FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Arica Hilton
“If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.”
-Alphonse de Lamartine
HILTON ASMUS CONTEMPORARY PARTNERS WITH
ARMAGGAN ART & DESIGN GALLERY, ISTANBUL
TURKISH CONTEMPORARY ART
A GROUP EXHIBITION CURATED BY SANEL SAN
paintings, sculpture, glass, metal, ceramic, fiber art & mixed media
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
shows runs through January 24, 2014
CHICAGO --Partnering with Istanbul based, ARMAGGAN Art & Design Gallery, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary is pleased to present ISTANBUL BREEZE, featuring sixteen contemporary Turkish Artists, two of whom reside in Chicago and two others within the United States. The show consists of three-dimensional works in glass, metal, bronze, fiber art, mixed media, paintings and photography. A uniting factor with the artists appears to be a thread of the feminine, although many of the works themselves are not what we consider feminine in the least. Whether it is a symbolist painting, marble and bronze sculptures dedicated to the transcendence of the human spirit, fabric and glass that show an ephemeral nature, or photographs of fisherman, the works speak volumes about the roles of men and women in a male dominated society. The artists, all Turkish but each with their own distinct intercultural backgrounds, are an amalgam of Bulgarian, Greek, Circassian, Cypriot, Armenian, Sephardic Jew, European and Asian descent. Much like the United States, Turkey is a melting pot of different races, religions and cultures.
The Turkish art market has been progressively blossoming into a global market. Nearly a decade earlier, the country was in economic crisis. Today Turkey has become the second fastest growing economy in the world after China. The local art scene has experienced a boom in new art institutions since 2004, from galleries, artist-run spaces, privately funded museums and art centers, to art fairs and auctions. Compared to art markets in the Middle-East and India - the Turkish art market is more developed, with a solid infrastructure to support the growing art scene. With Istanbul being named the European Capital of Culture in 2010, further art infrastructure support and investment has blossomed. In 2009, London Sotheby's had it first ever auction of Turkish Modern Art. The following year, the sales doubled. Modern Turkish art is in high demand, in Turkey and internationally, but Turks also have a global perspective and are collecting artists from abroad. Turkey's transformation is not only economic, but also cultural, especially since the launch of the Istanbul Biennal Contemporary Art in 1987.
The country, passing a second crisis this past summer from the Gezi Park protests, has rebounded through the arts. Many of the artists from this exhibition were at Gezi Park in peaceful support of the protection of the park itself. It was a profound experience for them and for the world. Many of the works show a joy and fullness that is commensurate with their ethos. They do not describe or subscribe to violence or sadness in any way. Instead, each artist expresses their innate belief in the power of the positive, in the power of love and the power of humanity. They are Humanists to end.
ISTANBUL BREEZE: FRIDAY, November 22 - January 24
HILTON | ASMUS CONTEMPORARY
About the Art & Artists:
Standing nearly five feet tall, a central figure of the exhibition is a "Guardian Angel" by Yasemin Aslan Bakiri, a native of Istanbul. The Angel is created from metal, glass, steel wool and silver mesh to show the spiritual side of Istanbul's past civilizations. Known for her glass and mesh "Kaftans," Aslan Bakiri creates a visual game made from layers of hot glass formed manually and spontaneously before giving the glass the chance to cool. Her mother knits the field where the glass is attached to the background.
Another cornerstone of the exhibit is Meral Deger's CORNUCOPIA. Apropos for the holiday season, Deger's glass techniques suggest a powerful study of an ephemeral medium. Deger recently won an award at the Venice Architecture Biennale in the Murano section. For this exhibition, she has created a series of hand blown glass Cornucopias (Horns of Plenty) that seem to rise, as if reaching towards the sky. They are ecstatic symbols of the human spirit that transcends worlds and are grounded all at once.
Chicago artists, Ani Afshar and Meltem Aktas were both born in Istanbul. Aktas, is known for her majestic iconography in many of the churches throughout the United States. Aside from Turkish miniatures and Sufi mysticism, Aktas draws inspiration from Flemish painting, New Mexican retablos and the poetry of St. John of the Cross and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Two smallSufi Mystic images on wood, painted much like her signature Byzantine icon style in which she mixes her own paints from egg tempura and applies gold leaf will be on display.
Fiber artist, Ani Afshar, coming off of an exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center in September 2012 and at Hilton Asmus Contemporary last April, has created a tulle composition, "Layers of Shine & Shadow," for the exhibition. She is currently preparing for an exhibition of her weavings"Interlacing Threads: Traditional Techniques | Contemporary Perspectives," to be held at Columbia College in January 2014.
Of the sixteen artists, only two are male. Dincer Gungorur, hailing from the Central Mediterranean region, the artist embraces a figurative style reminiscent of the female fertility figures of ancient history using locally mined marbles for his figures. Perhaps he has been to the ancient Hittite archaeological site in the southeastern part of Turkey where the references to a matriarchal society is blatant. Where Gungorur forms grounded weighty figures of female goddesses, Derya Ozparlak chases metal into light airy forms of female figures floating through the sky lifted by colorful balloons. Her main objective is joy. And as such, her girls are happy, light and weightless, as if to say, this is what life should be, and for Ozparlak, it is.
Kemal Sirin, a Turkish/Swiss national, the other male artist of the exhibition, is the son of Semra Ozumerzifon. He has photographed the fisherman and fishing nets that Ozumerzifon uses for her sculptures. Perhaps Sirin's work is the most male oriented work in the show as traditionally women do not enter that arena of careers.
Nadia Arditti was born in Istanbul in 1948, where she lived until her family immigrated to Geneva. She completed her education in Lausanne. It has been written that her bronze sculptures (lost wax process) bring warm femininity to metallic cold. Arditti is carried away by the nature of women, their loves and desires, inner strengths and outer reaches.
Cetin Ates currently lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His sculptures have their own whimsical world where he opens windows and makes them visible to show people their reflection upon their own lives. He generally uses an arc welding technique because it is the richest method for him. Welding techniques become a tool at the beginning of the work and transforms into being a goal during the development and the final. The materials are ranging from different type of steel rods to sheet metal to screws, nuts and nails that represent today's contemporary art elements. Ates uses metaphors like key, keyhole, stair, dance, boat, fishing, moon, and sun to be able to touch some of the themes like freedom; man’s challenge to try to eliminate the distances between her/his childhood, youth and adulthood; or looking for a new chance in life.
Nadia Arditti was born in Istanbul in 1948, where she lived until her family immigrated to Geneva. She completed her education in Lausanne. It has been written that her bronze sculptures (lost wax process) bringing warm femininity to metallic cold. Arditti is carried away by the nature of women, their loves and desires, inner strengths and outer reaches. Her work is found in Turkey France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, the UK, China and the USA. Her monumental sculptures are in public collections such as HSBC, the Four Season Hotel Bosphorus, Istanbul, Orcas Island, Washington State and In 2003, Arditti was presented to H.M. The Queen of England for the inauguration of one of her monuments in London at the Cass Business School.
Dilek Aydincioglu: Within an interdisciplinary approach and a strong artistic family background, Dilek Aydıncıoğlu is an independent artist and researcher. She explores the contemporary dynamics of ceramics and its uses in both sound and visual arts. In addition to her work in these domains, Aydıncıoğlu is currently leading architectural installation and art work restoration projects in her firm and working on hand built porcelain / stoneware techniques in her studio in Istanbul. She has led a number of Architectural Projects on Relocation and Conservation of big scale murals and sculptures of private, corporate and government collections. She has developed an artistic and out- of- the box attitude towards a contemporary dialogue between the historical codes of the preserved art works and the newly recognized codes, functionality and the esthetics of the high-tech buildings.
Asli Kutluay was born in Ankara in 1970. She graduated in Industrial Design at the Middle East Technical University in 1992 and completed her master’s degree at the faculty of Fine Arts at Bilkent University, Ankara, where continues to reside. Her works have been shown throughout Europe, Asia and the United States in galleries and art fairs such as the London Art Fair, New York Art Expo, Art Hamptons, Florence Biennale.
Aysegul Kirmizi was born in Istanbul and received her Fine Arts degree from Marmara University and a degree from the ISIK University in art theory and criticism. Her paintings depict the mission of women in the universe, who are imposed various roles throughout human history because of traditional teachings of society and its system. Using females figures, she expresses the feminine world, wrapped in many tasks: sexuality for the proliferation the human race, motherhood, the fulfillment of modern life requirements and so on. With soft colours and touches, she associates woman’s softness, sentimentality, obstinacy and childlike and womanlike strengths with a feminine fairy world. She uses nature and animals as allegorical symbols.
CAMEKAN, a collaboration of two Turkish artists, Gamze Araz Eskinazi & Yasemin Sayinsoy.
They met in 2003 at the Glass Furnace Foundation while learning blowing techniques of hot glass. Since then, they have created light hearted, whimsical and elegant glass pieces that are part of their life journey. Working as a team is a different experience for these two creative women. Their partnership depends on trust, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Semra Özümerzifon was born in Istanbul and graduated from Robert College in 1970. Moving to Switzerland in 1980, she attended Geneva Academy of Fine-Arts (1981-1984) studying painting and drawing in the workshops of Axel Ernst and Pascal Saini. She had many individual exhibitions in Europe, and participated in international art fairs. She won awards at international art competitions in France and Italy and was attributed the titles of “Associate Academician” and “Academic Knight” by International Academy Greci-Marino and Academy of Verbano. In 2007, returning to Turkey she continues her work in Istanbul. She creates her fiber sculptures from fishing nets, using the natural color of the nets woven around metal to form her waves and fire and ultimately the Bosphorus that unites two continents.
Born in Nicosia, Cyprus Pembe Tüzüner resides in istanbul. Her interest in sculpture began with the Yunus Tonkuş workshops in 2002 where she continued until 2008. In addition to this education she also took theory lesson on sculpture art from Associate Professor Seda Yavuz at Simya gallery between 2007, 2010. She now practices her art at her own atelier in Tarabya, İstanbul.
Belgin Yucelen studied sculpture at the Florence Accademia D'Arte in Florence, University of Colorado Boulder, Art Students League of Denver and Scottsdale Art School. Her work has been represented in private collections and exhibitions.
On Friday, November 22nd from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Hilton Asmus Contemporary will present “ISTANBUL BREEZE,” an exhibition of Turkish Contemporary artists curated by Sanel San, director of the Armaggan Art & Design Gallery in Istanbul.