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International Art Fairs
  26 - 29 April 2017

Artist presented:
Yeşim Akdeniz

Pi Artworks Istanbul/London is pleased to announce that it will participate for the first time in Art Cologne. For the fair, Pi Artworks will premiere a curated selection of never seen before works by Turkish/German artist Yesim Akdeniz. Originally from Turkey, Akdeniz studied at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf under professor Dieter Krieg. She was subsequently invited onto the two-year residency programme at De Ateliers, Amsterdam and awarded the Peter Mertes Stipendium by the Kunstverein Bonn. She has exhibited widely including at The Saatchi Gallery, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and MAK Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna. Her exhibitions in Germany include, Deutschemalerei 2003 at Kunstverein Frankfurt (2003); Regarding Düsseldorf at 701 e.V. Düsseldorf (2005); the Open Space section of Art Cologne 2005. Her works are part of the group exhibition queer forms migrate, which takes place at Schwules Museum, Berlin, until 29 May 2017.

Yesim Akdeniz paints fictive landscapes and interiors inhabited by a sparse array of design objects and architecture borrowed from the recent past. The juxtapositions within the picture plane are surreal, yet the subjects, depicted with smooth surfaces and a soft and muted palette, are unambiguous and unmistakable for anything else. While her paintings are visually striking, Akdeniz describes herself as a conceptual painter due to the significant role of analysis within the creation and viewing of her work. Each of her paintings are tied together by an underlying concept that comes though her close reading of psychoanalysis, philosophy, and the theory of architecture. Her enigmatic compositions of cryptic visual language are ripe for unravelling by an attentive audience ready to unpick her points of reference.


A Modern Misericord, A Modern Misery Court is a new series of paintings premiered at Art Cologne 2017, inspired by the work of political theorist Jane Bennett who argued that political theory needed to do a better job of recognising the active participation of non-human forces in events. Akdeniz senses we live in a time of anthropocentric hubris in which much of the world’s population has fallen for the charm of human-made objects and entities while others barely survive as non-citizens. Within this context, women are either side-lined or absent from political decision making and objects that are symbolically female are marginalised as fetishized objects of decoration. As Virginia Woolf says in regards to a woman’s place in a quote that guided Akdeniz’s recent practice: "Imaginatively she is of the highest importance; practically she is completely insignificant. She pervades poetry from cover to cover; she is all but absent from history."

Pi Artworks Istanbul/London was founded in 1998 by Yesim Turanli and is now one of Turkey’s foremost contemporary art galleries. It currently has a venue located in the famous Mısır Apartment in Galatasaray, Istanbul and one in central London.  During the last 18 years, it has had a significant role in raising the profile of Turkish art within the international art market, while introducing international artists to its Turkish client base. Ms. Turanlı currently sits on the Art International, Istanbul selection committee, Art Galleries Association management board, and the Tate Middle-East Acquisitions Committee

For information, interviews, and images, please contact Eda Derala: ed@piartworks.com, Tuğba Esen: te@piartworks.com

Yesim Akdeniz, b. 1978. Major exhibitions include Queer Forms Migrate, Schwules Museum, 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/ MAK, 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.