In Painter and Painting: A Mehmet Güleryüz Retrospective, Istanbul Modern presents an inventory of the artist’s oeuvre from the 1960s to the 2010s. With his critical and expressionist style, Mehmet Güleryüz has earned himself a special and privileged place in the art scene in Turkey over half a century.
The artist uses a critical and ironic language to express, through his figurative works, the effects of Turkey’s sociocultural and political transformation on people. The exhibition sheds light on the development and transformation of Güleryüz’s generous quest for expression, which ranges from painting, drawing, sculpture, and engraving to theater and performance. On view between January 8 and June 28, 2015, in Istanbul Modern’s Temporary Exhibition Hall, this new retrospective features close to 150 works and approximately 300 drawings projected in multimedia presentations.
Curated by Istanbul Modern Director Levent Çalıkoğlu, the retrospective follows a chronological course featuring the specific image typology developed by Mehmet Güleryüz, who uses his keen powers of observation to convey the complex processes shaped by family, social conditions, socio- economic and environmental factors; as well as the nature-human relationship; class struggles; and existential problems involved in an individual’s desire to exist. In addition to drawings and paintings, the retrospective “Painter and Painting” features significant research and examples of Güleryüz’s sculpture from the 1970s to the present.
Enriched by texts penned by Güleryüz, the exhibition brings together the works the artist has produced since the 1960s in fields such as drawing, painting, sculpture, engraving, painted porcelain and performances. Furthermore, a rich biographical wall-display features all of Mehmet Güleryüz’s periods and brings together his life story, the environments he has experienced, and texts about him, thus rendering visible a personal story of the art scene in Turkey from the 1960s to the present.
Another area at the entrance of the exhibition features visual materials and texts about Gariplikler Müzesi (The Museum of Oddities), a performance-likesculptural installation that Mehmet Güleryüz exhibited in Fındıklı Park for the Akademi Art Festival in 1979.