Abidin Dino

Who is Abidin Dino?

A versatile man of culture, Abidin Dino is one of the pioneers of contemporary Turkish painting. He was one of the pioneers of the art groups known as D Group and Yeniler Group in the history of Turkish painting. In addition to Turkey, he opened exhibitions in countries such as France, Algeria and the USA, and took on positions abroad such as the Honorary President of the French Plastic Arts Association and the Consultant of the New York World Art Exhibition.
Dino lived in exile in Turkey for a while because he was a member of the Communist Party of Turkey, and then lived in Paris from 1952 onwards.
He is the brother of poet Arif Dino and the wife of writer Güzin Dino. He is also the uncle of the famous goalkeeper Sabri Dino, who is considered one of the legendary football players by Beşiktaş club.
Early years and education life

He was born on March 23, 1913 in Istanbul. Abidin, the son of Mehmed Rasih Bey, the Chairman of the Divan-ı Ali-i Muhâsebât, and Saffet Hanım, a lady interested in music and literature, was the fifth child of the family. He spent his childhood in Europe, as his family settled in Geneva and then in France the year he was born.
He returned to Istanbul with his family in 1925. He started studying at Robert College. After the death of his father and then his mother, he abandoned his education due to his interest in art and started to improve himself in the fields of painting, caricature and writing with the support of his older brother, poet Arif Dino.

First step towards the world of art
His first drawings were published in Yarın newspaper and his first articles were published in Artist magazine in the early 1930s. During these years, he also drew cover designs for Nâzım Hikmet's books titled The City That Lost Its Voice (1931) and A Dead House (1932) and established himself as a painter at a very young age. He won the admiration of Atatürk with his interview, decorated with lines, about Atatürk, which was published in the Halkın Dostu newspaper.
In 1933, he was among the founders of the art group D Group. The aim of this group was to ensure the development and spread of art in the country, and to bring innovations that would compete with contemporary trends in the West by making paintings with a strong intellectual aspect.

Cinema Study
In the same year, Sergey Yutkevich, one of the famous directors of the Soviet Union, who came to Turkey to shoot the documentary film Ankara, the Heart of Turkey, saw his paintings in an exhibition and liked them. Ataturk, who watched Yutkevich's film, asked him if it was possible for him to raise a Turkish youth. So Yutkevich asked Dino to come with him to the USSR to work as a decorator and painter. Dino went to the USSR in 1934 to study cinema and stayed for three years. For three years, he studied cinema in Leningrad under Eisenstein and Yutkevich in all aspects, from make-up to decor, from direction to script. He worked in the movie Miners directed by Yutkevich. In 1937, II. He had to leave Leningrad when, due to World War II, the Soviet Union decided to send all foreign students back to their countries.
After the Soviet Union, Dino went to London and then to Paris. Although he applied to the Paris office to fight within the international volunteer brigades on the side of the Republicans in the civil war in Spain, he was not accepted because the Republicans were clearly about to lose. He settled in Paris in 1937, where he worked as a painter and decorator, shooting films. He established friendships with leading artists of the period such as Gertrude Stein, Tristan Tzara, Eisenstein, Andre Malraux and Pablo Picasso.

Abidin Dino returned to Turkey in 1939 and formed the Yeniler Group with his friends in 1941. The exhibition opened by the group and about the fishermen around the port aroused great interest.
Dino depicted worker and peasant types in a unique style in his paintings, where lines and patterns come to the fore. The artist, who was initially influenced by Picasso, later reached an original and local synthesis in his works.
He defended a pro-people, realistic view of art with his drawings and articles in various magazines. The artist, who contributed greatly to the publication of the magazine S.E.S (Art. Literature. Sociology), the first issue of which was published on November 18, 1938, published many other magazines after the closure of this magazine. His aim was to mobilize as many people as possible in the fight against fascism. He became one of the important members of the Communist Party of Türkiye in the 1940s.
The statue of the painter, made in 1995, is located in Freedom Park in Kadıköy.

Years of Exile

In 1941, when the Port Exhibition was opened, Abidin Dino was exiled first to Mecitözü (Çorum) and then to Adana for political reasons. He managed the Türk Söz newspaper in Adana. He wrote a play called Kel, but it was immediately confiscated. He made paintings about the cotton workers of Çukurova and became interested in sculpture. He married writer and linguist Güzin Dikel in 1943. When the exile ended, he returned to Istanbul. In 1950, he wrote the script for the movie Gypsies, but the script was banned.
When the ban on traveling abroad was lifted in 1952, he settled in Paris. During this period, he took an active part in TKP's Foreign Office activities until the mid-1960s.
From 1954, he participated in the May Salon exhibitions in Paris for eight years. He opened exhibitions in different countries such as France, Algeria and America. He served as honorary president of the French Plastic Arts Association and as a consultant for the New York World Art Exhibition.
Many of his works, such as Torture, Atomic Fear, War and Peace, The Nudists, Four Cities, Mountain-Sea, were included in various galleries, museums and collections.
In 1966, he received the documentary film award given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in memory of director Robert Joseph Flaherty, with the documentary film called Goal, about the World Football Cup, which he directed.
During the 1968 student unrest, he participated in marches and meetings on the streets of Paris and drew the activities on the streets. He opened his first personal exhibition in Turkey in 1969 and showed some of his works in Paris.
In 1979, he was elected Honorary President of the French Union of Plastic Arts, and in 1989 he was awarded the Golden Knight Order of Arts and Letters of the French Ministry of Culture.
He is one of the Paris Turkish School painting artists along with Fikret Mualla, Hakkı Anlı, Remzi Raşa, Selim Turan, Avni Arbaş, Nejat Devrim, Mübin Orhon and Albert Bitran.
Among the exhibitions of Abidin Dino, who occasionally holds personal exhibitions in Turkey, are the exhibition titled Hands, Fingers, Pains, Stranges, Troubles, Tomatoes (1984, Istanbul) and This World Exhibition (1987, Istanbul).
His statue, consisting of hand motifs, was placed in Maçka in 1993. In the same year, he published his books Beyond Form and Drawing Pain.
The artist, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1990, died in Paris on December 7, 1993. His body was brought to Istanbul and buried in the family cemetery in Aşiyan Cemetery.

My Short Life Story - Can Publications
Everything Is Colorless Without You - Can Publications
Sinan - An Imaginary Biography - Can Publications
Yeditepe Stories - Can Publications
On Nazım - Yapı Kredi Publications
Fikret Mualla for the Seeing Eye - Kırmızı Kedi Publishing House

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