• 55th Secondary School, façade mosaic, Kolyu Getsov and Mihalis Garudis

Kolyu Getsov and Mihalis Garudis, façade mosaic

55th Secondary School

Tesserae and metal, 1979-1980

Executed in tesserae and metal, this panel covers a vertical stretch of the façade of the 55th Secondary School in Sofia from top to bottom. Located to the right of the school’s entrance, its composition is emphatically geometric, asymmetrical, yet balanced and easy to perceive. The compositional centre stands out, taking strength from the contrast between the two materials and the alternating flat and convex forms, with the arrangement of metal elements and tesserae following the general direction of the composition. The protruding metal shapes make a gradual transition to the mosaic’s flat stone periphery, and, indirectly, to the surrounding space at large. The stone facing has a functional role, too – to preserve the integrity of the wall. The contrast between rough and smooth, as well as matt and shiny surfaces commands the attention.

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Kolyo Getsov

Kolyo Getsov
photo: personal archive

Kolyu Getsov is a Bulgarian artist born in the town of Strazhitsa. He started his artistic education at the National Academy of Art in Sofia but later received a scholarship to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where he graduated with a degree in “Sculpture and Artistic Metalworking” under the guidance of Prof. Jan Nušil.

Getsov worked in the field of monumental arts, sculpture, wall painting, and stained glass. He worked with Michalis Garoudis to create numerous monumental works. Together with his wife the artist Ekaterina Getsova, in 1991 he founded the “Arosita” gallery in Sofia.

Kolyu Getsov’s works are part of many private and public collections in Bulgaria and abroad. His notable works include the “Composition 1” and “Composition 2” sculptures, which he created with Garoudis, at the National Palace of Culture in 1981; mosaics on the facade of 55 School in Sofia; and many other monumental works.

Mihalis Garudis

Mihalis Garudis
photo: Bulphoto

Michalis Garoudis was born in 1940 in the village of Bulgarkoi, in the region of Dimotika, Greece. He graduated from the National Academy of Art in Sofia in 1965, majoring in “Painting” under Prof. Iliya Petrov. At the beginning of his creative career, he focused on still lives, seascapes, and figurative compositions. He later began to create monumental paintings, mosaics, and ceramics. The artist held his first solo exhibition in 1971 at the “Raiko Alexiev” gallery in Sofia. Since 1986, he has lived and worked in Thessaloniki, Greece. Garoudis works actively in the field of monumental arts, painting, and collage. His works are owned by many museums and private collections in Bulgaria and abroad.

Among his more significant monumental works of art are: “Art through the Ages”, House of Cinema, Sofia, 1976; the sculptures “Composition 1” and “Composition 2” created in collaboration with Kolyu Getsov for the National Palace of Culture, 1981; the mural “Revival” in the residence “Perla”, Burgas, 1981; mosaic decoration on the facade of the “Slavyani” store, a mural in the “Yantra” hotel, 1975, and a mosaic with ceramic inlay for the “Poltava” pastry shop all at Veliko Tarnovo and in partnership with Kolyu Getsov; and mosaics on the facade of 55 School, Sofia, which was co-authored with Kolyu Getsov.