Marcus Graf, the exhibition’s curator states: “Carved Images (Kazı Resim) concentrates on Gündüz Gölönü’s print-making from the end of the 1960’s to the mid 1990’s. The retrospective exhibition tells the artist’s remarkable story of how he merged ornament and narration, tradition and contemporaneity, as well decorative elements of traditional Islamic art and modern Western movements like Minimalism and Op-Art. Due to its transcultural, pluralist and heterogeneous character, the work opposes and disbelieves in any form of cultural hegemony or superiority. Gölönü’s oeuvre is characterized by a permanent quest for building bridges between various forms of visual art and cultural expressions. Symbols and textures, words and ornaments, figuration and abstraction and as well as languages of different worlds come together as one. This contextual dimension gives his work a remarkable significance that reaches beyond the limits of art and aesthetics, as it critically points to the heterogeneous realities we live in and proposes alternative ways of knowledge production. This is the reason why the oeuvre of Gölönü offers an early example of a postmodern approach to the understanding of art. Due to its transcultural, pluralist and heterogeneous character as well as its acknowledgement of postmodernism’s critique of the grounds of difference, the work opposes and disbelieves in any form of cultural hegemony or superiority. ”

In his catalog text for the exhibition, writer Evrim Altuğ states: “A work is infallibly a medium

of knowledge for Gündüz Gölönü (1937-2014). Images assume greater roles for him; his perceptive research investigates multi-layered and long-lasting implications of knowledge transmitted via images. Lexicology is a key instrument of aesthetic and visual narration in his works. Gölönü is thus inexplicably bound to Etymology. Dealing with the physical formation of words, Morphology is often referred to in his works as a means of plastic language production. Research into the roots of things provides solid and rational foundation for the “essence” of Gölönü’s works; it simultaneously structures his work with a new “taxonomy”. Gölönü’s handmade artist’s books, composed of various thematic volumes, are like a shelter that preserves knowledge for the inheritance of humankind. Languages themselves, as well as the semantic archaeology of the concepts he deals with, permeate into his heterogeneous works. The resonance and literature of Sumerian, Latin, Ancient Greek, Arabic, Old Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, English, as well as other languages, support him in this endeavour. Maps of the earth, as well as nautical and star charts that Gölönü includes in his works also convey a sense of exploration and discovery. These maps and charts present political and geographical fields of meaning.

Gölönü’s works can be characterized as organic/geometric, as in the title of one of his works that can be read almost as an auto-portrait. Spirit and cognition are jointly present. It is vertical, horizontal, perpendicular and spiral.”

Evrim Altuğ, Marcus Graf



Publisher: Millî Reasürans T.A.Ş.

1st Edition, 1000 copies

ISBN 978-605-2391-07-5

Organization: Millî Reasürans Sanat Galerisi

Curator: Marcus Graf

Associate Curator: Melike Bayık

Assistant Curator: Öykü Demirci

Text: Evrim Altuğ, Marcus Graf

Interview: Berin Gölönü

Translation: Çağdaş Acar, Rana Öztürk

English Edit: Berin Gölönü

Photography: Nathan Ely, Engin Gerçek / Studio Majo, Ayşe Ceyda Kutman, Mark Niznit

Graphic Design: Yeşim Demir Pröhl

Graphic Design Application: Didem Uraler Çelik

Color Separation and Printing: Mas Matbaacılık San. ve Tic. A.Ş.


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