"His work is constantly on the rise. Eternally searching and restless, the artist Iliya Milkov works with a youthful ardour, dedicated to one ideal - art." Nikolay Dabov
It is а great pleasure for Art Gallery Le Papillon to present from November 24 to December 11, 2022, in the exhibition hall at Dragoman 12, part of the vast pictorial work of Iliya Milkov. The occasion is the celebration of the 95th anniversary of the birth of the emblematic artist, known as one of the best masters of landscape painting in our country. Paintings from the period 1986 to 2008 have been selected for the exhibition, including large works that participated in regional General Art Exhibitions typical of the period up to the 1990s, presenting the best works of the participants.
Iliya Milkov is a highly recognizable artist, not only with his typical distinctive elements, such as the peculiar silhouette of the houses, the leafless crowns of the bizarrely inclined trees, creating dynamics of the composition, but also with the emotions that always overwhelm the viewer's consciousness when in contact with his art. His paintings are a harmonious symbiosis of constructed colors. They are vivid in the last years of his creative growth and searches in halftones and masks, they influence strongly and directly, excite and give rise to emotional excitement. They bring a feeling of sincere joy of life and excitement from the vast possibilities of achieving natural harmony, the moments and states of which he sealed in his many canvases. Iliya Milkov is an original artist who grew up in the difficult war years. Following his constant quest to explore painting and the forms of color balances, he leaves behind a wealth of works that delight the senses. He was the chairman of the Union of Pleven artists for 20 years, presented in numerous exhibitions in and outside the country, winner of many awards, including the Order of "Cyril and Methodius" I and II degree, over time he left the mark of a highly erudite person, causing inspiration.
Iliya Milkov has been valued in collectors' circles for years, loved and liked by the general public as well, and rediscovered by many young art connoisseurs. His contribution to the enrichment of our contemporary fine art is indisputable - not only with the variety of his numerous works left after the artist's life, but also with the influence he exerts on the worldview and color perception of a large part of Bulgarian artists, who still inspires. Prof. Jurova says about him: "Our modern landscape art is also rich with the contribution of Iliya Milkov - this consistent in his life and artistic path Pleven artist, master of landscape and color magic."
The current exhibition does not have the ambition of a retrospective of his work. Its realization is a very difficult and almost impossible task, not only due to the large volume and periods through which his path passes, but also due to the fact that the works from his early monochrome and white period are owned by municipal and city galleries in the country. Another large part are the possessions of many of his admirers and collectors, not only within Bulgaria, but also beyond the borders of Europe. The exhibition includes works in his aesthetics and harmony. Our goal is to present an unseen diversity and a sincere expression of an artist dedicated to beauty in art with landscape paintings, representative of the author's work. With this exhibition, we honor his personality with an exciting selection of works from different periods, including canvases from 1986 to some of Iliya Milkov's last works painted in 2008. We have the opportunity to enjoy 15 wonderful landscapes, each of them reflecting the deep soulfulness and emotionality of an artist, you have the senses and the talent to recreate in colorful harmonies any urban, rural or industrial landscape with incomparable feeling, warmth and genuineness. His colors feature a rich complexity, showing through the layered masks beneath them, often very bright – deep pink, deep blue, yellow, but the overall feeling is one of softness, richness of color, depth and a jazzy melody of hues. His colors are carriers of moods, not so much the concreteness of the place ("Landscape in green", "Landscape in red", "City landscape", "The road to the temple"). Sometimes his landscapes bring the atmosphere of that Bulgaria, which little by little is lost.