Record-breaking Turkish artist to be exhibited at Nev
ISTANBUL-Hürriyet Daily News
The paintings at Galeri Nev first appear like objects from an archaeological excavation. Akyavaş depicts his themes using compositions styled after the most ancient artwork.Galeri Nev in Istanbul will host an exhibit of paintings and other work by Erol Akyavaş from April 6 through May 5, including Akyavaş’s painting “Ene’l Hak,” which recently sold for 2.7 million Turkish Liras in an auction held by Antik A.Ş.
Galeri Nev will be exhibiting a number of Akyavaş’s iconic paintings. Akyavaş always defined his painting as writing modern poetry in the style of a gazelle. Akyavaş attempts to paint more than mere descriptions, trying to depict how human beings understand the world and universe. Discovery is the basis of everything Akyavaş draws. He tries to depict both the unhidden things everyone sees, as well as the hidden aspects of everything, in his paintings.
The paintings at Galeri Nev first appear like objects from an archaeological excavation. Akyavaş depicts his themes using compositions styled after the most ancient artwork. The paintings constitute walls and frescoes on which the painter aims to discover objects via those archaeological images. Akyavaş incorporates other materials, such as beads, in his paintings. Some of those at Galeri Nev are thick with beads, rely only on a multitude of colors. These are icons, according to Akyavaş, who sayd he hopes to draw his audience’s attention to sacred objects and inages, and to the theme of death.
Once again in these paintings it is possible to see Akyavaş working with the mystical themes he has always dealt with in his work. Death, life, mysticism, and religion are depicted using different materials this time. While Akyavaş focuses on the multi-cultural aspects of society, he reminds us of the thread of mysticism that has always run through his paintings.
Akyavaş’s earlier paintings are among the most valued Turkish contemporary paintings. Akyavaş brought a new point of view to 20th-century painting. An earlier painting of Akyavaş, titled “The history of sacred and mysterious things,” was another highlight in the arts and culture scene in the previous years.
Akyavaş’s painting “Ene’l Hak” sold for 2.7 million liras at auction one week ago in Istanbul. “Ene’l Hak” is exemplary of Akyavaş mystical themes, reflecting Sufi mysticism, and is considered an iconic painting of contemporary Turkish art, illustrating Mansur al-Hallaj’s concept of the “creative truth.”
In his early career Akyavaş worked with André Lhote and Fernand Léger in Paris. He also studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, which influenced his painting career and style.
Akyavaş’s paintings are many musuem and private collections, and he has exhibited worldwide.
Akyavaş’s “The Glory of Sultans” is in the collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Akyavaş died in April, 1999, and a retrospective of his work organized at Dolmabahçe Palace in Oct. 2000 by Bilgi University was viewed by 20,000 visitors. More recently, works nof Akyavaş’s included in the collection of the British Museum were presented to London audiences in an exhibition titled “Word into Art,” held at the British Museum between May 18 and Sept. 3, 2006.