April 13, 2011

Istanbul Show an Introduction to Modern Turkish Art

Santralistanbul, an art, music and education space at the tip of the Golden Horn, is currently home to an exhibition that’s akin to an immersion course in modern Turkish painting. “20 Modern Turkish Artists of the 20th Century,” showing through June 19, features more than 400 works from the huge collection of the textile magnate Oner Kocabeyoglu, selected and arranged in collaboration with the writer and art critic Ferit Edgu.

In curating the show, Mr. Edgu divided the works into three sections: figurative and abstract paintings by artists like Fikret Mualla and Abidin Dino; pieces from the “Paris School” of abstract Turkish painters like Fahrelnissa Zeid (the lone woman in the exhibition), Nejad Devrim and Mübin Orhon; and works by artists including Ferruh Basaga and Burhan Dogancay, under the heading of “Geometry, Light, Music and Walls.’’

The editing process was a challenging one. “First I went to see the whole collection, approximately 900 pieces by 40 to 50 artists,” he said. After he whittled down his choice, “the collector went out and bought some more paintings, so about 40 new pieces were then added to the show.’’

The Paris School grouping covers a particularly interesting period for Turkish painting, he said, in that it shows how the Turkish artists, from a Western perspective, “caught up” to what was being done by the Europeans.

Read more on The New York Times: Istanbul Show an Introduction to Modern Turkish Art


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