The Artist

  /    /  The Artist
Multimedia artist, Elena Paroucheva (Елена Парушева) practices in environmental art, sculpture, painting, in-situ installation, urban space planning, interactive art, performance, and conceptual art.

Born in Yambol (Bulgaria) in 1959, she graduates in 1983 from the Beaux-Arts Department at the University of Veliko Tarnovo. As a creator in a totalitarian country - where artists are forced to conform to official art, Elena belongs to the intelligentsia which confronts the regime.

In 1999, she creates the artistic movement Electric Art and develops projects that transform high voltage line towers, windmills, or antennas into works of art.


Born in Yambol into a modest family, Elena’s childhood is lulled by the culture, music, mythology and history of her country, Bulgaria. At school, her creativity and facilities are noticed very early by teachers, who then encourage her to study art.

Formative years in Bulgaria (1978-1983)

At the age of 15, she is admitted into the Decorative Arts School of Trojan, and then in 1979, into the Beaux-Arts Department at the St. Cyril & Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, where she learns and expands upon the main artistic techniques: drawing, painting, engraving, sculpture, aesthetics, metrology and pedagogy of art, and spends two years in the class of Stanislav Pamukchiev.

The Dissident Artist, From Figuration to Abstraction and Conceptual Art (1983-1991)

A creator in a totalitarian country, where artists are impelled to make Sots Realism, Elena is part of a Bulgarian intelligentsia who faces the regime and overthrows it. At the opening of her first solo exhibition in 1984, she is confronted by the KGB, who strongly suggests that she takes her work off display.

While her paintings already attract attention, Elena is eager to break from the trivial means of expression: she wants to step out of the mould. This artistic aspiration produces remarkable works such as: Paper Body, Cub’s, Floating Figures, etc. The Ludwig Museum (Ludwig Forum for International Art of Aachen) still exhibits Floating Figures as an example of three-dimensional paper work.

In 1989, she takes part in the exhibition Sky-Earth, an important event in the history of art in Bulgaria, which precedes and foreshadows the fading of the totalitarian regime, a few days later, on November 10. As The Union of Bulgarian Artists has been denying non-conventional artists an access to its building in Sofia, Elena and her group settle on the building roof top and her work – The Way – leads the audience from the street up to the rooftop, before it is destroyed by the authorities.

Equilibrium between Colour and Non-Conventional Expressions (since 1991)

Established in France in 1991, she develops her network and works with several art galleries (Romanet, Orsel, Céline), especially with Opera Gallery. She makes exhibitions in Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, New York, Singapore, while teaching artistic expression and art history at several schools and for various associations.

Many performances illustrate her early years away from her country: Mélange des Eaux (in France), The Ten Truths, an action-installation inspired by Nietzsche (in France and Germany), the action 2000 Spheres for 2000 Years, to celebrate the year 2000… But everything changes after 1999!

Electric Art (since 1999)

Inspiration arises as Elena discovers that pylons are scheduled to be taken down in an increasing effort to bury power lines. She decides to intervene in her own way, by preventing the complete disappearance of the pylons and keeping some specimens as symbols of our time.

Her ideas materialize in drawings, models, photos, computer graphics, studies and projects to transform an industrial legacy into a cultural heritage. In 2004, she inaugurates Source – a monumental installation on four pylons near Metz, France – which is still being seen every year by millions of visitors!

It is the beginning of an adventure that gives birth to her new artistic movement: Electric Art. Her works and her unique artistic approach are published in the press and world media, in books and encyclopaedias and are studied in schools.

Noted as an environmental artist by CIGRE (International Council on Large Electric Systems), the artist is regularly invited to congresses, conferences and symposiums on the subject of sustainable development, of aesthetizing energy infrastructures – power lines, wind and telecom towers, etc. – and their integration into the landscape (Paris, Santiago, Rotterdam, Oslo, Seoul).

Acquisitions (museums, foundations, collections)


Exhibitions (selection)

Personal Exhibitions (One-woman shows, actions, installations, congresses, meetings)

2018      From industrial patrimony to cultural legacy, Palais des Congrès, Paris, Label Europe for Culture

2017      Landscape Pylons and impact solutions, CIGRE Meeting  (South Korea)

2016      Environmental Art, Green Solutions for Sustainable Paris, City of Paris

2015      Art-Pylons, with Statnett, Oslo (Norway)

2015      Electric Art, with “Les Ateliers de France”, Domont (France)

2015      Haute couture – Haute tension, European Heritage Days, Meulan (France)

2014      Art-Pylons, with Rosseti, Sochi (Russia)

2014      Sochi Skier, sculpture, Sochi (Russia)

2013      Nuit Blanche, Forney Library (Hôtel de Sens), Paris

2012      Art, Nature and Territory, Les ateliers Christofle, Paris

2011      European Heritage Days, Amnéville les Thermes (France)

2010      Energy & Art, Palais des Congrès, Paris

Electricity Landscapes, House of Human Sciences, Pessac (France)

European Heritage Days, Amnéville les Thermes (France)

2009      CIGRE International Congress, Santiago (Chile)

European Heritage Days, Amnéville les Thermes (France)

Marchand Tower, La Defense, Paris

Alcazar, Putterschoek (Netherlands)

2008      Networks into Artworks, Palais des Congrès, Paris

2007      Electric Art, Bulgarian Cultural Centre, Paris

2005      Electric Art, exhibition and performance, National Gallery, Sofia ( Bulgaria)

Electric Art, Andre Malraux Cultural Centre, Le Pecq (France).

2004      Source inauguration, Crid’Art gallery, Amnéville les Thermes (France).

2002-2003: Orsel Gallery, Paris

2003      Zwindows, performance, La Nacelle, Aubergenville (France)

2000      Romanet Gallery, Paris

Pintura, Galeria Municipal Gymnasio, Lisbon (Portugal)

1999      2000 years – 2000 spheres, action, Ile de France (France).

1997      Amarante Gallery, Tours (France)

The Ten Truths, EspoArt Gallery, Saint-Germain-en- Laye (France)

1995      Fallet Gallery, Geneva (Switzerland)

1994      The Ten Truths, Dome Gallery, Frankfurt (Germany)

1994      Galerie d’Arcadie, Le Mans (France)

Célima Gallery, Munich (Germany)

Mixing of Waters, action, Corbeil (France)

1993      Alexio Gallery, Blois (France)

B-Z-P-NY, Contemporary Art Festival, Process–Space , Balchik (Bulgaria)

1992      The European School of Advertising Graphic Arts, Saumur (France)

1991      Galerie d’Arcadie, Le Mans (France)

Monsters, in situ performance, Targovitché (Bulgaria)

1990      Le Nouveau Mur, Gallery, Geneva (Switzerland)

To the Top, installation, Earth and Sky exhibition, Schipka Gallery, Sofia (Bulgaria)

               Silvery River and Birds, actions, Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria)

1989      Face-lift of downtown and City Centre, Sliven (Bulgaria)

1988      Paper Silhouettes, Ludwig Museum, Aachen (Germany)

1985-1988: Six personal shows in Sofia, Sliven, Targovitché, Burgas, Yambol (Bulgaria)

Group Shows

2017      Power strip-tease, Arty garden, multimedia installation, Bazemont (France)

2015      Panta rei, Exhibition, University of Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria)

2014      Guest of honour, Arts Fair, Carrièrres sous Poissy (France)

2012      The aesthetics of overhead power networks, IHEDATE conference, Paris

2011      Electric Networks of Art, CIGRE conference, Reykjavik (Iceland)

2009      Science and Technology in European Art, laureate of the Supelec competition, Paris

2008      My Public Space, NAI Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

2007      Sculptures in Andrésy island, Andrésy (France)

2007      The couple in all its states, Dialogos Gallery, Cachan (France)

2006      Visual Immortality, International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Shumen (Bulgaria)

Integration Show, with Orange, Lille (France)

2005      European Meeting of Sculptures, Montauban (France)

2004      Urban Public Space, Barcelona (Spain)

Céline Gallery, Paris

2003      Argos, the Third Dimension performance, Paris

2002      Opera Gallery, Paris, Singapore, New-York

2001      Sense of the Mystery, Castle of Sedan (France)

Contrast Gallery, Barcelona (Spain)

2000      Céline Gallery, Paris

1999      Palais de Beaulieu, Lausanne (Switzerland)

1995      International Show of Contemporary Art about Music, Angers (France)

1994      Médiart Gallery, Paris

Art Festival, Strathkelvin (Scotland)

Union d’Europe, exhibition, Strasbourg (France)

Brussels’s Art Gallery, Brussels (Belgium)

Art & Prestige Gallery, Paris

1991      Salon d’Automne, Grand-Palais, Paris

1990      Humour and Satire in Art, International Biennial, Gabrovo (Bulgaria)

Wittgenstein Gallery, Vienna (Austria)

1989      Young Painting, International Biennial, Sofia (Bulgaria)

1984-1989: 18 national exhibitions and shows in Bulgaria

Links and Reference

External links