||Yeşim Akdeniz paints fictive landscapes and interiors sparsely populated with a considered selection of objects and figures that have been severed from their original or natural setting. Depicted in the foreground are an esoteric ensemble of elements that span from famous actors to elements from the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini; from buildings inspired by George Ivanovich Gurdjieff's practice to banal household objects. The paintings do not portray reality, nor do they depict a linear narrative; instead, juxtaposed elements are reminiscent of film stills or a theatrical mise en scène.
Akdeniz's use of visually distorted pictorial spaces, decontextualized subjects, a muted palette, and the prevalence of smooth and undetailed surfaces evokes the work of Italian proto-surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico. Her subjects become symbols or reference points sewn together to create a montage of references to contemporary culture. In Mr Jung and Me #1 (2014), a leopard balances on a log that is stabilized on a table, while a partially concealed female peers at the viewer from behind a curtain. In Latent #1 (2013) two barely clothed women sit at a table in a cramped room, one slouched, one upright, both looking directly at the viewer while a conspicuously lifeless pair or legs protrude from behind them. These enigmatic compositions of cryptic visual language are ripe for unraveling by an attentive audience ready to unpick their points of reference.
Akdeniz's paintings are visually striking yet she describes herself as a conceptual painter due to the significant role of analysis within her work, as well as her creation of painting series linked by an underlying concept. By making connections and associations through the juxtaposition of elements not normally linked, she creates moments of difficulty for her audience, when understanding stops and the production of knowledge is challenged.
Yeşim Akdeniz, b. 1978. Major exhibitions include; But First You Must Learn How To Smile As You Kill (solo), Galerie Jochen Hempel, Berlin, Germany, (2017), Future Landscape(s), Galerie Laurence Bernard, Geneva, Switzerland (2016); Club Dystopia
(solo), Pi Artworks Istanbul, Turkey (2016) The Secret Life Of My Coffee Table (solo), Pi Artworks London, UK (2015); Those Opposing and Those Sympathizing (solo), Dirimart, Istanbul, Turkey (2014); Le Peintre de la Modern, Galerie Jochen Hempel, Leipzig, Germany (2013); Wir Drei, Guggenheim Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2013); Signs Taken in Wonder, Museum für Angewandtekunst, Vienna, Austria (2013); A Dream Within a Dream (solo), PAK Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany (2011); and Confessions of Dangerous Minds, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2011). Major collections holding her work include Deutsche Bank Collection, Germany; Nederlandsche Bank Collection, Germany; Fries Museum, The Netherlands; and De Ateliers, The Netherlands.
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