“On the Road“ at Jamaat Art Gallery, Mumbai

The JAMAAT Art Gallery (Mumbai), in collaboration with The Empire Project (Istanbul) and with the gracious support of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with Turkish Airlines is proud to announce the India premier showing of the works of Mehmet Guleryuz, Turkey’s most important living modern artist at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai on the 17th of April, 2018.

Born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1938, Guleryuz’s over 55-year career has seen his paintings, sculptures and drawings enter public museums across the world such as the French Ministry of Culture and the New York University Museum, as well as privately held collections such as The Vehbi Koç Foundation, The Sakıp Sabanci Foundation and the Nejat Eczacibasi Foundation. Also a celebrated actor, teacher and author, Guleryuz has held five retrospective exhibitions, with the most recent opening in January 2015 at The Istanbul Modern – the first time the museum had given such an honour to a living Turkish artist. The artists continues to live and work in Istanbul, Turkey and Paris, France.

The special selections on exhibition in Mumbai features two important bodies of works laying the foundation for an introduction to a truly spectacular talent. The 1977 series of ten monochromatic silkscreens highlights the artist superb mastery of the line, a defining element in the drawings of this unique artist. The second main body of work is from his 1982 series created in New York.

Drawn as finished works, rather than sketches or studies for other pieces, the drawings on show are great examples of Guleryuz at his most spontaneous, free and exciting. 

Artist and writer Nan Freeman comments, “In his drawing process, accurate data observed from nature is forged under the heat of his emotions about it and moulded by his extraordinary fertile capacity for formal invention”.

Chief Curator of Istanbul Modern, Levent Calıkoğlu writes: “While Guleryuz’s drawings are centered on existential issues of man in our time that are both visible and hidden – trepidation, distress, confusion, anticipation, confrontation, opposition, melancholy, rejection – they are at the same time a reminder, a record, an extrapolation of the transformations man undergoes and the solutions that are engendered. What they reveal is the process we undergo in the struggle to become human, the new mechanical organs we are required to develop in order to cling to these transformations, and, most importantly, our powerlessness in the face of nature.”

For many visitors the exhibition will provide an overdue introduction to this extraordinary talent, whose impact on the development of modern and contemporary art from Turkey can scarcely be underestimated.