Turkish painter returns home with a new exhibition
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULDec 16, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Dec 16, 2016 12:00 am
German-based Turkish artist Mehmet Güler is back in his homeland with his latest solo exhibition, where he explores Western culture through the eyes of an Anatolian
Istanbul's Tem Art Gallery welcomed its new season with Mehmet Güler's latest solo exhibition, on display until Jan. 14, where visitors will be able to see oil paintings by Güler, who is currently residing in Germany.
Güler first studied painting in Turkey, but left for Germany a on a scholarship to continue his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kassel, where he graduated with distinction (Auszeichnung). Following his studies in Germany, Güler settled down in the city of Kassel, and has been living and working as a freelance artist since 1977.
Having drawn thousands of figure and nature studies, Mehmet Güler previously had a photorealist style. Over time, without lingering on market concerns, and with a thorough working process, these figures and elements of nature developed within his own character and language, becoming more refined and simplified. He reduced forms and elements to a minimum and consequently reached a sound abstract approach.
As an artist with Anatolian roots, but also having spent forty years of his life immersed in European culture, Mehmet Güler has created a universal-artistic language by molding and interpreting different cultures, without compromising his own unique character and language.
Although the artist mostly focuses on oil painting, he also employs various techniques in his art, such as graphic design and sculpture. In 2014, the Cultural Department of the City of Unna in Germany held a retrospective of his works, accompanied by a comprehensive catalog in honor of the artist's 70th birthday. The exhibition remained on display for six months, having been extended for another month due to positive feedback, and drew close to 20,000 viewers in total.
The works of Mehmet Güler do not copy the life experiences from which they derive. The artist is an excellent lithographer and engraver, but the real passion that boils in his heart is an engagement of color. His paintings are combinations born out of a quiet language of content and extraordinary pictorial fervor.
What set his paintings apart are large surfaces with an exciting inner structure. Before all else, one can see, especially in works such as "Joy of Blue" in which this color culture finds expression, that although blue is the dominant first accent, a unique color palate is embedded in the sensitive nuances of the paintings.
One can see that Mehmet Güler has reduced narrative in the gradually growing form, and is able to express content solely through colors, nuances, and a few highly-economical lines. This is the path that leads from subject matter to the joy of color. Painting for Güler is a kind of research process. This process involves investigating what can be said with colors when one does not want to use words.
Güler's works are full of ideas in terms of his country's region, Anatolia, and now also in terms of Western Europe and Germany. A wide variety of ideas are blended in an international-artistic language. All of these are blended with emotion and intuitions that are already within him, which he distills through Turkish culture and is able to express in artistic detail, each time in a different way. His manner of looking, thinking, experiencing,
and transforming is like a boiling cauldron, and its results are highly impetuous works of extraordinary-formal tension.
His repertoire of ideas is stored in his memories of painting, creating what's called a "painter's data bank" from which he can retrieve resources for creating. What sets his creation apart is a meticulous reduction of means employed; there are no superfluous words, none of the colors are excessive. None of the expressions are obvious or superficial.
It is also important to point out that Güler's style combines an abstract language of form and figurative signs, intertwining painting and drawing, speaking with area and line that is both dynamic and still. The works of Mehmet Güler are artistic expressions that claim an extremely-high level of content and form which are autonomous and original.
Art lovers, who will not have the opportunity to view the exhibition in the gallery, can visit Tem Art Gallery's website, www.temartgallery.com, where they can find information about the exhibition and gallery artists, as well as archives of past exhibitions.