“The meaning of life is in the perfection of the human spirit, and the highest manifestation of the spirit is art, through which the artist, in moments of inspiration, touches God” – Hristo Panev
Hristo Panev is one of the greatest and well-known artists in contemporary Bulgarian art. His know-how is in the disciplines of painting, graphics, illustration, book design and monumental arts.
His painting is characterized by expressionism, rich colour range, genre and thematic variety. It is influenced by the Bulgarian iconography and most of all by the Bulgarian fresco painting. It is characterized by the following cycles: Frescoes, Mythological and Bible scenes, Life topics: love, motherhood, music. One of his favourite themes that he has repeatedly developed is “Don Quixote”, a series of paintings inspired by the Bulgarian folk songs, as well as the memories of his childhood. He loves creating complex compositions and skilfully handles the quintessential means of contemporary painting.
His graphical drawings are characterized by a simple line and proximity to the poetic art.
His monumental works are in the disciplines of graphite and dry fresco, with the graphites created by him and his brother, Pancho Panev, competing with the Guinness book of records by numbers.
Hristo Panev is an ever learning scholar, an eternally seeking, restless spirit in contemporary Bulgarian art.
Born in 1942 in the village of Krepost, Haskovo region, he graduated the “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University of Veliko Tarnovo in 1969 and became a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists in 1976.
Solo exhibitions in Bulgaria: Pernik /1973/; Dimitrovgrad /1977, 2002, 2005, 2010, 2015,2017/; Pavlikeni /1983/; Gabrovo /2003/; Plovdiv /2004/; Haskovo /1989, 1996, 2010/; Ruse /1997/; Nessebar /2004/; Shabla /2011/; Veliko Tarnovo /1971, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2012,2015, 2018, 2019/; Dryanovo /2010/; Lovech /2011/; Varna /2001, 2011/; Sofia /1987, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2018/ Velingrad /2019/.
Solo exhibitions abroad: Germany – Hameln /1991/; Hanover /1992, 1996/; Munster /1992/; Hamelburg /1993,2002/; Musingen /1997, 1998/; Switzerland – Bern /1993/; Bremgarten /1993/; Austria – Vienna /1994/; Slovakia – Snina /2002/; Hungary – Budapest /2003, 2004, 2015/; Croatia – Grosnian /2005/; Italy – Rome /2006/; Cortona /2010/; Turkey – Istanbul /2011/, The United Kingdom – London /2016/, Romania – Bucharest /2016/; Azerbaijan – Baku /2019/.
International salons for innovation – Sofia /1997/ – gold medal; USA – Pittsburgh/ 1998/ – gold medal; Cyprus /1998/ – gold medal; Casablanca /1998/ – silver medal.
2002 – Honorary citizen of Dimitrovgrad.
2006 – Winner of the Veliko Tarnovo Award.
2011 – Member of the International Academy of Arts at UNESCO, “New Era”.
2011 – First international art exhibition of members of the International Academy of Arts at UNESCO, “New Era” at the Central Music School in Moscow.
2012 – Participant in the exhibition “Many-Faced Russia” in Vladimir.
2013 – Winner of the medal for “Artist of the New Century” in the “Artist of the Year” category by the International Academy of Arts at UNESCO, “New Era” at the academy’s exhibition in Istanbul, for his contribution to the development of the contemporary European art.
2013 – Winner of the medal for “1150 Years since the Creation of the Russian Republic” by the Russian Academy of Arts in Moscow.
2013 – Award for a contemporary portrait in the “Inspiring Work” category at the III International Art Exhibition in Gabala, Azerbaijan.
2013 – Honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts in Moscow.
2013 – Diploma for participation in the exhibition “Many-Faced Russia” in Kazan, organized by the Russian Academy of Arts.
2013 – Award of the “Bulgarian Order of the Second Degree” for his contribution to the development of the city of Veliko Tarnovo in the fields of culture and art.
2018 – Winner of the “Golden Palette” award by the International Academy of Arts at UNESCO, “New Era” for his achievements in painting, graphic arts and monumental arts and for professionalism in his works on the international stage.
2019 – Award of the “Order of Cyril and Methodius – First Degree” by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev for his achievements in the fields of culture and art.
His works can be seen in the National Art Gallery, the Sofia City Art Gallery, almost all of the regional art galleries in Bulgaria and in many private collections in Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, USA, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, Greece and other countries.