Sariev Gallery was founded by Katrin Sarieva and Vesselina Sarieva in 2004 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city, initially as a Centre for photography and conceptual ceramics.
In its fifth year, the gallery’s growth led us on to develop it as a space for contemporary art, and in 2011 it was officially renamed as Sariev Contemporary.
Along the way, Katrin and Vesselina Sarievi established two other independent organizations which are closely related to the idea of the gallery: the Open Arts Foundation (est. 2007) and the artnewscafe (est. 2008).
In 2014 Sariev Contemporary opened its second exhibition space, the Sariev Project Space, in Plovdiv’s Kapana Quarter, which is dedicated to the platform Background: Young Artists and to new collaborations.
Since 2011 Sariev Contemporary has built a representative list of Bulgarian-born artists and committed itself to promoting Bulgarian contemporary art internationally and locally through establishing a new model for a contemporary art gallery in the country.
The gallery features mainly solo exhibitions centered around a clearly expressed concept by an artist and/or curator, developed especially for Sariev Contemporary. Our artists are internationally recognized, with crucial contributions to the art of the transitional 1980’s and 90’s, as well as young artists at the beginning of their career. We annually organize a Background: Young Artists exhibition.
Throughout the years Sariev Contemporary has collaborated with numerous curators, including: Iara Boubnova, Jacob Racek, Svetlana Kuyumdzieva, Vera Mlechevska, Vessela Nozharova, Vladia Mihaylova, Maria Vassileva and recently Walter Seidl and Bettina Steinbrugge.
In addition to publishing artists' and exhibition catalogues and booklets, we’ve also commissioned the first bilingual history of Bulgarian contemporary art by art historian Vessela Nozharova (due 2014).
The need for creating a context and knowledge of contemporary art in Bulgaria has motivated us to develop two para-platforms in partnership with curators and art critics: the annual educational course Introduction to Contemporary Art and the Collectors’ Forum, whose first edition was in 2011.
Our artnewscafe, which runs its own cultural program of exhibitions, screenings and talks, some of which co-organised with Sariev Contemporary, is right next to the Sariev exhibition space. The café is subscribed to international art magazines and maintains a small library of art and design publications, with a selection of books, catalogues and zines for sale.