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Painter Ahmet Günestekin Opens His First New York Exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery PDF Print E-mail
2013-11-26 12:15:14
Image The Directors of Marlborough Gallery are pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by the artist Ahmet Güneştekin, who is from Turkey. The exhibition, featuring oil paintings with Güneştekin’s signature rich colors and detailed, interwoven brushstrokes, will open Tuesday November 26, 2013 and continue through January 4, 2014. Güneştekin creates powerful formal compositions as a means to convey a spiritual message. Aesthetically, his paintings are almost sculptural with their careful modulations of color and intricate, detailed layers of lines that cause the painted forms to appear to emerge from the canvas. Adding to the sense of three-dimensionality is the shallow impasto matrix of precise brushstrokes that comprise the top layer of elaborate lines. Güneştekin employs these colors and lines to convey an overarching theme; the artist states, “My work represents this conflict between the darkness and the light...[my] imagination derives from darkness and seeks the light.”

Consequently, the Sun is an important motif in Güneştekin’s work. In the exhibited works After the Sacred Ritual, The Dream of Icarus, The Sun Coronet, and Zoroaster, the Guardian of the Sun, all from 2013, Güneştekin depicts spheres that seem to emit light from within, but they are constrained by shadowy bands that suggest a menacing darkness. “My signature is the Sun,” Güneştekin states, noting that “my ancestors, the Yezidis, worshipped the Sun before Islamization.”

The Yezidis are a Kurdish religious group associated with the mystic traditions of Zoroastrianism and Sufism. In the essay that accompanies the exhibition catalogue, the art critic Donald Kuspit writes: Güneştekin’s colors are often marked by darkness, but the light always shines through them. Light and darkness converge even as they contradict each other—paradoxically unite by way of their opposition.

Güneştekin’s Sun is divided against itself, as the difference between its luminous depth, full of energy and embryonic life forms, and its ominously dark surface, the static construction of constricting bands fixing it in place, indicate. But without them the light would dissipate in cosmic space: the Sun would fall apart. Güneştekin inhabits its numinous space, communing with his ancestral spirits.

The artist’s work also retains the influence of the conservative environment in which he was raised. The Islamic ban on figurative art led Güneştekin to draw upon traditional Islamic motifs and several works from 2012 in the exhibition feature these classic and intricate designs:Sun Dreams, Heaven Help Me (Run Angel!), The Last Move of Achilles, and The Solitude of Troy. The repetition of geometric shapes, vegetal designs and concentric circles all derive from the Islamic arabesque but are transformed into a unique contemporary statement by the artist’s hand.

Güneştekin was born and raised in Batman, Turkey, in the Garzan workers’ camp. His father labored to provide for his large family, but encouraged his son to pursue art by collecting cement sacks on which his son could paint. Güneştekin studied at the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts for a short period of time and in 2010 he established “Güneştekin Art Studio” in Beyoğlu, Turkey. Güneştekin has participated in several solo and group exhibitions, including Momentum of Memory in Venice, Italy in 2013 and numerous exhibitions in Turkey. This exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with an essay by the art critic Donald Kuspit.
Last Updated ( 2013-12-03 18:07:20 )
 
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