Mehmet Ali Uysal creates large scale installations that are integrated into the material of the building they are situated in, transforming the venue and altering both the viewer's perception of the space as well as how they move around it. Today, the process of creating, exhibiting, and perceiving contemporary art is deeply intertwined with the austere, white walled gallery space that continuously erases traces of its history to look perfect and untouched. Uysal wants to invert this tradition and revive the gallery space as a living entity by interfering directly with the structure of the white cube and deconstructing both its formal characteristics and inherited traditions.
Uysal's recent Peel series creates the illusion that the claddings of a gallery's walls have become like the skin of a dissected body that is malleable enough to be pinched, ripped and torn off. In other recent work, he takes other common facets of the gallery space and similarly turns them from architectural limitations into the material, form, and content of the work that is the focus of attention. In Suspended, picture frames, which traditionally function as borders to mark the limits of a work of art, lose this function and instead become contorted and deformed specimens, hung on the wall for appraisal like caught animals.
Mehmet Ali Uysal, b. 1976. Major exhibitions include Mehmet Ali Uysal (solo), Sapar Contemporary, New York, USA (2016); The Past (solo), Pearl Lam Gallery, Shanghai, China (2014); Pinch Me Awake (solo), Stiftungstarke, Berlin, Germany (2013); Peel (solo), Nesrin Esirtgen Collection, Istanbul, Turkey (2012); Eyeballing, Contemporary Arts Centre, Ankara, Turkey (2012), If the Nature is Heaven, the city is Hell, Cer Modern, Ankara, Turkey (2011); Abbara Kadabra, Mardin Biennial, Turkey (2010). Major collections holding his work include Audi Collection (Audi Bank Lebanon), Lebanon; City of Umea Collection, Sweden; Chaudfontaine Parks Public Collection, Belgium; Golden Harvest Group Art Collection, India; Istanbul Modern Collection, Turkey; Le Vent Des Forets Festival Public Collection, France; Özyeğin University Collection, Turkey; Samdani Art Foundation, Bangladesh; and Vehbi Koç Foundation, Turkey.
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