Ivan Penkov as a Stage Designer at National Theatre and Theatre Studia in the 1920s Cover Image
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Иван Пенков като сценограф в Народния театър и театър „Студия” през 20-те години на ХХ век
Ivan Penkov as a Stage Designer at National Theatre and Theatre Studia in the 1920s

Author(s): Rozaliya Gigova
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts, Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Visual Arts
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: This article is an in-depth study of an understudied aspect of the artistic out- put of eminent Bulgarian painter Ivan Penkov (1897–1957), i.e. his work as a designer of theatrical scenery and costumes at the National Theatre and Theatre Studia in the 1920s in Sofia. my work on this aspect of his oeuvre and career included research conducted in museums and art galleries across Bulgaria such as the National Art Gallery, Sofia Art Gallery, Kazanluk Art Gallery and Stara Zagora Art Gallery as well as a number of private collections and archives, mostly the painter’s archive kept by his heirs and that of the National Theatre. In this context, the archive of Christan Tsankov, kept at the Central State Archives, is of paramount significance providing a number of documents, sketches of sets, reviews and photos of performances designed by Ivan Penkov. The work of Ivan Penkov at these two Sofia theatres is treated in this article as closely related to the innovative processes within the 1920s Bulgarian theatre, influenced by advanced European theatres and mostly, by the innovative ideas of Reinhard and Meyerhold. Graduating from the Royal Academy of Arts in Munich, Ivan Penkov was very well acquainted with the existing art trends in drama. Thus what is witnessed in the 1920s scenographic work of Ivan Penkov is on the one hand interweaving of Symbolist concepts with the concepts of Sezession and on the other hand, expression of constructive scenographic solutions and artistic laconism, while in the late 1920s, the decorative stylised trends subsided gradually in his work as a whole and in his scenographic solutions in particular. In the 1930s, Constructivism got the upper hand and prevailed as an art movement in the scenographic work of Ivan Penkov.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 35-46
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Bulgarian