Galeri Black and White, located in Ankara, hosts artist duos with a unity of time and place in the 2024 season, when it celebrates its 40th anniversary. The fourth exhibition of the season is 1+1=1; It brings together Alev Ermiş Mavitan's paintings with Bihrat Mavitan's sculptures.

Founded in Ankara in 1984 and having achieved very brave initiatives considering the conditions of the period, Galeri black and white is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The venue, which has hosted nearly 550 exhibitions over the past 39 years and has been a favorite of its regulars for many years with its restaurant and bar downstairs, is currently hosting a very valuable artist duo: Alev Ermiş Mavitan and Bihrat Mavitan. The duo's exhibition titled 1+1=1 brings together the paintings of Alev Ermiş Mavitan, whom we know with his unique under-glass painting technique, and the sculptures of Bihrat Mavitan.


Don't mind what I say brings them together, as Alev Mavitan said, this is not just an ordinary coming together or accompanying each other. As the name suggests, in this exhibition the two artists are intertwined as a whole. The EU signature that catches our eye under each work takes its A from Alev and its B from Bihrat. A's ending line and B's starting line are leaning against each other, disappearing into each other; just like in their works... We talked to Alev Ermiş Mavitan and Bihrat Mavitan about this creative coming together, unity through art, and all the details about the 1+1=1 exhibition.

Can I hear from you the story of how this exhibition brought together your artistic practices, Alev's A and Bihrat's B?

Alev Ermiş Mavitan: This exhibition is for the 40th anniversary of Black and White. Black and White determined this year's concept as a process that guides artists to work together. It was created to showcase the joint productions resulting from artist pairings.

“We did not accompany each other, we were literally intertwined.”
Ms. Alev, your unique under-glass painting technique accompanies Bihrat Bey's sculptures in this exhibition. In fact, rather than accompanying each other, it is as if they held hands and formed a brand new whole. How did you work on bringing together two different disciplines and techniques? What was the production process like for you?

A.E.M: A painter, a sculptor; two artists… We did not accompany each other. We did not put our work side by side. We are literally intertwined. Even holding hands is light. We did not stay with either technique. We presented various common examples of the art products we have experienced and invented throughout our art adventure. We presented most of them with two examples each, based on the joke of being two people. Sometimes I started it, brought it somewhere, and gave it to Bihrat. He added, completed, wrapped up. Sometimes Bihrat started it, brought it somewhere, gave it to me, I added it, completed it, put it together. Sometimes we intervened repeatedly. We finished. I must sincerely say that we had a lot of fun! It was an exciting process.

Ms. Alev, I would also like to talk to you about your glass painting technique. In the interview we had last April for your exhibition titled Sal Beni, you said, "The glass-under-glass technique provides a wonderful service to my figures, my sparkling world, with the sparkle and vibrant colors of glass and gold and the positive energy it has assumed throughout its historical process." What would you like to say about your glass paintings in this exhibition?

A.E.M: For me, the glass under glass technique is exactly as I explained in my previous exhibition. The mission it has carried throughout the ages is "positive energy", both to me and to you, the viewer... Of course, the mixture of under glass and sculpture was not easy. As Bihrat said, we experienced the mixture of sculptures between glass, behind glass and in front of glass. We also had a really pleasant process with our experiences such as sculpture, painting and painting. We loved it, we were happy.

Mr. Bihrat, your sculptures sometimes stand alone on the wall, and sometimes they look at us from behind Ms. Alev's paintings on the glass. How did these two different productions harmonize with each other?

Bihrat Mavitan: The art of painting behind glass is a very old style. Here, we relied on the phrase "sculpture through glass" or "sculpture behind glass". It was the rule of our production that we had not done this before. We loved this work.

“If a work of art does not speak to its creator, it is incomplete.”
I came face to face with your sculptures for the first time in this exhibition. Your figures are vivid, the expressions on their faces seem real, as if we were talking to each other. So, do they talk to you? When you finish and stand in front of them, what is the first thing they say to you? Could you also talk a little about the materials and techniques of your sculptures? I was very curious if there was a story behind the red and full lips, which are the most striking aspect of your figures.

If a work of art does not speak to its creator, it is incomplete. In fact, other works talk among themselves and nudge the artist, enter his dreams, make him sleepless, make him itch and ask for new friends. Don't do it if you want. They will hurt you. “Every exhibition is a test,” my brother Bugay used to say. I am also an examaholic. Material and technique are sequential. Since I know the material very well, I now know where and how it betrays. This is an attempt to make a human from an animal! This was passed down from my grandfather to my father, and from my father to me. The red lip developed as follows: The drop I drew to make a tear on the lathe became a heart when two of them came together, and when the two hearts came together it became a lip. It is a very distinct phenomenon of my wife Alev. They are dedicated to him.

“The namesake of the exhibition is architect Nevzat Sayın.”
The name of the exhibition is 1+1=1. After visiting the exhibition, I understood very well what you wanted to say with this name, but for those who have not seen it, should we hear the story of this name from you?

The father of the name is our dear friend Architect Nevzat Sayın. Because he knew us very well, he suggested this and we accepted. Well done!

Finally, I would like to talk about the placement of the works on the gallery walls. How were they partitioned and in what order did they come together in the walls?

Our curator is Sade Family. We do not interfere with mother and daughter. They have been doing this job for 40 years. What more!