Lawrie Shabibi is pleased to announce Mind’s Eye, the first solo exhibition in the Gulf Region for Selma Gürbüz, one of Turkey’s foremost contemporary painters. Working in a grand scale in oil on canvas and more intimately with ink on paper, this exhibition combines both aspects to give an overview of her recent work.
In her rich and evocative paintings Selma Gürbüz draws on a broad range of influences and merges them with her whimsical imagination to produce lyrical and very personal works. Each of her paintings is touched by romanticism and her own esoteric story-telling. Selma Gürbüz is nothing if not eclectic. She knows her sources and is not afraid to mix idioms. Just as the mind links remembered images and events, she intuitively weaves together disparate elements in her paintings. Gürbüz leaves the line that separates intention from intuition deliberately obscured, so that her paintings bear a strangely familiarity through an unfamiliar melding of disparate parts, a kind of fairytale mythology based on our collective cultural memories.
Selma Gürbüz’s work carries echoes of high Ottoman and traditional Turkish folk art, with combinations of motifs that are uniquely Turkish and rooted in the culture of the country. The all-over patterning of Iznik tiles and silk embroideries feeds into her paintings, with their vegetal arabesques and cintimani, as do the bold outlines of Turkish Karagoz shadow theatre. Within the same paintings she introduces elements from the pantheon of Western art, with elements from Cranach, Leonardo, Velazquez and Goya, and the formal qualities of Ingres, Manet and Mattise, while at the same time she looks East, beyond Turkey. Persian miniatures, Japanese woodcuts and Indian sculpture all inform her work. It is this ability to seamlessly draw together features from high and folk art from a wide range of sources, both geographical and temporal, and her tendency to combine different aspects within individual elements that makes the work of Selma Gürbüz so uniquely mesmerizing.
Selma Gürbüz was born in Istanbul in 1960. She studied for her BA in Fine Art at the Exeter College of Art Design in the UK (1980-82) and at the Marmara University School of Fine Arts in Turkey (1982-84). She has exhibited extensively both in Turkey and abroad and is one of Turkey’s best-known contemporary artists. Recent solo shows include Shadows of My Self with Rose Issa Projects at Leighton House, 2011; “Aketip” (“Archetypes”), Antrepo no.3, Istanbul (2010); “Uninvited”, Akbank Culture Center, Istanbul (2009); “Sunny Shadows III”, Gallery Apel, Istanbul (2008); Galerie Maeght, Paris (2008); “Cat’s Eye”, Milli Reasurans Gallery, Istanbul (2008); “Kamiyama Workshop”, Kamiyama, Japan (2007); “Safa”, MAC Art Gallery, Istanbul (2007); “Feline I”, Galerie Maeght, Paris (2006); “Feline II”, Gallery Apel, Istanbul (2006); “Go East”, Beijing TSI1 Contemporary Art Center, Beijing (2006); “Daydream”, Gallery Nev, Ankara (2005).
Her work is in public collections which include The British Museum, London; Istanbul Modern; Santral Istanbul; Istanbul Bilgi University; Project 4L, Istanbul; Galerie Maeght, Paris; and the Painting and Sculpture Museum, Ankara.
(pictures and info kindly provided by Lawrie Shabibi Gallery)