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  • Retrospective Exhibitions

Photography and a Selection of the
First Turkish Painters
  Text     Biography  

“The discovery of photograph in the first half of the 19th century is considered to be one of the major factors that changed the course of painting in the history of art. The advent of photography means the entry of a tool between nature and art and it is only after this that painting chooses a path of starting to question itself and to query whether photography is or not an art form.”

Burcu Pelvanoğlu


Çıracıyan and Yazmacıyan's Istanbul...   Text     Biography  

“In conclusion we can say that, as stated in the shop sign of Yazmaciyan’s business, he tried to meet the demands of his clientele from all levels of society; and credit should be given to him for succeeding this. His works that have made it till today render both 19th century Istanbul and himself immortal.”

Haşim Nur Gürel


Şeker Ahmet Paşa Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

Osman Hamdi Bey (1842–1910) who was sent to Paris in 1860 to be educated in law, decided to take art lessons. Süleyman Seyyid (1842-1913) and Şeker Ahmet Pasha (1841-1906) who had graduated from military school also decided to take art lessons in Paris. These three artists returned to Istanbul because of the Franco-Prussian War that broke out in 1870 and because of this war Mekteb-i Osmani in Paris also was closed down.


Süleyman Seyyid Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

Because most of the works left behind by Seyyid Bey, one of the first Turkish painters who lived between 1842 – 1913, that we encounter in museum and private collections are mainly still-lifes of fruits, flowers and every day objects, the wrong impression that he only produced pictures in this field has arisen.


Osman Hamdi Bey Iconographic Texts   Text  

Research done on Osman Hamdi Bey and his period focus on the state of the Ottoman Empire during it’s Westernization period, it’s relations with France, it’s perspective on art and finally on Orientalism. Therefore it will be useful to primarily examine on how the Ottoman art and culture platform developed during the westernization period.


Osman Hamdi Bey Family Portraits   Text     Biography  

Portraits of Osman Hamdi family and household members who took part in the everyday life are gathered in ”OSMAN HAMDI BEY FAMILY PORTRAITS” exhibition. This initiative intends to open discussion on the above cited questions, as a first step.


Mıgırdiç Givanian Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

His imaginative and tasteful works with plain and complicated compositions of sceneries, trees and grass almost alive with wide brush strokes, the twinkling effect of clouds in the sky are solid proof of his strong artistic talent and colourfulness. The works also reveal a more refined and more adept to nature method from an artist with techniques of a highly skilled theatre stage decorator.


7 Artists - 7 Retrospectives   Text     Biography  

During the period of Osman Hamdi Bey Hüseyin Zekai Paşa, Şeker Ahmet Paşa and Süleyman Seyyid did not prefer to draw figures, but it is doubtless that they knew how to paint in this area also.


Hüseyin Zekai Paşa Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

Hüseyin Zekai Pasha (1860 – 1919) is cited with Şeker Ahmed Pasha ve Süleyman Seyyid Bey with whom he shows similarities in style. Zekai Pasha’s landscapes which also document the era they were painted are strikingly attractive. The few large still-lifes painted by him are also among the masterpieces of Turkish Painting.


Tevfik Fikret Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

Tevfik Fikret who lived between 1876 and 1915, is one of the main figures representing Turkish modernization and the pain it’s been through. This can be realized whilst examining his life story and can be felt through his poems and paintings. In his poems, he mostly dwelled on subjects concerning the society; whereas the majority of his paintings are reflections of his period of seclusion.


Ruhi Arel Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

After the proclamation of the Republic basic principles such as populism, nationalism and as a result of them the notion of dominance influenced culture and artistic policies. The efforts realized for industrial development arised in big cities the problem of spreading culture on a big scale.


Nazmi Ziya Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

“Nazmi Ziya is an important Turkish and international artist, with a strong faith in his personality who sought salvation in nature and in his art with his lonely and emotional temperament shaped by his landmark decisions of his life also influenced by luck. The fact that the works which document the emotional storms broiling in him, are now selling like hot cakes as a measure of wealth in certain cycles, can be seen as a dramatical end, quite suitable to his tragical life.”

Haşim Nur Gürel


Hüseyin Avni Lifij Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

"Avni Lifij has a different understanding of art then the group known as ‘Çallı Generation’. Intellectual content, poetical allegory make his works become closer to the art of French symbolists and romantics. Trees with their shadow fallen upon horizon; cypress groves; mysterious landscapes lighted up by a reddish sun; lonely ways built by a sensitive melancholy; complex relations showing the soul are adding poetry to Lifij’s paintings."


Mihri (Müşfik) Hanım Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

Mihri Hanım (1886-1954), whose name is associated with the School of Fine Arts for Women, taught at the School of Teaching between 1913-14 after the death of Müfide Kadri, until the opening of School of Fine Art for Women. However, there was probably a teacher of painting called Madam Rafael in this school between the death of Müfide Kadri and the appointment of Mihri Hanım. It is known that Madam Rafael took her students to the exhibition at the School of Fine Arts for Boys to influence them with love of art and create the occasion for an encounter with paintings.


Müfide Kadri Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

“The early period works chosen for the Virtual Museum are pieces that have possible influences from 19th century French paintings, Barbizon paintings, influences from Corot, images from works created in the mentioned period and works where the starting-point may have been a photograph or a postcard.”

Haşim Nur Gürel


Namık İsmail Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

Though Namık İsmail espoused working on outdoor landscapes for many years, he was open to the new styles and he broke away from Impressionism quite easily, especially with the help of his education in Berlin. Then he combined Impressionism and Expressionism in a unique way and created his personal artistic language. He improved his new style of his much easier and faster compared to the other artists of "1914 Generation".


Eşref Üren Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

“Painting is the one art that generates the most outage. It is a blessing to see one painter come out of thousands of students! But this is being underrated recently. It is being taught that painting is just something to utilize spare time, something entertaining not to be taken seriously. Whereas painting is a wearing and exhausting effort. Especially drawing… Can you imagine an industry without drawing? In fact, one cannot even travel to the moon without drawing. Drawing is the principal of imagination.”


Muhittin Sebati Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

“Painter and sculptor Muhittin Sebati has listened to the lessons of Bourdelle and Landowski, he has visited the museums with respect, has taken a walk over the shadows of Michel-Ange, Titien and Raphael. This young man’s busts are prominent. His nobility, the depth behind his bust faces, the pleasure he takes from puging the mud and making such living human masks must be seen here. If old Bourdelle would have seen this exhibition, he would have patted Sebati’s shoulder and said, ”welldeone my son”.


Hale Salih Asaf Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

"Evenmore, I could say that among us Hale was the one who had grasped the soul of Parisian style and painting. She, with her tiny body, used to take out her sketch book and drew sketches wherever we went to. We used to make some arguments (about art). And she also used to take part in these arguments. However, she used to carry the subjects of our arguments into her paintings better than all of us."


Frumet Tektaş Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

"The exhibition of Mrs. Afif Tektaş opened on Saturday. As soon as you enter the exhibition hall, you see her lovely sketches welcoming you and make you wonder about the other paintings. Then you make your way to the next hall, but immediately planning to come back. This excitement arises from the fact that Afif Tektaş who is the daughter of deceased ambassador Suat Davaz and the wife of pianist Mr. Afif Tektaş, is encountering public with her artworks for the first time."


Ferruh Başağa Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

“The abstract works that I began doing around 1948 was the expression and beginning of an attitude that was developing in modern Turkish painting. Foremost among the factors that turned me towards abstraction was my realization, which I mentioned a while ago, that in our day image and nature were not in themselves sufficient and that thought and life also have a great impact on art."


Nuri İyem Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

"If I take a piece of paper and pencil in my hand and start to draw something I also judge it. This is my habit. I can’t step out of this habit... At each painting I handle the form matter first. However, I never finished a painting starting with the formal relations. It absolutely has content…"


Cihat Burak Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

“I love women, I love everything, I’m curious about everything. I resemble the alien like sea creatures that elongate hand-like extremities from unusual body parts to feel the environment, the creature that after taking a feel suddenly retracts those tentacles. I long to touch and smell everything. What is the difference between me and the bear poking his nose into every hole and crevice looking for sweet honey; the bear that more often than not gets stung by a swarm of bees?...”

Cihat Burak


Avni Arbaş Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

'Why do I paint? To express the things that I feel. Were I to act according to what others say, the painting I did wouldn’t be mine. I am trying to speak in my own language. It’s a matter of remaining faithful to oneself. I’m a figurative painter. I want there to be people in my pictures. I love people, animals. Everything that exists in this world is of interest to me. I’ve never painted abstract. I’ve always loved figurative art. If that causes reactions, so be it. I’ll still go on doing what I do.'


Leyla Gamsız Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

'Leyla has astonished us by confronting us with this torrent and liveliness of colour. We found more than we expected in her exhibition… In this young and gifted artist’s paintings large planes were painted delightfully and bravely. In a way, her style looks like Hale Asaf. You can almost hold the plastic care, comforting sensitivity and nobility in both of them.' Eşref Üren, 1952


Neşet Günal Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

"I am opposed to the variable, because I know it is impossible to be constant. Every unnecessary enterprise ends with unfortunate variability... Variability is not renewal; what matters is genesis. (...) today we witness the dilemma of artists who think they are truly 'free' because of their absolute freedom to create at will. (...) painting for me is not a game but an ordeal."

Photograph: Arcan


Naile Akıncı Retrospective Exhibiton   Text     Biography  

"Therefore, for Akıncı, beyond the emotions it evokes, this is a site chosen to be the conveyor of a certain atmosphere; for it is never possible to systematize emotions, which rather correspond to the content of momentary experience, let alone divide them by years. Akıncı, adopting a kind of savant attitude, has transcended what is apparently changing, and reflected the change taking place in herself, that is, her personality which gradually merges with simplicity and tolerance. However, the tendecy towards simplification mentioned here is in fact a hidden trap; indeed, when we compare one of the Eyüp paintings dated 1953 with some later examples, we see at first glance that everything is much simpler and more calculated here."


Turan Erol Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

"I’m an artist attentive to my surroundings and in a constant state of active contemplation on what I see, but I’m not inclined to find attractive the ordinary or what is generally regarded as beautiful. My paintings accommodate my own ideas alone. What I mean is this is an internal process of formation.

Photograph: Gültekin Çizgen


Nevin Çokay Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

“As seen in Çokay’s paintings, a petit indication, a reminiscent of reality, suffices to build a bridge between art and nature. Neither essential form, nor colour is enough. Without harming them, a hint of reality and nature provides the onlooker the opportunity to immerse in thousands of interpretations...”

Nurullah Berk


Neş’e Erdok Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

“Neş’e Erdok is a lone spectator in the crowd. While all eyes in the packed hall are riveted on the stage, she is observing those around her, as watching the others turns to a pretext for a totally unassuming vita contemplativa. But although this observation verges on eidetic insight, likening it to contemplation would be misleading; for always at the forefront in Erdok’s point of departure is a search for dialogue firmly grounded in everyday experience.”

Mehmet Ergüven


Muhsin Kut Retrospective Exhibition   Text     Biography  

Muhsin achieves a multifarious synthesis of the influences and observations he filtered from this environment and assimilated, where abstract art that had a sway over our art in those years and experiments on canvas textures are also examined, furnishing it with intelligence, humor, striking graphic effects and openness to all colors on the spectrum.

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