After having witnessed the professional mastership of the artists in the ‘Colour Lithographs from the USA” exhibition, held at the National Gallery for Foreign Art in 1989, and the tendencies in American visual culture until present days, now the Bulgarian art spectator is offered the opportunity to see a new event - an aesthetically balanced, thought-through and monumentally embodied artistic project. Its mental space, unfolding in the real, turns it into a new social sign and, at the same time, in a metaphor of timelessness. This is the idiom of Sigal Bussel, a young American woman artist who, in her approach to the culture of abstractionism, minimalism and the Cubist principles, has arrived at a distinct voice of her own. It is a voice which prevails over the noise and even the shrill of our ‘commercialized’ environment, impressing us as a silent antithesis of the poster-like images. In this sense, the autobiographically experienced passes over into a procession of signs, dominated by the impersonalized human image. The artist manages to impart this idea at all levels of the plastic treatment, including the dimension of the work turned into an ambivalent element of art. The lively dialogue of the image with the surroundings, in the artist’s words, involves the consciousness of the viewer allowing him “to derive meaning or impose meaning based on the situation in life”. Her images and symbols - signifiers - shift or lose or gain their content when put in different contexts revealing or deconstructing the process by which expression is constructed.
In the process of self-discovery, disregarding the transitory, she actually constructs one single evolving picture - a postmodern transcription of the fresco. This fresco, a mute trace of the ‘Conversation with Humanity’ on the walls of time, can live in various architectural settings precisely because of the minimalist concision and universal poetry of the images. After the spacious halls, where it has been hitherto exhibited, we hope that the idea has found resonance in the specific, more intimate space of our museum.
Conversation with Humanity Director's Forward
Essay by Irina Moutafchieva, Director, National Gallery for Foreign Art
Art is a context, not an achievement. Marcel Duchamp
The art of Sigal Bussel impresses by the pure combination of the composition’s linear rhythm with the emblematic force of colour and the relief-like texture of found objects in the enigmatic anonymity of the profiled silhouette.
The innovative spirit of this exhibition, in itself an art work, prompts us to reflect on the philosophy of contemporary modes of exhibiting, but above all it helps us in the search for a guideline amid the ‘ever-changing’ currents in nowadays art.
Manifestations of this kind open the prospect of gaining further and deeper insight into what is happening in contemporary American art as well of open and enduring cultural relations.