This new exhibition by Milko Pavlov bears a strange title. It comprises the name of the city in which the exhibition is shown, the designation ‘nova’ [new], and the numbering of the canvases and watercolours displayed in it in reverse order (although that order is not complete, i.e., some of the numbers are missing). The name of Sophia, as is well known, has a profound theological meaning; that is, the Wisdom of God, viz., Christ.
The image of Christ
And the image of Christ is indeed present in the exhibition. He is barely discernible, sketched in brown against a grey background. Even in the title of the exhibition, there are two planes: that of facts (actual reality) – Sofia – and that of transcendental reality – Sophia. These two levels are connected within Christ himself, who is simultaneously an historical figure – a man of flesh and blood – and God. Finite and infinite, temporal and eternal, material and spiritual, mortal and immortal, all are connected in a unique personal unity in Christ.
Traces of the material
Viewed from afar, the canvases resemble ultrasound or scan images, i.e., images obtained after a clear ray has penetrated opaque matter and extracted what was hidden behind it.
Christ is always Co-Existence
Does ‘Sofia/Sophia Nova’ mean that Milko Pavlov is referring to a New Christ, Another Christ, different from the One who was resurrected o n Golgotha? Judging by the iconography of the image of Christ in the exhibition – no! ‘New’, in this case, is rather an imperfect way to say that Christ is always Co-Existence, that he exists in every Present, that he is always New.