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Dogancay, Ceylan and Orhon Headline Sotheby's Sale of Contemporary Turkish Art
An employee views 'Whispering Wall II' by Burhan Dogancay at Sotheby's in central London. Estimated to sell at auction for between 120-180 thousand pounds sterling, the piece forms part of the London sale of contemporary Turkish art on April 7. REUTERS/Toby Melville.

LONDON.- Sotheby's London will be staging its annual London Sale of Contemporary Turkish Art on Thursday, April 7th, 2011. The auction will present 102 works by among the leading Modern and Contemporary Turkish artists, including Mubin Orhon, Burhan Dogancay and Taner Ceylan, in addition to artists new to the auction scene, such as Onur Gulfidan, Erdem Ergaz, Yasam Sasmazer and Mehmet Ali Uysal. The auction carries an estimate of £2,087,000-3,000,000.

Auction Highlights Include:
Whispering Wall II is an exceptionally rare work by Burhan Dogançay, which he executed in 1985. In the early 1960s Dogançay turned his attention to the urban walls which bore witness to the emotions and opinions of the people during a time of drastic political and social changes. With his Ribbons series, this time he looked upon his own cultural roots and his Eastern background and Western life which came together to create this striking new series. The ribbons painted in bright colours are reminiscent of the letters of the Arabic alphabet and recall traditional calligraphic forms that shaped Islamic Art. The vibrant, rich blue background of Whispering Wall II, which the artist used on a limited number of works, is in a beautiful contrast with the bright red, orange and yellow ribbons which were always painted white on the other side. Paintings by Dogançay are in the collections of leading art museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. This exceptionally rare acrylic on canvas of museum quality, which is estimated at £120,000-180,000, has remained in the same American collection since 1985 and is arguably one of the most important works by this artist to come to auction.

1879, executed in 2011 and measuring 170 by 180cm., is from hyperrealist painter Taner Ceylan’s Lost Painting Series and tackles questions of history and Orientalism. It contrasts different but also connected histories of artistic definitions to rethink concepts of Orientalism, femininity, the veil and the gaze. This extraordinary masterwork by Taner Ceylan, which flawlessly depicts in oil paint on canvas a photograph which could well have been taken, is estimated at £50,000-70,000.

Guns of War of Ansen Atilla is the second work from the artist’s monumental
Civilizations Series and illustrates the arrival of European powers to the lands of
the natives. It captures the first interaction between two cultures, when growing
competition between Western Empires in the late fifteenth century encouraged
explorers to take over trade routes and to find colonies. The triptych is a remarkable example of Ansen’s unique technique, perfected since the early 2000s. Bringing digital art to a new level, he employs actual objects and materials in order to build up his compositions in real life, with digital technology applied for the finishing touches. Ansen is both an innovator and a commentator on cross-cultural themes, and Guns of War – a unique work – is a masterpiece by this internationally acclaimed Turkish artist. The C-print mounted on dibond with plexiglass face, triptych, measuring 170 by 225cm., is estimated at £22,000-28,000.

Hale Tenger is recognised as one of the most important conceptual artists of our time and the unique lead toy soldiers and plastic figure with sheet iron base sculpture Amidst, dated 2005, measuring 126 by 25 by 25cm., is an ingenious critique on the breakdown of social values, the increasing suppression of governments and the rise of military power and violence in today’s world. Using ready-made objects throughout her career, Tenger imbues them with a new character, loading them with social and political meanings. In Amidst, a plastic toy with binoculars is placed at the top of a tall block of iron, surrounded by toy soldiers and standing at the centre of a circle. The binoculars provide the civilian with a glimpse of a faraway land, or a freedom-filled future, but the soldiers block his vision, trapping him within the spatial confinements of the iron block with nowhere to run. The title of the piece plays a significant role by providing an insight into the message Tenger hopes to convey. It is estimated at £30,000-40,000.

Among the works in the auction by Mubin Orhon, one of the highlights is his oil on canvas Untitled, 1977, which measures 130 by 97cm. and is estimated at £50,000-70,000. Mubin Orhon moved towards a more monochromatic palette in 1970s after he visited an exhibition on Mark Rothko. His exploration of the effect of colour on human emotions reached a new and unprecedented level in this late period of his career where colour in itself with no expressive brushstrokes evoked the sense of light coming
from within the canvas. Using various hues of the same colour, he was still able to bring depth and form to his compositions. This remarkable work has exceptional provenance as it comes from the Collection of Benedicte Orhon, the artist’s daughter.

Arture 424 L’Homme 65 “Hypnose” by Yuksel Arslan, which is estimated at £70,000-90,000. Yuksel Arslan was born in 1933 in Istanbul and studied Art History at Istanbul University. After a few exhibitions in Istanbul, he travelled to Paris in 1961 with the
invitation of André Breton and the art dealer Raymond Cordier where he became acquainted with Jean-Paul Sartre and Jean Dubuffet. His works had been exhibited all around Europe as well as in the States. Reading extensively throughout his lifetime, Arslan is inspired and influenced by the writings of Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud besides others. He brings together the Western and Eastern traditions and deals with various subjects such as capitalism, psychology, eroticism, the subconscious and the leading figures in the history of humanity. His works, which are not writings or paintings, are actually called Artures by the artist and each work is numbered. He prepares his own paper using ancient methods by combining raw pigments, his own saliva, blood, urine, honey, earth and egg whites. The current work is from one of his most-well known L’Homme II Series which focuses on the history of man, its psychological disorders and treatment methods such as hypnosis, which is the subject of this Arture 424.

Further highlights include:

• Magic Carpets by Nazif Topcuoglu (b. 1953)
Digital C-Print Mounted on Foam-Board, in Artist’s Frame
114.5 by 173cm.
Estimate: £8,000-12,000

• October by Canan Tolon (b. 1955)
Signed, Titled and Dated 2007 on the reverse
Rust and Pigment on Canvas
120 by 167cm.
Estimate: £20,000-25,000

• Kirmizi Yapraklar (Red Leaves) by Gülay Semercioglu (b. 1968)
Signed, Titled and Dated 2009 on the Reverse
Wire and Screws on Wood
160 by 160cm.
Estimate: £12,000-18,000

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium

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April 4, 2011

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