Kemal Seyhan describes his paintings using four words: horizontal, vertical, colour, intensification.
During the painting process Seyhan restricts himself with a series of rules: He starts with black paint and a horizontally positioned canvas. He then meticulously applies the paint in straight vertical or horizontal bars. A painterly stratum is created on each canvas by kilograms of paint applied via thousands of spatula touches. The artist does not use his paint to define a space or create a 3D illusion, instead the canvas becomes an excelled surface that excludes everything other than its texture and feel from the viewers attention.
Since 2009, Seyhan has also used the same restrictive creative process to create works-on-paper. Here the canvas is replaced with paper and the paint is replaced with graphite as his means of expression. Thousands of graphite marks cover the paper vertically, horizontally and diagonally to create a rigid, metallic relief across the papers surface. The graphite is a new tool, but the central concept remains the same. Both mediums build a strong communication with light, reflecting the colours of their environment and presenting a different chromatic scale depending on the viewpoint.
The working/painting process is an inquiry session for Seyhan. He questions what he is performing as an artist/painter. The artist believes in the efficiency of repetitive acts; the repeating act of painting and moves of the body. With this, he imitates the nature in a way. Just like the layers of earth piling up on top of each other, he lets his experience, time and energy accumulate on his picture plane as the founding elements.
Kemal Seyhan, b. 1960. Major exhibitions include Syntax (solo), Osthaus Museum Hagen, Germany (2017); Freundschaftsspiel Istanbul: Freiburg, Museum for Modern Art Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany (2016); Ondas Negras (solo), GPLSpaceVI, Vienna, Austria (2015); Where do we come from? Where are we going?, ArtOn, Istanbul, Turkey (2014); 41 Meter (solo), Zorlu Center, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); Slick Art Fair, Brussels, Belgium (2013); Viennafair 2012, Vienna, Austria (2012); Sieben Grenzgänge, House Wittgenstein, Vienna, Austria (2011); Kemal Seyhan (solo), Cora Hölzl Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany (2010); Time to Time, artSümer, Istanbul, Turkey (2010).