ABOUT KORAY ARİŞ & YUSUF TAKTAK
Koray Aris is an established contemporary visual artist, Koray Aris was born in 1944. Artists Tone Fink, Juan Altuna, Woody Gwyn, Jürg Andermatt, and Joyce Frizell are of the same generation. Born in 1944, Koray Aris' creative work was primarily inspired by the 1960s. The universal impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Illustrative of a time stirring both faith and anger, the 1960s triggered an outburst of cutting-edge philosophies and movements, truly exciting and ground-breaking. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly influential impact internationally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain separating Europe both physically and spiritually, and significantly marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing assumptions on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The significant escalation of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism developed the crucial idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the physical world. Born of a desire to erase all pre-established conceptions about art, Minimalism became a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Minimalism became influential through the works of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, while Pop art was a fundamental by-product of the latter, at the same time critiquing and glorifying popular culture. The iconic contemporary art movements that echoed through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own distinctions and scopes, particular to different areas or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Across Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism strongly influenced artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who sought to depict the raw human emotions often associated with reflections on death and the haunting angst of the meaninglessness of life.
Yusuf Taktak was born in Bolvadin, in 1951. He graduated from İstanbul Fine Arts Academy, the Class of Prof. Adnan Çoker. He continued his education at Salzburg Summer Academy in Austria. Between the years 1976-1992 he worked at İstanbul Fine Arts Academy as a lecturer, and at the same time at İstanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum. He lectured for a short period of time at Yeditepe University. In 2005, he started working in Yıldız University Art and Design Faculty. His works are being exhibited in museums in Turkey and abroad. He works and lives in İstanbul. The artist, who has been playing an active role in shaping art in our country both in theory and in practice, as one of the point guards of Turkish painting, has put serious effort in framing the memory of Turkish art. He started the A Section of Avantgarde Turkish Art exhibitions; he took active part in founding the International Plastic Arts Association (UPSD); using the archives of the Museum, he arranged many significant exhibitions such as the palettes exhibition, including that of Abdulmecid’s and Osman Hamdi Bey’s, in the first place; and he trained hundreds of students.
KORAY ARIS AND YUSUF TAKTAK, TWO MASTERS OF TURKISH SCULPTURE AND PAINTING
The trees Koray Ariş dressed in leather and lead, the triangle, bicycle and obelisks of Yusuf Taktak... And two comments:
‘The painful expression of the Romanesque reliefs, the strong simplicity of the first Roman sculptures, the miraculous balance of the early Renaissance, the dynamic articulation of the Baroque period.’/ Italian art historian Antonio Del Guercio.
‘Creating a new language and making it a part of contemporary expression has always been one of the artist's problems. In this respect, Yusuf Taktak reveals the language of the canvases in which his own materials, colors and figures are intertwined, presents it to us to read, and gives us signs to enter a world of his own...' /Prof.Ali Akay
Koray Ariş thinks that sculpture is a different and special art. For him, sculpture is not just about creating three-dimensional forms. He believes in simplicity in form. He avoids ornamentation as much as possible throughout his life and uses leather as a material for Turkish sculpture for the first time.
In addition to leather, Ariş makes figurative sculptures with materials such as wood and lead.
When Yusuf Taktak's previous exhibitions were reviewed, the obvious theme was "triangle and bicycle". Perceiving this as "human and space", the artist states that the triangle originates from the tent and that the bicycle has no meaning without people. Therefore, it questions “time” with the use of standing and moving forms. The artist, who focuses on the obelisk, which is the indicator of civilizations, in his recent works, is on his way to different expressions with some symbols and signs in his own obelisk and inscriptions on it. Defining the obelisks as “the summary of centuries of cultural accumulation”, the artist also questions his own identity through this form.