The Search for Form

03 February 2016

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu (1911-1975)

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu
Nude, c. 1930
Oil on canvas
80 x 60 cm
Lüset-Mustafa Tavi̇loğlu Collection

After he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts studying with İbrahim Çallı, Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu went to Paris in the 1930s and worked in the studio of André Lhote, where he met his wife Ernestine (Eren Eyüboğlu).For Eyüboğlu, the nude, particularly in his early period, was a means through which he could explore different modernist styles. The colorful, decorative elements seen in the early nudes of Eyüboğlu, recognized for his passion for the visual materials accumulated from folk art of Anatolia, also hint at his search for a synthesis of East and West, nurtured particularly in the interest he had in renowned French artist Henri Matisse.

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Bedri̇ Rahmi̇ Eyüboğlu
Hammam, 1952
Gouache on paper
57 x 47 cm
Zeyno-Muhsi̇n Bi̇lge Collection

A series of small and rather similar nudes Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu and Eren Eyüboğlu produced in the early 1930s almost resemble a ‘visual conversation’ that focus on a pictorial search. It is also possible to find the visual reflections of this earlier search in the synthesis Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu reached with his stylistic abstractions in the 1950s.

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

 Rahmi̇ Eyüboğlu
Nude, 1932
Watercolor on paper
15 x 20 cm
Lüset-Mustafa Tavi̇loğlu Collection

 

EREN EYÜBOĞLU (1907-1988)

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Eren Eyüboğlu
Nude, Late 1920’s
Oil on canvas
64 x 53 cm
Private Collection

Eyüboğlu in 1936, Ernestine Leobovici was an artist of Romanian origin. A nude she executed in her adolescent years contains clues about her subsequent interest in modern painting. In the paintings of Eren Eyüboğlu, who studied at the Iasi Academy of Fine Arts, moved to Paris in 1929 to study fist at Académie Julian, and later at the studio of André Lhote for four years, the nude not only contains a rich repertoire of poses, but also heralds a stylistic search that nonetheless preserves her Expressionist tendencies.

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Eren Eyüboğlu
Nude (Portrait), 1946
Oil on hardboard
70 x 50 cm
Eyüboğlu Ai̇lesi̇ Collection

Often depicting her nudes as part of a setting, Eren Eyüboğlu allows the viewer to feel that she maintains the anatomical characteristics of the figures she deforms. Both in terms of the Cézannesque ‘constructivist’ brush strokes that integrate her surfaces and in terms of her sensitivity towards color, Eren Eyüboğlu’s paintings reflect the weight she places on form.

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Eren Eyüboğlu
Purple Nude, Undated
Gouache on paper
18,5 x 13,5 cm
Zeyno-Muhsi̇n Bi̇lge Collection

 

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu
Nuri̇ İyem
Nude, 1936
Oil on cardboard
11,5 X 16,5 cm

NURİ İYEM (1915-2005)

Evi̇n-Ümi̇t İyem Collection
Having graduated valedictorian from the İstanbul Academy of Fine Arts in 1937, Nuri İyem demonstrated an intense search for form in the copious nudes he produced particularly in his early periods. Although İyem is recognized today for his portraits symbolizing the Anatolian woman, the nude in his artistic career, which extends from geometric abstraction to abstract, and back to figuration in the pre-1960s, heralds a modernist artistic identity dominated by stylistic concerns.

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Nuri̇ İyem
Nude, 1951
Oil on canvas
59,5 x 51,5 cm
Nur-Aytaç Manço Collection

Treating the nude as concept through which he explored the connection between subject and form, Nuri İyem once stated that it was quite difficult to distract the viewer from the ‘subject’ and guide him towards looking at the ‘painting,’ arguing that nude painting was, in that respect, a genre of art that challenges both the artist and the viewer. “After all, it is no easy feat detaching the viewer from the subject and allowing him to enter the world of the painting. Some might even put works of Chardin in the dining room, to increase one’s appetite.”

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Nuri̇ İyem
Nude, 1954
47 x 57 cm
Mehmet Hali̇t Kılıç Collection

 

HAKKI ANLI (1906-1991)

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Hakkı Anlı
Nude, 1933
Oil on canvas
57,5 x 46,5 cm
Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey Collection

The early nudes of Hakkı Anlı, who graduated from the İstanbul Academy of Fine Arts in 1932, resonate with the traces of his own curious gaze; the Cubist paintings he produced in his middle ages reflect his oscillating search for identity; whereas the nude figures he attained in later years reflect his unique sensitivities. Having relocated to Paris relatively late, as he neared his 50s, Anlı, along with other Turkish artists that immigrated to Europe around the same time, drew attention with his abstract paintings that resonated with the post-World War II atmosphere. Following a life-long and intense search for what was neither figurative nor abstract, Anlı returned to figure once again in the 1970s and ended his career with nudes heralding a determined indecision.

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Hakkı Anlı
Reclining Woman, Early 1950
Oil on cardboard
48 x 63 cm
Besi̇ Cecan Collection

The stylistic diversity and search recognized in the artistic career of Hakkı Anlı is almost a microcosmic reflection of the aspirations and concerns generally observed in the modernization period of Turkish painting in the first half of the 20th century, as well as the artists’ attempts to find a unique expression despite inevitable stylistic anachronisms.

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

Hakkı Anlı
In the Dark, 1976
Oil on hardboard
37,5 x 26,5 cm
Besi̇ Cecan Collection

Bare, Naked, Nude: A Story of Modernization in Turkish Painting took place at the Pera Museum between 25 November 2015 - 07 February 2016.

Nudes With Mirrors

Nudes With Mirrors

Although mythological themes are not commonly encountered in Turkish painting, it is possible to see variations of widespread themes such as the Venus at her Toilet. 

The Search for Form

The Search for Form

A series of small and rather similar nudes Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu and Eren Eyüboğlu produced in the early 1930s almost resemble a ‘visual conversation’ that focus on a pictorial search. It is also possible to find the visual reflections of this earlier search in the synthesis Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu reached with his stylistic abstractions in the 1950s.

Postcard Nudes

Postcard Nudes

The various states of viewing nudity entered the Ottoman world on postcards before paintings. These postcards appeared in the 1890s, and became widespread in the 1910s, following the proclamation of the Second Constitutional Monarchy, traveling from hand to hand, city to city.