streich.  The bow-and-strings are fundamental to orchestration and their numbers and composition are subject to the strict rules of sound characterization. The Streich is massive in terms of the number of instruments and diverse as to registers, size, and allocation. String instruments may perform solo, in groups or the full orchestral ensemble, displaying both individuality and repetitiveness, which is one of TT’s motives for making a sculptural series.

 TT’s talent creates the opportunity for a multi-layered experience, allowing the spectator the rare pleasure of oscillating between the two main theses, that of the musical instrument, creator of sounds, and of man, the creator of the music.

The shape unfolds with mathematical logic as in origami and puts one in mind of the unfolding harmonies of Bach. These musical humanoid shapes are very categorically cut as to silhouette and proportion, and that clarity of stylization makes them akin to totem poles! But totem/s of what? Of matters musical or human?

With this exhibition, Todor Todorov displays yet again his unstoppable evolution in the wide range of approaches typical for him.”