May 16, 2010

Haluk Akakce at Alison Jacques Gallery, London

Contemporary Art Exhibition > Haluk Akakçe
Contemporary Art Exhibition > UK > London > Alison Jacques Gallery


Painting by Haluk AKAKCEHaluk Akakçe

Coming Home


Alison Jacques Gallery


30 April - 30 May 2010



Image: © Haluk Akakçe

Courtesy of Alison Jacques Gallery



ʻA sense of being between states underlies all Akakçeʼs work. No entity is fixed and no category impermeable. Itʼs a world where one need not subscribe to inherited patterns of behaviour, where it seems one may become anything simply by believing in its possibility... but a sense of melancholy pervades these artificial paradises... the beauty in Akakçeʼs works is treacherous.ʼ -- Alex Farquharson, frieze


Haluk Akakçe returns to London for his first exhibition in the UK since 2007. Featuring a new digital film work and six new paintings, Coming Home explores the psychological and philosophical meanings of time, and how movement and transformation through time can be aesthetically expressed. Undeniably indebted to his architectural training and influenced by practices of abstract painting and sculpture, Haluk Akakçeʼs work nonetheless exists beyond the boundaries of any single artistic tradition, articulating a sense of the world that is both immediately personal and suggestive of the universal.

The main gallery space is dominated by a projection of The Dervish, 2010. The intricate, monochrome, ribbon-like structure which fills the space is redolent both of postmodern urban design and the kind of geometric abstraction which alludes to something more elemental in the human psyche. The glass spheres which both act in and are acted upon by the sculptural universe that exists in the film engage in a Situationist game, both resisting and succumbing to the paths laid out before them. As the film pushes beyond the frame and envelops the viewer in its dynamics, the spheres become more than merely abstract formal gestures, and are psychologically and emotionally charged. Both hypnotic and intangible, and deliberately, patiently and rhythmically paced, The Dervish becomes itself about rhythm, and its relationship to form – for thinking about the paces and directions things and people move in through the world, and how those changes through time and space are experienced and described, is central to Haluk Akakçeʼs practice.

The luminous paintings which introduce the exhibition at the entrance to the gallery and which fill the second gallery space develop Haluk Akakçeʼs artistic concerns through an elaborate formal language which holds movement and fluidity in tension with a sense of stillness, almost transcendence. The various painted forms, crafted intuitively and freehand by Haluk Akakçe by delicately scoring a sheet of film placed on the board to create a stencil, are not transparently representational, but still relate to notions of change, of being one thing and becoming another. The process of making, reminiscent of the automatic art techniques championed by the Surrealists, reveals an artist who absorbs the shapes and gestures of everyday life, in all their organic and mechanical variety, and rearticulates them in hybrid combinations and evolutions as vibrant responses to the artistʼs experience. Yet the momentum and transformation conveyed by the forms themselves, and their spatial organisation in relation to each other, seem to be set against a motionless universe, evoked by the paintingsʼ uncompromisingly flat surfaces and depth of vision, and their stark chromatic simplicity. In Haluk Akakçeʼs paintings abstraction is not an end in itself, but a means to ask questions about the interplay between movement and stillness, the passing of time and the possibility of eternity – questions which indicate that despite the compositional poise, balance and restraint of Akakçeʼs work, his practice is essentially Romantic in its intellectual and spiritual nature.


HALUK AKAKCE was born in Ankara, Turkey in 1973. He trained in architecture at Bilkent University, Ankara, then graduated with an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Important solo presentations include The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2002); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2003); Tate Britain, London (2004); Museum Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City (2005); and Sky Is The Limit at Las Vegas (2006), a commission by Creative Time which was projected onto the largest video screen in the world. Significant group exhibitions include Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2001), Bienal de Saõ Paulo, Saõ Paulo (2002); The Royal Academy, London (2004); British Art Show 6 (touring to various locations in the UK, 2006). His work features in a number of important art collections worldwide, including UBS Art Collection, Zurich and Istanbul Modern, Istanbul.


Alison Jacques Gallery, London
16-18 Berners Street
London W1T 3LN


Hannah Wilke, 4 June - 14 August 2010
Matt Johnson, 13 October - 20 November 2010

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