Maria Nalbantova

Maria Nalbantova (b.1990, Sofia, Bulgaria) lives and works in Sofia. She is working in the field of contemporary art, experimenting with various media and techniques such as: collage, objects, installation, video and photography. In her artistic practice she explores social and political topics, often reacting to specific spaces where the context of the place and its particular characteristics are the main line in a site-specific approach to the work. Other times, a story from a peculiar place results in a work of art with found objects or materials, photographs or archives, becoming part of the visual material. The questions that Nalbantova most often asks through her work are related to the possibility and issues of common social life, our attitude to the surrounding environment, care, trust and responsibility that each of us bears. These topics and questions important to our day-to-day life are explored critically and with a distinct sense of humor and irony.

Maria Nalbantova participated in two of the exhibitions of the traveling biennale “Manifesta 14” in Prishtina, Kosovo - the group exhibition “Self-Splaining (Triumph of Empathy)” organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art - Sofia, as well as in the “Center for Narrative Practice” through the invitation of the OGMS Gallery. In September 2022, she participated in the Media Arts Festival “Schmiede”, Hallein, Austria. In August 2022, she participated in the international residency “Art and Science Varna” vol.1. hosted by ReBonkers, Varna, Bulgaria. In March-April 2022, she was an artist in residence at Residency Unlimited in New York as a winner of the BAZA Award for contemporary art (Bulgaria) in 2020. In 2021 she was granted a scholarship at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria. At the beginning of 2020 she was selected by the Sariev Gallery in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) after an open call, to transform the gallery space into her studio for a month, resulting in her solo exhibition “hybrid-pure”. She won the special young visual artist award of Stoyan Kambarev Foundation in 2020. Her works are part of the collection of Sofia City Art Gallery and private collections.

Her solo shows include: “Bookmarks (Sofia)” (2022), curated by Dimiter Kenarov, Capital library and Center for Contemporary Arts “Toplocentrala”, Bulgaria; "Tracing the Hidden Memories - Bookmarks (New York)" (2022), curated by Maryam Ghoreishi, Residency Unlimited, New York; US; "Post-tools" (2021-2022), curated by Viktoria Draganova, foryouandyourcustomers, Sofia, Bulgaria; "A Good Deal" (2021), UniCredit Studio, Sofia, Bulgaria; "Drought" (2021), Intro Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria; "hybrid-pure" (2020), Sariev Gallery, Plovdiv, Bulgaria; "Weather Forecast" (2018), curated by Daniela Radeva, Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

Selected recent group exhibitions include: "BUNKER 22" (2022), curated by Liana Dimitrova, Ralitsa Gerasimova, Christo Kuzmanov, 59 Rivoli, Paris, France;“Self-Splaining (Triumph of Empathy)” (2022), organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art - Sofia as a partner in the Western Balkans Project of Manifesta 14, Gallery of the Faculty of Arts, Prishtina, Kosovo; Participant in an exhibition organized by the OGMS Gallery (2022), “Center for Narrative Practice”, Manifesta 14, Prishtina, Kosovo; "Over the past year" (2022), Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria; “Spontaneous connections between unrelated phenomena, Exhibition of the 2008-2021 BAZA award winners” (2022), curated by Marina Slavova, Structura Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria; "Sedimentation" (2021), curated by Veronika Čechová, AVU Gallery, Prague, CZ; "US and THEM" (2021), curated by Nathalie Hoyos and Rainald Schumacher, Kapanа Gallery, Plovdiv, Bulgaria; "In Defence of Solid Material" (2021), curated by Vesselina Sarieva, Sarieva Gallery, Plovdiv, Bulgaria; "The Possible Institution" (2021), curated by Viktoria Draganova, Swimming Pool, Sofia, Bulgaria; "The herbarium as a place for storing ideas" (2021), curated by Irina Batkova, Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria; "InSitu-Institute" (2020), Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia; "ReForget Your Past" (2019), curated by Nikola Mihov, Contemporary space, Varna; "Good Mirrors Are Not Cheap" (2019), curated by Chiara Cartuccia, Goethe-Institut Bulgaria; "The Goods of Time" (2019), curated by Anastasya Skvortsova, Goethe-Institut Bulgaria; "Interconnection: On Bodies of Water" (2019), curated by Veronika Čechová and Tereza Jindrová, Swimming Pool - Sofia, Bulgaria.