Contemporary İstanbul 2019

Galeri MCRD participates in Contemporary İstanbul 2019 (Booth B105) with

a solo booth of 14 new paintings by Yasemin Cengiz Çağatay.


Yasemin Cengiz Çağatay's solo exhibition features 14 new paintings addressing the timeless power theme through hybrids of symbolic characters and nuanced allegory with a surrealist aesthetic through stream of consciousness storytelling.Painting freely from her psyche, mining her unconscious for dreamlike imagery, the artist comes up with otherworldly compositions commenting ironically on human condition. Having worked in corporate management for a decade, she has experienced how power is being wielded directly; so this subject came to her naturally. 

Yasemin Cengiz Çağatay's works are infused with a dreamlike, surreal sensibility; and she dresses unsettling themes like power in sparkles, gemstones, and fantasy. Her kaleidoscopic images are a swirl of beauty and hinted violence, and she uses beasts, birds, butterflies, fish and flowers as well as dragon-bird creatures to animate her cartoon-like characters. The artist combines representation and abstraction, with a tendency towards gesturalism. She is influenced by diverse references, from Surrealists to contemporary artists Glenn Brown and Raqib Shaw, including futurists as well as symbolists like Vrubel. Seeing Surrealism as an opening to express her inner self, her mind’s eye likes to play: her images are by turns poignant, comic, skillful, naïve, grotesque or elegant. None are what they seem at first sight. They are designed to provoke thought on the caprices of perception and mysteries of mental pleasure. 

While her bold paintings obviously look back to the painterly experimentation days, her imagery is also heavily influenced by the current videogame graphics; hence the contemporary end result. Her figurative paintings show abstract elements, interacting on the pictorial plane, creating a deep, but ever changing pictorial space of multi-focal character. The viewer is forced to readjust his/her position at every new look. The artist's de-focalisation of the image is disconcerting; most of her paintings can be hung upside down and become a new painting. Her bold colors and sinuous forms further enhancing the bombastic effect of her intricately structured compositions also reflect her obsession with color. 

Yasemin Cengiz Çağatay studied Business Management in Bosphorus University,Istanbul. She had her first solo exhibition Beyond Reality in All Arts Istanbul Fair in  2013, and had other solo exhibitions at Galeri MCRD: Work-In-Progress and Other Worlds .She has participated to the group exhibitions of the gallery, Reflex, Spectacular , and Epiphany, as well as the gallery's group exhibition at Contemporary Istanbul 2014.

12-15 September 2019

Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center 

Selected Works

Yasemin C.Cagatay, You Look Confused, Listen to Me

Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay, All About Power

Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay, Meditation

Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay, Hymn of Life

Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay, Chasing Fortuna

Y. C. Cagatay, It Doesn't Mean You Are Not Followed

Installation View