Bodrum Art Fair
Galeri MCRD participates in Bodrum Art Fair with a solo exhibition by Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay entitled 'Doors of Imagination' presenting a series of new paintings along with a few old ones. Storytelling lies at the heart of this special presentation, with a particular focus on 'Other worlds' as in her previous presentations. The artist produces immersive compositions that borrow from the animated structures of Futuristic imagery that are marked by tonal and chromatic shifts that operate in concert.
Bodrum Herodot Culture and Fair Center
June 28, 2022
June 29- July 3 2022
Hours:16:00 - 22:30
Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay’s imaginative universe is ripe with references to the natural world and populated by a cast of animals and figures drawn from myths and legends as well as protagonists of the world history. The construction of fantastical, multidimensional environments is integral to her practice and her latest works present no exception: Always attuned to the ways that color and light merge with thought itself, she builds finely wrought narratives that can be read as spirited visions of imagined universes appearing in some paintings almost as a cosmic constellation. They also abound with animal and plant life representing eternal knowledge.
The artist corrals diverse influences within a signature stylized language, often collapsing traditional distinctions and hierarchies. She creates humorously epic scenes animated by her cartoon-like figures: In her hands, a classical flower painting might also depict an animated scene, while this very scene might, on closer inspection, reveal itself to be an almost archaeological excavation of the picture plane. She takes the form of a curve as a motif that serves as the backbone of her dance between figuration and abstraction. As in much of her work, the theatrical and the intricate verge on the sublime or the grotesque, depending on the narrative.
In her latest series, flowers step forward, uprooted from still life or landscape traditions, to become protagonists in their own right. Based in nature, they are fantastical and mystical, pulsing through their surroundings. They can be also read as an apt symbol for the transience of life, a brief flourishing of beauty that quickly fades. Perhaps it was because of her desire to prolong that blossoming beauty that she made this work, to capture that flash before it goes out as quickly as it emerged. The artist likes the idea of combining art historical moments: Rococo imagery of flowers with the boundless imagination of Surrealism, imbued with the innocent sweetness of animation characters.She wants to paint ‘what is unseen, to find the life within things and animate them'. In her painting Spirit of the Flowers a sense of an other-worldly force coming into being is evident. It is exemplary of Cagatay’s incorporation of the imagined ,the symbolic, and the real in her paintings, unified as a vibrant and sensuous visual narrative. They are captivating in their materiality and haunting in their implications; they can serve as both portraits and meditations on life and death. Cagatay repositions her subject away from conventional depictions of flowers with an esoteric representation in which her mythical figures appear to float in the air, caught up in their own otherworldly realm.
Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay began painting at an early age in İstanbul with an art teacher mother. Surrounded with paintings and art history books, she fell in love with color. She learned painting as a child, this leading her to national art prizes - including a first prize in a nation wide art competition when she was a high school senior. She has studied from 11 to 19 years old at Lycée de Galatasaray, a major establishment having formed the politicians and artists of the country. The French influence she received in this centuries old school with a blend of French and Turkish curricula reflects in her paintings. She has studied at Bosphorus University Business School; which curriculum included a rich humanities program. The artist pursued a management career working as a management committee member for multinational companies, and quit to indulge in her passion for art. She gave herself a tailored art education rigorously pursued in art centers - Paris, London and New York - and also studied contemporary art at the programs of IESA Paris, Sotheby’s Institute of Art London and New York. Cagatay’s yearning to wed the eternal with the coming day, and her devotion to constant questioning pushed her to paint for a long time before exhibiting her work: her preoccupation with analogue and digital painting in relation to representational iconographies spans a decade. She preferred to have her inaugural exhibition with the gallery she co-founded; and starting with All Arts Istanbul fair in 2013, she had exhibited her work both solo or in group with Galeri MCRD at Contemporary Istanbul 2014, 2019,2021, Virtual CI'20 and in Scope New York 2020, Bodrum Art Fair 2021.