Galeri MCRD participates in Bodrum Art and Antiques Fair with a presentation of sculptures by Yücel Kale and paintings by Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay. The gallery’s presentation features a number of new sculptures on view for the first time. On the constant verge between figuration and abstraction, Cagatay’s multilayered works saturated with an array of references on a scale from Baroque to Delauney's feature delicate and visually immersive compositions.
BAAF-Bodrum Art and
Bodrum Herodot Culture and Fair Center
July 28- August 1 2021
About the Artists
Gallery co-founder Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay reflects on the themes and motifs of Yücel Kale's and her own work, and the context in which they were made: The works on view are united by Surrealism adopted by both artists. They both employ colour emotionally and the artists' works evoke their enduring fascination with color as a reminder of the mystery of perception itself.
Yücel Kale's subjects reveal his humor and his bent toward the fantastic and the meditative.While it is dotted with surrealist references, this work transcends surreality. The artist thinks 'If we accept that art is able to reflect the truth of human existence, then it should not imitate this existence but instead create an artificial reality. Kale aims to find the “visual music”, both beneath and within. The goal is beauty and balance.This sculpture show -who views color as a life-force- is creating a livening pulse of highly saturated and tactile works; art as a source of renewed joy and inspiration.
The artist's works remain enigmatic, filled with paradox and wonder: Works that combine epic scope and poetic grace. Kale's vivid powers of description invite us to a world where animal life maintains the upper hand, animal life representing good sense and eternal knowledge. Shaped from timeless, semi-precious materials such as agate, along with carved glass and wood, Kale’s sculptures present us with symbolic figures from the past, from myth, or from fiction. They embody nature's wisdom and life-force. Kale’s sculptures give shape to a complete imaginative universe akin to those of earlier Romantic visionaries, ripe with references to the natural world and populated by a cast of animals and figures drawn from myths, legends. They feature a cast of potent human and animal characters – including supernatural crocodiles, gekkos, birds, owls ,fish, hedgehogs.The artist's sculptures present a world where the natural and supernatural go hand in hand.
In an inventive gestural style, YC Cagatay’s works are characterized by their luminous layers of lyrical color. The artist uses color as a means of painting. Exploring the aesthetic possibilities of color and space and their relations, she is obsessed with color. The artist's works can be called painterly investigations into the properties of color. Creating a deep, but ever changing pictorial space of multi-focal character, the artist forces the viewer to readjust his/ her position at every new look.
She is interested in powerful images that strike chords embedded deep in the reservoirs of our unconscious. The artist's visual language is also indebted to Abstract Expressionism with its anarchistic understanding of art, irrepressible urge for freedom and gestural and coloristic energy, a mode of expression that remained to this day.The dynamics of her compositions included dramatic movements and dancing rhythms and complex, visually stimulating structures.She created color textures with with an atmospheric overall timbre.In this surreal world, there is a deliberate, non-hierarchical sense of everything existing on the same plane.
YC Cagatay’s paintings resemble modern jazz. Formal links between jazz and abstract expressionism are unmistakable. Jazz music, which typically moves further and further from its original melody, as it is swept along from one chorus to the next by the frantic pace and rhythm of free improvisation, accelerating into frenetic sequences of notes, found congenial artistic expression in her early paintings. From an art history perspective, these first works were in the tradition of abstract expressionism and gestural Surrealism. Influenced by the Surrealists, her works featured organic forms with vibrant color accents.
Yücel Kale is an Istanbul based established artist, who began his artistic career two decades ago studying sculpture at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul (1993-2000).Merging ancient and contemporary vocabularies is his way of art making. Being a master sculptor, Yücel Kale is not interested in the readymades.He conceives of himself in the classical sensuality of the 'alchemist' sculptor.His work is about pure emotion and imagination, suggesting a poetics of sublime. Kale makes use of conceptual constructs—including the ancient and the sublime—creating luxurious icons and elaborate works; which, beneath their captivating exteriors, engage the viewer in a metaphysical dialogue with cultural history, while his fantastic creatures teleport the viewer to the world of dreams. In 1997 Kale had his first large-scale solo presentation with C.A.M Art Gallery. His work has been exhibited solo or as part of group exhibitions internationally at fairs -Art New York 2017 , Aqua Art Miami 2017, SOFA Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design, New York (2008), ST-ART Strasbourg Contemporary Art Fair, France (2009), Frankfurt Book Fair, Germany (2008), Asia Pacific Leather Fair Hong Kong (2014), Contemporary Istanbul (2006,2012, 2013,2021)-; at museums, -Museum Der Arbeit in Hamburg, Germany (2009) and Santa Maria della Scala Museum, Siena, Italy (2008); at Portside Gallery in Yokohama, and at Youkobo, Japan (2004). The artist had also many solo exhibitions nationally, at many established galleries including Galeri Apel, C.A.M. Art Gallery, Galeri Selvin, Imoga Art Space and Siyah Beyaz Art Gallery in Ankara. His works are held in private collections.
Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay began painting at a very 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 in 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, profound 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 at Galeri MCRD at Contemporary Istanbul 2014, 2019,2021, Virtual CI'20 and in Scope New York 2020.