Darina Yaneva. Peeking through the tenderness

Dechko Uzunov House Museum

18.5.2024 — 9.6.2024

Dr. Milen Alagenski
Georgi Sharov
Joanna Bradshaw
Lora Sultanova
Tour guide
Dora Zarcheva

Art Gallery Kazanlak is pleased to present pastels by Darina Yaneva in two separate exhibits: A shared mystery in the main building and Peeking through the tenderness in the Dechko Uzunov House Museum. Originally from Kazanlak, Darina is one of the artists deeply connected with her hometown. This solo show is an intimate gesture towards her home audience in Kazanlak, including them in her jubilee celebration by her choice of venue.

Darina Yaneva spent her childhood between Kazanlak and the village of Assen, where her grandfather had a pottery studio. From the village, you can see the panoramas of the southern slopes of the Balkan Mountains, which seem to encourage contemplation, reflection, and a reckoning of the scale of our consciousness against the monumentality of the mountain. Carrying these early impressions with her, Darina visited China in 2019. And if this visit tentatively separates her two exhibits chronologically, the Eastern influence is perhaps more felt in the paintings hung in the main building.

In Peeking through the tenderness we encounter a room-scale exhibition with smaller formats which convey the intimate nature of the exhibit. The works carry with them the harmony of the moment, something also introduced by the pastel technique. The artist has captured those inconspicuous moments in which the elements of nature are quietened. These are liminal shots in which the world reveals its diversity, part of a harmonious universe.

A shared mystery is about the technology of execution and discipline, about personal responsibility towards the creation of painting. What is remarkable is Yaneva’s ability to ‘seal’ the feeling of the moment into small drawings on paper, which she meticulously transfers to the bigger sheet. The formats are large, achieving monumentality (despite the resistance of her chosen technique). The images in the painting impact with the power of objects, perhaps influenced by the scale of what is seen in China.

What sets Darina Yaneva apart from the pack is her ability to capture and give form to our sensations. ‘What is essential is invisible to the eye,’ wrote Exupéry. ‘Light comes from the East,’ the artist responds in the spirit of Zen philosophy. The artist manages to turn painting into a practice of penetrating to the essence of what surrounds us, and in this way she transforms the world around her.  

—— Darina Yaneva was born in Kazanlak, where she graduated from ‘Academician Dechko Uzunov’ National High School of Plastic Arts and Design. She continued her studies at the National Academy of Art in Ceramics in the class of prof. Venko Kolev. She is an artist with over 35 years of experience in the field of ceramics, painting and monumental arts. To date she has held over 30 solo exhibitions. In 2002 she was nominated among the 10 best master pastel artists in the world, presented in the international specialised publication Pastel Artist International. In 2002, she was nominated among the 10 best master pastel artists presented in the worldwide specialist magazine Pastel Artist International. She is one of the founders and co-organizers of the International Artists, Balchik, Love Festival. Yaneva is the founder and head of the DAYA Creativity Academy for Children.