Olga Bulgakova belongs to the generation of artists of the 1970s. The exhibition presents artworks of the different periods and allows the viewer to trace all aspects of development and exploration of the artist, beginning from the themes turned to theatrical characters, up to the abstract series and cycles "Names", "Matriarchy" and "Bible Sketches". With change of subject matter, the plastic language of the artist and the attitude toward subject and details varies. Bulgakova goes through an internally reflected cycle, from the detailed surface through fading and disappearance of a subject, before its occurrence in new a quality, brought in by new experiences.

Early works by Bulgakova are richly filled with allegoric, metaphorical images searching for a code of visual language – allegories, transformations, and allusions – in a desire to tell more than what is noticeable at first sight. In her early complex-built paintings, the artist gives a great importance to fine details, executed with artistic meticulousness. Rich in imagery, Bulgakova’s works as a stop action frame capture a moment in a constant transformation of the Universe. Combining elements of symbolism and surrealism, Bulgakova constructs her paintings on the intensity of coexistence of opposite extremes and remains open to a multiplicity of interpretations. Her paintings reflect her own personal philosophy and her private world.

Bulgakova’s paintings strike and amaze the viewer’s imagination. Mysterious women, birds, and phantasmagoric dwarfs are frequent characters in her works from the late 1980s and 1990s. Bulgakova does not insist on the certain interpretation of her paintings; she invites viewers to participate in a dialogue with the artwork, allowing them their own interpretation. What grasps imagination of the artist? It is the moment in the middle of constant metamorphosises. A bird – an ancient symbol of spiritual rebirth and human soul. Like angels, birds often are a sign on the precipitancy and infinity of spiritual process. Bulgakova constantly creates her paintings on ambivalence of meanings.

The mystery of life and inevitability of destiny is the subject of a series of Bulgakova paintings. Bulgakova’s works are filled with mystery, intrigue and enigma. Combinations of elegant fine details, textures, and elements of game, use of symbols, interaction of color and surprising imagination of the artist contributes to the unique character of her painting from the 1970s through the 1990s.

Bulgakova’s internal experiences and her own reconsideration of positions led to significant changes in her works starting at the end of the 1990s. Figurative elements are minimalized before fully disappearing in an abstract cycle. Eventually abstract experiences of the artist are transformed and the circle appears in a cycle of works "Archaisms". Later the circle is reincarnated in a powerful plastic sign in the series "Names". The Name as a symbol archetype appears already in the new quality, executed in color contrasts, expressive powerful brush strokes, simultaneously personifying concrete and infinite.

In her latest series, Bulgakova addresses the biblical theme of "Return of the Prodigal Son" (2007). Connecting abstract symbols and figurative elements, Bulgakova unites the creative explorations of last decades. Her art searches are very organic, as the primary motif is the internal need for the creativity which gives rise to an emotional condition, ultimately realized in paintings. The Kolodzei Art Foundation is pleased to take part in presentation of art of Olga Bulgakova and invites the viewer to join the world of the artist to reflect and meditate on the works of this fine master.

Natalia Kolodzei
executive Director Kolodzei Art Foundation