February 25, 2006
February 20, 2006
February 19, 2006
TRACEY MOFFATT is Australia’s most accomplished visual artist. She has exhibited extensively all over the world and has garnered strong support from museums, critics and collectors. Since 1989, Tracey Moffatt has had 119 solo exhibits and has been featured in over 150 group exhibitions.
ADVENTURES SERIES, a collection of 10 large photographic works that play with pop-cultural staples such as comic strips, television and B-movies. Tracey Moffatt says:
“I love early-1970’s modern adventure stories in comics and movies, especially low-budget American and Australian television dramas. In these productions ‘adventure’ meant jumping into a speedboat or a small plane to catch a ‘poacher’ and the stories were always set in exotic locations.”
Each work in the series incorporates three “frames” that depict an open-ended story. Each of the featured characters represents a type; Tracey Moffatt herself appears in the role of the “dark and intense” type. Tracey Moffatt states:
“I like constructing narratives in the studio with model-actors and props and painted backdrops…. I have always liked ‘artifice.’ I adore the ‘fake.’”
As a teenager, Tracey Moffatt aspired to look like these televised adventure characters. Tracey Moffatt pinpoints the allure of these characters when she says:
“All the men and women looked ‘professional’ as if they were doing something ‘important’ yet at the same time eyeing each other. To me it was all so sexual and hot.”
Tracey Moffatt’s twenty minute video entitled LOVE also explores Hollywood conventions and also turns a critical eye on relationships between men and women. Tracey Moffatt writes:
“Love is a rollercoaster montage of some of my favorite Hollywood melodramas depicting love scenes, which in the end turn out to be not so romantic.”
These love scenes are drawn from recognizable films spanning several eras. In Love Tracey Moffatt elicits a powerful response in the viewer through editing and music. The selected film clips, at first romantic and sweet, captivate the viewer and entice her in as the scenes crescendo into the violent and frightening.
Love comes with a disclaimer: If you have ever been in love or ever want to be, do not watch this video!
TRACEY MOFFATT is highly regarded for her formal and stylistic experimentation in film, photography and video. Her work draws on history of cinema, art and photography as well as popular culture and her own childhood memories and fantasies. Born in Brisbane Australia in 1960, Tracey Moffatt studied visual communications at the Queensland college of Art, from which she graduated in 1982. Since her first solo exhibition in Sydney in 1989, she has exhibited extensively all over the world. In the 1980’s and early 90’s she worked as a director on documentaries and music videos for television. She first gained significant critical acclaim for her film work when the short film Night Cries was selected for official competition at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. Her first feature film, bedevil, was also selected for Cannes in 1993. A major exhibition at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York in 1997/8 consolidated her international reputation. Her work is in over fifty public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She is now based in New York and returns frequently to the north of Australia where she works and lives on the beach.
The Steven Kasher Gallery is now serving as Tracey Moffatt’s exclusive representative in the United States. Its first exhibition of Tracey Moffatt’s work, entitled Love and Adventures, features both photography and video. It is Tracey Moffatt’s first exhibition in New York since 2001.
TRACEY MOFFATT, LOVE AND ADVENTURES
March 7, 2006 - April 29, 2006
Steven Kasher Gallery is located at 521 West 23rd St., 2nd Floor
Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm
Opening reception from 6-8pm on Tuesday, March 7, 2006
February 10, 2006
Rue Ernest Allard 32, 1000 Bruxelles
February 9, 2006
Jack Shainman Gallery, NYC
February 9 – March 11, 2006
This solo exhibition by artist Michael Snow consisting in one early and one recent projection works, entitled “Little Walk” (1964) and “Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids)” (2002). Both works were featured in Snow’s exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, during the months of October and November of 2005.
“Little Walk” is a dynamic, 12” silent loop characteristic of the experimental works made by the artist in that decade. Between 1961 and 1967, Snow’s work in all media was based on the naturalistic silhouette of a young woman. Made out originally from the outline or of a cardboard cut-out, the image of the walking woman became both tool and subject in Snow’s work. Many photographic works, films and performance pieces resulted as part of this exploration. “Little Walk”, which belongs to this series, was originally made for an exhibition organized by Jonas Mekas entitled “Expanded Cinema”. The work, originally shot in 8mm, has now been transferred to DVD.
“Solar Breath...” is a 62” loop of fluttering curtains that reveal and conceal an idyllic landscape in rural Newfounland. The work is a result of artist’s observations of a window of his summer cabin in Canada. Over the years, according to him, “a mysterious wind performance takes place in one of the windows, about an hour before sunset”. The artist seek to capture in the film the various movements and folds that the window’s curtain creates against the window’s screen, with the interaction of the wind.
This work, according to the artist himself, belongs to a group of film and photographic works who take subjects that were not formed by the artist as “art”, but rather were “taken-by-surprise” by the artist. In a text about this work, the artist writes:
“What I saw in these sun-and-wind events was their potential as art. I did not record these "events" to share this modest phenomenon from my daily life with others. No, the rich play of light, surfaces and durations said to me: this real, un-staged event contains the elements which are essential for a contemplative time-light-motion work of art, a "motion picture" with "plastic" values and reverberant associations which will reward many viewings.”
The artist adds: “While on one level, Solar Breath is merely a fixed-camera documentary recording, it is also the result of years of attention....Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids) is 62 minutes of the most beautiful, eloquent movements and pliages that the sun, wind, windows and curtain have yet composed. Chance and choice co-exist.”
Michael Snow is a visual artist, filmmaker and musician originally from Toronto. He first exhibited in 1956 and in the 1960s became internationally renowned with his film “Wavelength”. His work can be found in many of the most renowned contemporary art collections in the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musee d’Art Moderne de Paris and the National Gallery of Canada. He has represented Canada at the Venice Bienalle and has exhibited at most international major biennials.
Jack Shainman Gallery
513 W. 20th St
New York, NY 10011
February 6, 2006
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February 1, 2006
With Memory and Scale, Istanbul Modern aims to shine a light on the history of Modern Turkish sculpture with an exhibition that has never been created in Turkey up to date. The exhibition, which covers a historical period in depth, acquires characteristics that will ensure Istanbul Modern to approach its mission for modern museology one step further.
Memory and Scale endeavors to provide an historical perspective of modern Turkish sculpture and determine where it stands today by going beyond a sculptural work’s creative manipulation of volume, space and form to reach the world and concepts that have produced it. It is primarily an attempt at cataloguing and identifying the sculptural idioms developed since 1950, from the early period of abstract-constructivism to the dominance of design over sculptural form, from the opposition in local and universal aspects to the diversity in the choice of materials, and from open air sculpture pieces to the concept of scale, essential to indoor installations.
Aside from a few well-meaning projects and recent catalogues, no exhibition has yet chronicled this process or subjected it to a comparative analysis. Obviously a number of difficulties are involved in such a task. The chief challenge is conceiving an exhibition in keeping with the museum’s intrinsic identity. None of the sculptures included have ever before been exhibited together. For the first time, these works will be presented as part of a coherent whole addressing the relationship between each piece from a comparative perspective.
Thus, in our articulation of the exhibition’s complexity we have attempted to avoid a group exhibition approach. Instead the essential aim has been to present the audience with a satisfying compilation of the individual stylistic expressions of the selected sculptors and, by exploring their creative world, to specify their elected artistic vocabulary and the ways in which they resemble or differ from other artists. Consequently, we have chosen to display the most distinctive works of each from a historical perspective, using a chronological approach to demonstrate the evolution of their styles.
The expressions "Memory" and "Scale", from which the exhibition derives its name, allude to the two basic problematiques of sculpture. In articulating a sculptural work, the artist seeks the most suitable narrative style and material and improvises with whichever scale –large-scale, urban scale, human scale etc.– best fits his purpose. At the same time a sculpture is a multifaceted and mysterious mnemonic record of mankind’s self-representation. The compelling compositions of those original personalities who have succeeded in capturing the spirit of their times constitute some of the most relevant data on human history.
Used in the context of a sculpture exhibition, the term "Memory" simultaneously covers every form of activity conducted by human-beings to assert their physical presence and identity in the landscape they inhabit, and evokes, as well, the different stages of growth and self-realization that actors go through in this process. The term "Scale," on the other hand, applies to all forms of sculptural production or installation in both indoor and outdoor spaces and involves the totality of artistic, technical and economic difficulties that may arise, from the moment the thought of a sculpture is first conceived, to the time of its encounter with the viewer.
The greatest drawback of sculpture, which at the same time constitutes its obvious advantage, is its obligation to share space in a three-dimensional reality with other objects. This is both the reason for its existence and a trial it must undergo. Because of its claims on space and volume, a sculptural work is always perceived to be as much a threat as a privilege. Unlike painting, which belongs to an illusory space, a sculptural work is part of the exterior world. The requirements of modern daily living summon sculpture to museums or open public spaces. In this sense, every sculpture produced has to confront both modern aesthetics and the collective perception generated by the reactions the public shows to it. Accordingly, when viewing exhibited works, the politico-aesthetic judgments and existential concerns that shape our gaze count more than the context in which these works were produced. This cross section of 15 artists offered by our exhibition could well be a starting point for discussion on these topics.
ALI HADI BARA, 1906-1971
In 1950, following the reorganization of the Academy of Fine Arts , Ali Hâdi Bara and Zühtü Müridoglu jointly took over the Sculpture Department from Rudolf Belling. Taken as a whole, the artistic developments and achievements of Bara’s creative production over nearly half a century give a good idea of the progression of Turkish sculpture from a classical pictorial tradition to an abstract approach.
The early 1950s are also a time when the artist experimented with new concepts and methods. Upon his return from a visit to Paris in 1949, he began to create purely geometric pieces –usually assemblages of sheets of metal– whose common features were simplicity of form and a concern with the visual qualities of space. The abstract sculptural works he constructed out of iron sheets in the late 1950s confirm his quest for innovative aesthetic materials.
In these sculptures, metal sheets secured at the corners or at pressure points, intersect and divide each other, demonstrating both his purposeful manipulation of space and his determination to position distinctive geometric planes within it. In the 1960s, the artist eschews, in his own terms, "the sterility of geometric abstraction" and turns to works in which the three-dimensional scrutiny of the cosmos and technological concepts acquire significance.
An emphasis on the volume and space–filling aspects of sculpture always constituted the basis of his work. Instead of embellishing a form with unnecessary details, he chose to focus on a three-dimensional object’s claims on space and on the object as a thing-in-itself.
ZUHTU MURIDOGLU, 1906-1992
A trip to Paris , in 1948, introduced Zühtü Müridoglu to abstract art. Deeply impressed by this new approach, he began constructing abstract pieces, when he returned to Istanbul , using and transforming tree branches. Later, he added terra cotta and copper foil to wood in some of his abstract compositions.
In the 1950s, Müridoğlu also carved wood reliefs composed of stylized figures. He combined pieces of wood from the trunk of trees and right-angled metal constructs, exploiting the opposition between the organic texture of wood with its irregular surfaces and the distinctive qualities and different patinas of metal. At the same time, he explored the relationships between masses through a play of light and shadows and the use of different scales and materials.
From 1963 to 1967, he created a series he named "Gravestone" and in 1967, made the sculpture "Unknown Political Prisoner". From the 1970s on, in addition to the organic-geometric abstract works he produced, the artist began to make figurative pieces in bronze. The most representative of these sculptures are his cast-bronze "Ballerina" series, of which he also produced serigraphs.
Zühtü Müridoglu’s work, especially his abstract wood sculptures, constitutes a unique synthesis of local cultural motifs and sensibilities with the abstract tendencies of the international art scene in the 1960s. This compelling fusion of the natural and organic structural characteristics of wood with geometric abstraction is a striking aspect of his work.
SADI CALIK, 1917-1979
"I don’t believe in a statue, monument, epitaph or bust categorization. Formal arts represent a whole. Sculpture is three-dimensional art but otherwise all arts are fundamentally the same. As in other art forms, "communicability" is the most important quality of formal arts.
Whether or not a sculpture carries significance as a monument, is related to the message it attempts to give and to its connection to the environment. Everything here depends on conditions and possibilities. The artist is the first to create and articulate a prototype. Actually, when we speak of the present, we mean the years after 1945, the post-World War II period. That was a time of radical transformation for mankind. A time of economic, political, technological and artistic change. A time when artists became more individualistic and liberated...
"The words above taken from an interview with Sadi Calik in 1974, summarize his views on sculpture in general, and on the era in which he worked in particular. Adopting a pluralistic approach to both form and material, he renegotiates his powerful expressive vocabulary and symbolic references with each new work and questions his fundamental sculptural conceptions, depending on the proposed location of a piece, its context and the material used.
The wide variety of media and styles the artist embraces in his visual language enhances the articulation of the symbolic forms he presents.
ILHAN KOMAN, 1921-1986
Ilhan Koman’s artistic approach indicates how the boundary between science and art can be shaped in a three-dimensional plane. The delicate relationships between reason and beauty and design and application are at the core of his work. From the 1950s on, he developed an approach to art in which a sculptural work was intended to signify the unknown.
An inventive sculptor interested in technology and space research, the rational and practical functionality of his objects constitutes the crux of his compositions. He includes any material that catches his eye into his field of activity and transforms it to uncover its potential essence. His vision thus transcends the fundamental characteristics of the wood or metal he works in. Similarly, he does not consider form absolute.
In the pieces he calls "Hyperform", he strives to add to a static and fixed form, a plural and potentially cumulative dynamism. Mathematically multiplying and increasing a basic shape, he transforms it into one with infinite possibilities. Going beyond the eye’s faculties of perception, he demonstrates that experiences with the senses have no limits. Ilhan Koman, who lived in Sweden from 1959 to 1973, usually designs functional structures involving either a single movement within the whole and parts, or surfaces multiplying in infinite probabilities.
The 16-faces "Polyhedrons", constructed from equilateral triangles, which he considers useful in spatial engineering, his versions of the "Moebius Band", a symbol of infinity, and the "Rotors" or wind turbines that regulate their direction and speed according to the force of the wind, all point to the rich diversity of his areas of interest.
KUZGUN ACAR, 1928-1976
Winning first prize at the Second Paris International Youth Biennial in 1961 earned Kuzgun Acar a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris, in 1962. He was part of a generation who believed art should permeate everyday life. The masks he created for epic theater, where all the elements of classical drama are cross-examined, his costumes for street performances and demonstrations and the pieces in which he manipulated the wire and nails of cages, investing them with functionality, all suggest causality to the viewer.
As a sculptor, Kuzgun Acar was essentially a builder, not a carver. He was not concerned with chiseling out a hidden form within a sculptural mass. Soldering and completing parts, enhancing them with a causal flow and motion and bequeathing the new body into its containing space was a way for him to crystallize his ideas. Shaping raw materials and manipulating their deficiencies and excesses to achieve structural consistency provided him with an area in which his intelligence and intuitions could thrive.
An obvious link exists between Kuzgun’s stylistic expression and the constructivist canon of sculpture, yet his dependence on technology always remains rudimentary, his real interest lies in the juncture between geometric forms and industrial materials. "Motion" is his raw material; the medium is a conveyor of his perceptions. In his artworks, iron exists only as iron, its existence is justified by its own expressive qualities and, not unlike the sculptor working in that medium, iron concedes nothing of its essence.
The notes jotted down in Kuzgun’s drawing pads reveal that he considered the material superior for two reasons: first, owing to the cultural ties that bind it to the human race who has worked it for utilitarian purposes from the iron age on, second, and in contrast to this bond, because in many of its functional forms, such as the nail, it will reject and dissuade any attempts at contact.
ALI TEOMAN GERMANER (ALOS), b. 1934
As he has said in several interviews, Ali Teoman Germaner’s individual sculptural vocabulary mainly serves to express the emotions and reactions suscitated by socio-political events around him. The symbolic creatures he creates also reveal influences from mythological or prehistoric animals.
In Germaner’s recent work, the mythical emerald " Phoenix " bird has become the essential vehicle he uses to formulate his vision. After the scrap iron pieces of his Paris years, he has now returned to the traditional materials he loves; terra cotta, stone, wood or wrought copper. Ali Teoman Germaner is convinced that each material calls for a particular form; he deplores the careless use of materials, the loss of traditional arts and skills and the lack of real craftsmen today.
A less known side to Germaner – aka "Alos," to his friends – and not one to scorn, is his prolific output of drawings and etchings. Particularly noteworthy here are the limited edition multiple color prints he produced using the Hayter technique. The Hittite seal was the starting point for the motifs in his Maya Art Gallery works, and the symbol he returns to in his later sculptures, demonstrating the powerful interaction between drawing, etching and sculpture that distinguishes his work.
SAIM BUGAY, b. 1934
Saim Bugay is an intellectual who has had more than his share of all the good and the bad that can come from having political consciousness and identity in Turkey . He started drawing and carving wood at the age of three or four. Prior to his actual academic schooling, he trained with master tinsmith Mehmed Usta, with Faruk Morel, and with the passionate wood-carver Sami Bey, who all three acquainted him with different materials.
At the age of twenty-nine, he entered the State Fine Arts Academy where he studied under Zühtü Müridoglu, Ali Hadi Bara and Şadi Çalık. Saim Bugay, who says he loves "wood because it is alive," has carved wooden effigies of painter Mehmet Güleryüz with a monkey, sculptor Sadi Calik, and architect Erkal Güngören, countless wooden human figures and a wide variety of animals, as well as abstract pieces. All his works are an invitation to share in his simple but magical world.
"A real sculpture, even small-sized, remains a work of art when you augment its scale," says Bugay, one of the few artists in Turkey who has really strived to make his works public and accessible to large numbers of people, and made hundreds of reproductions of his busts of Şadi Calik, Nâzım Hikmet and Aziz Nesin. The artist’s special affinity for wood played a major role in the selection of works for this exhibition.
MEHMET AKSOY, b. 1939
Mehmet Aksoy’s treatment of sculpture is both exuberant and expressionist. Convinced that sculptural work lies somewhere along the intersection of labor and intellect, he enjoys grappling with a bulky mass and believes the chisel and hammer are a sculptor’s best friend. During the dark political days of Turkey in the 1970s, to demonstrate that a sculptural work should reflect the social context it emerges from, he created a language of symbolic imagery that nevertheless retained its references to social reality.
In the 1980s, he experimented with partially abstract forms based on figure abstractions to create bodies diffused into empty space. He sculpted spare forms celebrating existence and the human condition, and working in marble, sought to draw out of the stone his interpretations of love, death, loneliness and friendship. "Labor Migration," his outdoor work, at Schlessiches Tor, in Berlin , articulates both the exile and antinomy of Turks in Germany , and the emotions and heartbreaks common to all humans.
In the 1990s, he turned to works in which he retraced the cultural identity of Anatolia , and created large-scale pieces and monuments combining the past and present of his native landscape. Following in the footsteps of the mother goddess Kybele and revisiting the legend of Şahmeran, he fused myth and fantasy to create a distinctive stylistic vocabulary. In his most recent work in particular, the artist explores the shaman tradition and the dichotomy of life and death, and expands his unique expressive language with a wide range of materials.
SEYHUN TOPUZ, b. 1942
Ever since the beginning of the 1980s, Seyhun Topuz has relied on an abstract sculptural style to produce geometric works that are devoid of any reference to observable reality. His pieces are measured mathematical structures that invite the viewer into a universe that can be rationally decoded. Using the simplest materials and elementary forms, he constructs ideal structures designed to withstand the vicissitudes of the world.
Both intellectually and aesthetically, he embraces a minimalist understanding of sculpture. In his works, Topuz primarily concentrates on the possible permutations within his spare vocabulary of geometric abstraction. In his latest works, he divides a square into its constituents and, working toward a perfect shape, attempts, through slight surface variations, to instill motion into a form already self-contained and complete.
The smooth surfaces of these geometric components express only their own substance. Freestanding and installed at varying heights from the floor they redefine the ideal shape of the square and are the concrete expression of an unadorned sculptural discourse pushed to its furthest limits.
MERIC HIZAL, b. 1943
Meriç Hızal’s work is a harmonious synthesis of nature and intellect. Her creations have a singular purity in which nature’s impulsiveness co-exists with the wisdom of culture. Adhering to no particular style, she remains steadfastly close to nature. In her approach to art, she seeks to contribute to nature and humanity. Depending on the design, she will use materials as diverse as metal, marble, or wood.
In the early 1990s, she gained acclaim for the sculptures in which she deconstructed her object –usually a pyramid– into geometric cross-sections. Her handling of the sculptural mass implicates a simultaneous knowledge of its exterior and interior so that a common characteristic of these sculptural works lies in her articulation of the parts-whole relationship and the interaction between forms and surfaces. Her recent work asserts her belief in sculpture as a directive, guiding force, and she strives to express with spare geometric forms the basic emotions like love, solidarity and friendship essential to human beings.
A piece on view at this exhibition is her version of a sundial, one of the oldest functional objects in human history. Made "in Honor of Degirmendere", the clock, a symbolic reminder of life’s worth and losses, summons the viewer to sit on the trunk of the tree of life, which rises from its center.
FERIT OZSEN, b. 1943
In a 1997 interview, Ferit Ozsen identified the central themes of his own sculptural work in the following words: "I was touching upon a nine-month pregnant mother; it is shiny and tough like glass and it holds an existence within; a wonder of nature. I was very affected by that. I drew pregnant women. I made sculptures. Slowly the arms and legs started disappearing. I was left with only the sphere. I used it as a symbol of fertility and prosperity.
Just like the Ancient Asian goddess of prosperity, Kybele. I named my later work the "Kybele Series". By splitting the sphere or a piece of sphere I brought out the valuable object inside in the form of contrast. There was always the question of what I could take advantage of if I were to set off from my locality, from the values of my country. I saw the abundance of convex forms in our architecture. The inventors of the arch and dome, namely Mesopotamia’s neighbor Anatolia, liked to use these two forms. They played around with them.
These sculptures made from diabase, bronze, onyx, forged brass, copper and stainless steel, installed on both ceilings and walls, are abstract but have an erotic subtext. "Narrow Door" is a piece, which deviates from his earlier work but can be conceptually linked to this "Mother Goddess" series. At the heart of his sculptural work lies the endeavor to give symbolic expression to powerful basic impulses using clean lines and arresting materials.
OSMAN DINC, b. 1948
What first catches the eye in Osman Dinç’s sculptural work is his combined exploitation of basic geometric forms like the circle, the sphere and the ellipse, with materials such as iron and glass, which have possessed both functional and symbolic meaning from ancient times to our day. The expressive quality and compelling visual impact the artist attains through the replication of a same sculptural unit, at times acquire an even greater potency with his references to artworks from historic times.
The various names he gives his creations –Old Sword Caique, Fountain of Time, Shuttle, Three Objects Unfit for Travel, Voice Instrument, Droplet, The Three Graces, Planet, Iron Age, Oppidum, Black Cypress, Tambur Caique, Mask, Fountain of Dew etc.– bear wide-ranging references to history and the common iconography of human experience. Iron is the vital element for Dinç, and the one he essentially relates to, but he will, on occasion, complement the warm black tones of the material with glass, brass, mirror and wood. With his clear-cut, fundamental pieces inspired from nature and geometry, designed both for wall or ceiling display and to be set upright on their own or on a pedestal, the artist has developed a stunning iconographic idiom of form, material, and thought.
The recurring elements in his sculptures, enhanced by their clearly delineated shadows, combine with his spare personal language to summon the viewer to a purified level of thought and feeling. From the "Iron Age" to the present, Dinç’s sculptures keep evolving for his own personal satisfaction, encompassing both the natural and the mechanical, and simultaneously challenging our reason and our subconscious, to capture a unique thread in the fabric of our perception.
AZADE KOKER, b. 1949
Azade Köker’s interest lies in the human form and the existential and social codes contained in corporeality. Her figures and installations question the existence of the body as a ubiquitous outer shell estranged in the world surrounding it. She seeks to determine how a problematique of the body, perpetually reconstructed, transformed and reasserted fits in today’s visual environment.
With her diaphanous weightless figures, the artist redefines the body objectified by fashion as a ghost-like creature. The transparency of these forms acquaints the viewer with the sustained and simultaneous play between their interiority and exteriority. On the one hand, she affirms her creations as sculptural entities, on the other, she denies them existence turning them into nonbeings devoid of physical substance.
They are both present –as replicas of the persons or mannequins they were modeled on– and absent. This lack of identity invalidates the words that might have described them. The viewer is left only with the impression of the dichotomy of life and death that their appearance suggests.
RAHMI AKSUNGUR, b. 1955
Rahmi Aksungur’s works weld mystical discourses ancient as human history with concepts essential to sculpture. At the heart of his oeuvre lies a preoccupation with design. In his approach to sculpture once the design for a piece has emerged, it is already complete. He then determines the colors and materials in function of this design, selecting them for their capacity to absorb and radiate every form of energy from the environment.
The main reason he returns to black again and again in his sculptures is because the color so effortlessly imbibes the light shed upon it, yet resists its refraction over the surface of the mass. Whatever medium he chooses to work in, his primary aim is to define the in and out flowing domain of his sculptural mass. His creations, evoking hybrid forms of turtles, fish and other creatures, gaze into the viewer’s eyes seeking a spiritual but tangible bond.
Addressing the realm of memory, the artist urges the viewer on an introspective voyage toward the creatures of myths or dreams, to ascertain the meaning of the three-dimensional world he proffers.
Curators: Hasim Nur Gürel, Ali Akay, Levent Calikoglu
Memory and Scale: Modern Sculpture
10 February - 30 April 2006