Galeri MCRD opens the new season with Work-In -Progress, the second solo exhibition of Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay and presents the artworks in a perpetually changing, dynamic exhibition flow.Constant change inherent in the meaning of “ work_in_progress” reflects the work process of the artist approaching each canvas without an a priori image or shape, eschewing sketches and source material ,to paint from imagination alone.
September 10- October 28, 2014
About the Artist
Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay approaches each work without an a priori image or shape, eschewing sketches and source material to instead work the material until a form emerges with sometimes a sable brush ,some other times a digital brush or both.The constantly changing works which are constructed in a long time frame hovering stylistically between abstract expressionism and surrealism are questioning image production and contain both sides of a story.With her surreal landscapes she constructs an other-worldly realm all her own.
“WORK_IN_PROGRESS” is Yasemin Cengiz Çağatay's second solo exhibition and is presented along with the gallery artists' selected artworks from previous exhibitions in a dynamic exhibition flow.Constant change inherent in the meaning of “ work_in_progress” reflects the work process of the artist approaching each canvas without an a priori image or shape, eschewing sketches and source material ,to paint from imagination alone.Her dream like imagery is frozen in time and her perspective engenders an indeterminacy that veers sharply from the real world. Producing works of great internal complexity, she aims at creating an artificial reality.Her figures hang in the air somewhere between freefall and surreal suspension.By looking closely at the surfaces of the paintings, you can access the more important information : cosmologies, birds of paradise ,butterflies, sharks, hybrid creatures, mother nature,meditation of the derviches, angels, etc.The occupants of her paintings are the stuff of dreams.
Moving freely between figuration and abstraction, Cagatay’s work stands as a testament to her independence of thought.In her attempt to interpret the increasing speed of the world around her, the artist uses fragmentation of the images as a technique to convey it, like the Futurist artists did in the past. Her concern with motion is reflected in the exceptionally dense nature of her complex compositions.Using manmade forms more than organic ones, she comes up with a space age imagery which could also be seen as poetic intimations of landscape. Her romantic tendency counter balances the coldness of the futuristic game imagery through her use of opalescent colors interspersed with sonorous dark blues and blacks. The title of the exhibition, “Work-in-progress” captures the restless, searching quality of her work : A process of ongoing exploration and discovery.
Yasemin Cengiz Cagatay grew up in Istanbul with an art teacher mother who surrounded her with paints, paintings and art books as a child. The work of surrealist and futurist painters inspired her from a very young age, leading to a first prize in a nationwide art competition among high school students. She has studied from 11 to 19 years old in Lycée de Galatasaray, a major establishment who formed the politicians and artists of the Ottoman Empire and the republic. The French influence she received in this centuries old school is reflected in her paintings. She has been invited to the State Academy of The Arts, but she has studied Business Management at Bosphorus University, Istanbul. She pursued a finance career for a decade, and with the birth of her second child, she decided to pursue her vocation in art.
The artist gave herself a tailored, eclectic education in art, passing the summers in art centers like Paris, London and New York; studying art management at the summer programs of IESA Paris, Sotheby’s Institute of Art London and NewYork. She taught herself through extensive museum visits including Paris, Madrid, Berlin, London and NewYork art museums, spending a lot of time observing the work of the masters. Her university curriculum at Bosphorus University giving her a strong base in Humanities, she has been able to give full reign to her passion in studying psychology and art history. Although her preoccupation with the twin modes of analogue and digital painting in relation to representational iconographies spans a decade, the artist preferred to have her inaugural solo exhibition Beyond Reality with Galeri MCRD she co-founded in 2013 at All Arts Istanbul art fair by the Contemporary Istanbul team. She had then participated to the group exhibitions of her art gallery.