Pi Artworks Istanbul/London has had a presence at Art Basel Hong Kong for the last five years as part of the fair’s Insights section. In 2016 the gallery presented a solo project by Bangladeshi artist Tayeba Begum Lipi that focused on the challenges faced by transgender women in her home country and in 2015 Nezaket Ekici’s video works and durational performance Emotion In Motion (2000- ) were enthusiastically covered by Artnet, Artnews, and Getty Images. In 2014 the gallery highlighted work by Susan Hefuna, Tayeba Begum Lipi, and, Gulay Semercioglu, three artists from North Africa and Asia who explore the roles and experiences of women within the societies they grew up in. In 2013 Pi Artworks commissioned an ambitious installation by Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysal that colonised the gallery’s whole booth and the year before it showcased photographs by Ahmet Sel.
For Art Basel Hong Kong 2017, Pi Artworks proposes building on this success by realising Beyond, an extensive group exhibition as part of the Galleries section that incorporates a greater range of represented artists.
Beyond is a curated selection of new work by artists whose practices span numerous mediums, styles, and palettes, but that share two characteristics closely associated with the act of drawing. Firstly, each artist foregrounds hand-crafted and procedural creative processes that utilise a small selection of simple materials. Secondly, each work strives for three-dimensionality from two-dimensional starting points. Drawing is often the exhibited artist’s initial artistic response to their subject matter, and regardless of the medium they subsequently create work in, their creative process continues to be haptic and performative and does not hide the presence of the artist. Beyond’s artworks are between drawing and sculpture; between drawing and collage; between drawing and painting.
The focal point of Beyond will be a new work of the same title by Susan Hefuna, created by the artist cutting into a sheet of wax and then casting the indented structure in aluminium. The result is a three-dimensional realisation of the undulating, crosshatch structures that appear in her drawings. It allows the viewer to approach the work from various perspectives and experience more directly the architectural resonances within her drawing practice. Over the last three years Pi Artworks has placed Hefuna’s works within the permanent collections of the British Museum, UK; Guggenheim New York, USA; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE; Pompidou Centre, France; Victoria & Albert Museum, UK; and LACMA, USA. In 2017, the artist will have exhibited at Bluecoat, Liverpool; Whitechapel Gallery, London; the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag; Pera Museum, Istanbul; Pompidou Centre, Paris; Guggenheim Museum New York and Abu Dhabi; and Zacheta, Warsaw.
Juxtaposed with this will be new works from Gulay Semercioglu’s hand-looped wire structure series, which the gallery has previously placed within the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, USA. Volkan Aslan who participated in the 13th Istanbul Biennial and Passion, Joy, Fury, Maxxi Museum, Italy and had a solo exhibition at Arter: A Space for Art, Istanbul will exhibit his found photo collages. Nejat Sati whose solo exhibition at Yallay Gallery, Hong Kong opened in 2014 will show his multi-layered abstract paintings created by crafting viscous, pigmented acrylic gel. Alongside these, will be Yusa Yalcintas’ vast, meticulous drawings that allude to a place between reality and fantasy, and Maude Maris' paintings of ambiguous, organic substances. Maris' work had been exhibited at Ville de Thonon-les-Bains (solo), Carrousel of Louvre Museum, VOG Fontaine (solo), Palais de Tokyo, Musee des Beaux-arts de Rennes (solo). The artist participated in prestigious art residency programs including Cite des Arts in Paris and Ateliers Höhewegs in Dusseldorf.
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