The official record and the receptive field: Zlatyu Boyadzhiev in Communist times

Gupta, Suman and Katsarska, Milena (2010). The official record and the receptive field: Zlatyu Boyadzhiev in Communist times. Konsthistorisk Tidskrift/Journal of Arts History, 79(1) pp. 1–17.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00233601003640053

Abstract

This paper begins by observing that art from former Eastern Bloc countries which was celebrated and received official approval within the communist period tends to be neglected now. However, the role that such art played at the time was more complex than is currently presumed. By way of illustrating this, the paper first gives details of art policy during the communist period in Bulgaria, and then examines closely the reception of Zlatyu Boyadzhiev’s (19031976) highly regarded paintings in his lifetime. An account is given of the often unexpected ways in which his paintings (especially from the later period)were perceived as disturbing closelylinked aesthetic and ideological expectations, and how critics dealt with such perceptions.

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