JD Malat Gallery exhibits a new body of work by leading Turkish artist Zümrütoğlu

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JD Malat Gallery exhibits a new body of work by leading Turkish artist Zümrütoğlu
Zümrütoğlu in his studio, 2020.

LONDON.- JD Malat Gallery is presenting Atonal Drift, a new body of work by leading Turkish artist, Zümrütoğlu.

Atonal Drift brings together Zümrütoğlu’s highly expressive paintings and sculptures in an attempt to demonstrate how the artist explores the theme of the ‘dissonant and disharmonious body’ and the possibilities of figurative abstraction across different mediums.

The title of the exhibition, Atonal Drift, marks an extension of the progressive thinking first expressed by Austrian-born composer and painter, Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951). ‘Atonality’ has been understood as a conscious attempt to avoid traditional harmony in music. Taking on the broadest sense of the term - as deviation from traditional structures and integral frameworks of different practices - ‘atonal’ in Zümrütoğlu’s new body of work denotes his ability to challenge the conventions of figurative painting to express a dissonant human form, while ‘drift’ demonstrates his shift from the canvas to sculpture.

Informed by Western literature, philosophy and music, Zümrütoğlu’s work to date has engaged with the darker side of human existence. With swirling strokes and splashes of thickly applied paint, Zümrütoğlu presents figures whose corporeal boundaries are pushed beyond their limits. Such twisted and visceral forms mark an expression of Zümrütoğlu’s contemplation of the darkness of humanity and bring to life what he calls ‘the disharmonious body’.

The dynamism of colour and fleshy painterliness which first captivated Zümrütoğlu’s audience through his paintings, is now offered to the viewer through his new sculptural work. After a visceral shock, or being hit ‘in the gut’ as Zümrütoğlu often states, one begins to see figures slowly emerge and materialise through the thick paint and ceramic forms. A careful encounter with these works will alert the viewer not only to the baseness of human nature, but also our desire to search for harmony amongst chaos. Engaging the viewer through painting and sculpture, Atonal Drift is a theatrical celebration of the best and worst of humanity in every sense and emotion.

The diverse range of work on display will enable the London audience to appreciate why Zümrütoğlu has caught the eye of a global audience as well as collectors from Turkey, France and Germany. Notable collections of Zümrütoğlu’s work include Istanbul Modern Museum, Turkey and Elgiz Museum, Turkey. Zümrütoğlu has also exhibited across the world in galleries such as Pilevneli Gallery, Turkey, Tammen & Patner Galerie, Germany and Galerie Ivan Ptakhine, France.

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