Olga Bulgakova belongs to the generation of artists of the 1970s.
Early works by Bulgakova are richly filled with allegoric, metaphorical images searching for a code of visual language – allegories, transformations, and allusions – in a desire to tell more than what is noticeable at first sight. In her early complex-built paintings, the artist gives a great importance to fine details, executed with artistic meticulousness. Rich in imagery, Bulgakova’s works as a stop action frame capture a moment in a constant transformation of the Universe. Combining elements of symbolism and surrealism, Bulgakova constructs her paintings on the intensity of coexistence of opposite extremes and remains open to a multiplicity of interpretations. Her paintings reflect her own personal philosophy and her private world.
Bulgakova’s paintings strike and amaze the viewer’s imagination. Mysterious women, birds, and phantasmagoric dwarfs are frequent characters in her works from the late 1980s and 1990s. Bulgakova does not insist on the certain interpretation of her paintings; she invites viewers to participate in a dialogue with the artwork, allowing them their own interpretation. What grasps imagination of the artist? It is the moment in the middle of constant metamorphosises. A bird – an ancient symbol of spiritual rebirth and human soul. Like angels, birds often are a sign on the precipitancy and infinity of spiritual process. Bulgakova constantly creates her paintings on ambivalence of meanings.
The mystery of life and inevitability of destiny is the subject of a series of Bulgakova paintings. Bulgakova’s works are filled with mystery, intrigue and enigma. Combinations of elegant fine details, textures, and elements of game, use of symbols, interaction of color and surprising imagination of the artist contributes to the unique character of her painting from the 1970s through the 1990s.
Bulgakova’s internal experiences and her own reconsideration of positions led to significant changes in her works starting at the end of the 1990s. Figurative elements are minimalized before fully disappearing in an abstract cycle. Eventually abstract experiences of the artist are transformed and the circle appears in a cycle of works "Archaisms". Later the circle is reincarnated in a powerful plastic sign in the series "Names". The Name as a symbol archetype appears already in the new quality, executed in color contrasts, expressive powerful brush strokes, simultaneously personifying concrete and infinite.
In her latest series, Bulgakova addresses the biblical theme of "Return of the Prodigal Son" (2007). Connecting abstract symbols and figurative elements, Bulgakova unites the creative explorations of last decades. Her art searches are very organic, as the primary motif is the internal need for the creativity which gives rise to an emotional condition, ultimately realized in paintings.
Olga Bulgakova was born in 1951 in Moscow, Russia to a family of artists.
Parents – Vasily Ivanovich Bulgakov and Matilda Mikhailovna Bulgakova – the first and main teachers.
1962 - 1969 – Secondary School of the Moscow State Surikov Art Institute.
1969 - 1975 – Moscow State Surikov Art Institute (studio of D.K. Mochalsky). Acquaintance with Alexander Sitnikov.
Since 1972 – Bulgakova has participated in exhibitions.
Since 1976 – Member of the USSR Union of Artists (since 1993 – Moscow Union of Artists).
1975 - 1985 – Cycles Theatre and Transformation.
1978 - 1985 – Series of works dedicated to Nikolai Gogol.
1978 – Birth of daughter Natalia.
1979 – Grand Prize of International Competition of Young Artists, Sofia, Bulgaria.
1980 - 1990 – Series Dreams, Dwarfs and Woman and Still Life.
2002 - 2004 – Series Archaisms.
2003 – Silver Medal of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.
2005 - 2006 – Series Nomina.
2007 – Associate Member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.
2007 – Series Matriarchy.
2007 - 2012 – Series Biblical scetches.
2012 – Full Member of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.
2015. - "Trees and Birds". DiDi Gallery, St. Petersburg
2011 – "Biblical scetches". Kultproekt gallery, Moscow.
2010 – Olga Bulgakova. "Octyabr" magazine art and literature project. Cultural centre "Pokrovskie vorota", Moscow.
2009; 2000 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. "Mimi Ferzt Gallery". New York, USA.
2009 – Gogol. Portrait. Kvadrat gallery, St.Petersburg.
2008 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. Painting. Objects. Saratov State art museum.
2007 - 2008 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. State Tretyakov gallery, Moscow.
2006 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. "Life Signs". M’ARS Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow.
2005 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. "The Physics of Time". AIS –AICA Project. Art salon. Central House of Artists, Moscow.
2004 - 2005 – "Trialogue". Olga Bulgakova, Alexander Sitnikov, Natalia Sitnikova. Moscow Museum of Modern Art.
2004; 2001; 1999 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. De Twee Pauwen gallery. Den Haag, Netherland.
1997 – Zalman gallery. New York, USA.
1990 – Bulgakova - Sitnikov. "International Images" gallery. Sewickley, PA, USA.
State Tretyakov Gallery