Alcheh, a real legend

Alcheh, a real legend

by Svetlin Roussev

Our generation associated Alcheh’s name above all with a powerful expressive Anvers Landscape, a subtle and evocative Venice, and a landscape with Vineyard (all three at the National Art Gallery). Still, his name and his art constantly came up in meeting and conversation with his friends from the Association of New Artists. Thanks to Stoyan Sotirov, Ivan Nenov, Boris Ivanov, Vera Nedkova and Vaska Emanouilova, his presence was very much alive and tangible. People spoke of his paintings with respect and admiration, along with the inevitable disillusionment of a period in which very few talented authors remained unaffected. I don’t know who was more thrilled and excited when Alcheh accepted our invitation and brought his unknown works from Argentina – those who loved and appreciated him as a person and an artist, or he himself, the exile who returned home amidst old and a new friends after so many harrowing years! In some strange way, his works forms Argentina were connected to the expressive power of Anvers. And the quiet pictorial poetics of the Vineyards had evolved into powerful, vibrant and intense painting. An oeuvre that proved consistent in its differences, in the richness of subject, of plastic and emotional states.

Space in Alcheh’s work mastered as an organic pictorial alloy changed with the intense, magnetic power of colour. Nature is present as a beginning of the creative urge and as and end of the plastic problem.

Be it a figure, landscape still life, the painting and the pictorial structure is based not on colour as such, but on colour as a structure, as a dynamic and expressive matter domed and developed from the core outwards, powerful and consummate as a complete spiritual.

With due consideration for the provisional nature of the terms, if there is anyone whose art of painting may be defined as truly artistic, then this is most certainly Alcheh.

Everything – from the internal structure of the composition, from the organization and categorical structuring of space, from the initial occasion to emotional completion – is governed by the artistic principle. Alcheh never flaunts his abilities; he never employs technical devices for their own sake or things that would be at odds with the artist’s natural insight and he depth of the artistic problem.

Although most of Alcheh’s paintings superficially seem crude and raw, what they actually strive to represent is not the superficially beautiful but the artistically and structurally significant, the emotionally and spiritually unique…

Alcheh’s creative return today is not less important and valuable for Bulgarian culture than that in the early 1970s. In the resent context of global artistic and spiritual chaos, Alcheh’s art is a reliable measure of the lasting and immutable artistic and human truths with which the life of the artist passes through time to remain ion Eternity.

Svetlin Roussev
October 2008