Monday, June 23, 2014

A Turkish artist 'Through the Looking Glass'

Initially ignored and dismissed for her experimental approach, Füsun Onur has become recognised as one of Turkey’s most influential contemporary artists by steadfastly continuing to follow her own path. She has described her art as "musical work without sound," explaining, "I am taking everyday objects and using them as notes."

Born in 1938, Onur got her undergraduate degree at what is now the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in Istanbul, where she studied with Ali Hadi Bara. The Iranian-born sculptor was influential in moving Turkish sculpture away from official monuments and into more abstract realms.

Onur made her own mark by pioneering installation art that pushes the boundaries of both sculpture and painting, incorporating everyday objects and aspects of daily life but taking them out of their normal context in a way that prompts the viewer to reassess the meanings typically attributed to them..
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Read the rest of my preview of "Füsun Onur: Through the Looking Glass" in the Summer 2014 issue of Selections magazine's Art Paper supplement: "Making Meaning from the Mundane" (pdf)

This Emre Baykal-curated retrospective is being exhibited at Istanbul's ARTER until August 17. Don't miss the complementary video piece downstairs by artist Ali Kazma, who further illuminates Onur's artistic influences with his evocative footage shot in her Istanbul home.

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