Lyuben Zidarov. 100 Years. A Retrospection | Exhibition presented by the Union of Bulgarian Artists


8 February – 23 March 2024
Opening: 8 February 2024 (Thurs), 6:00 pm, Union of Bulgarian Artists, 6 Shipka Street, Hall 2А
Over the years, my creative task have been more than two hundred books, many of them illustrated and republished several times. I am happy that they have become my spiritual connection to several generations of readers.
Lyuben Zidarov
The Union of Bulgarian Artists celebrates the 100th birth anniversary of Lyuben Zidarov (23 December 1923 – 3 January 2023), an artist with a remarkable legacy in Bulgarian art. Having devoted over seven decades to the art of book, he is one of the most recognisable and beloved Bulgarian illustrators. Recognised as one of the modern trend setters in Bulgarian illustration in the 1960s, Lyuben Zidarov is also one of the founders of the drawn comic book in Bulgaria and of the first Bulgarian illustrated children's magazine Slaveiche (1957). Zidarov has illustrated hundreds of books – world and Bulgarian classical literary works, to name a few: Hans Christian Andersen's stories and fairy tales, One Thousand and One Nights (The Tales of Scheherazade), Treasure Island, Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, Hoffmann's Tales, adventure novels by Jules Verne, Thomas Mayne Reid and Karl May, the tales of Nikolay Raynov and Angel Karaliychev, poetry for children by the Bulgarian authors Asen Raztsvetnikov, Leda Mileva, Asen Bosev and many other.
Lyuben Zidarov's contribution was awarded with the Great Prize for illustration of the Union of Bulgarian Artists named after Boris Angelushev (1976), the Great Prize for overall creativity and special contribution in the field of culture of Sofia City Municipality (2014); the Golden Age Award of the Ministry of Culture (2016). In 2021, Sofia City Municipality announced him as an Honorary Citizen of Sofia, and the National Academy of Art awarded him with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa. His talent is appreciated all over the world – he has been nominated twice for the International Andersen Award and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, he has won a silver and gold medal at the book fairs in Leipzig, Moscow and Bratislava.
A painter with a characteristic, inimitable satirical-poetic style, combining humour and fairy-tale aesthetics, the artist has left a remarkable legacy in the field of easel painting, watercolour and artistic textiles. Having graduated with a degree in Painting from the Academy of Arts (1948), Lyuben Zidarov never abandoned his "first love" – the illustration for children and adults. Remaining in creative condition until the end of his life, he was most likely also the oldest actively working illustrator in the world.
The exhibition includes paintings and watercolour works owned by the National Gallery, Sofia City Art Gallery, the art galleries in Plovdiv, Kazanlak, Veliko Tarnovo, Shumen, Stara Zagora, Dobrich, Varna, Ruse, Pleven, Lovech, Pazardzhik, Targovishte, Kardjali, Smolyan, Vratsa, the Museum of the National Academy of Art, Museum of Humour and Satire – Gabrovo, the Museum of the Ministry of Interior, private collections, and the artist's family, books with the original illustrations, as well as daily screenings of the film "The Magic Mirror of Lyuben Zidarov" directed by Maria Nikolova.
This project is implemented with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.