Cihat Burak

Who is Cihat Burak? ( 1905- 1994) Painter and Architect

After completing his secondary education at Galatasaray High School in 1937, he entered the Istanbul Fine Arts Academy, now known as Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, and graduated in 1943 as a student of Sedat Hakkı Eldem, Bonatz and Emin Onat. He gained his first professional experience in his branch at Ankara Tekel General Directorate, where he started working in 1943.
After working in Ankara General Directorate of Physical Training, Istanbul Technical University project offices and in 1951 as the Head of Construction Affairs of the Ministry of Public Works, he was sent to France in 1952 with a United Nations scholarship. He studied architecture and painting in Paris for three years. When he returned home in 1955, he continued his job at the Ministry of Public Works. In 1957, he was sent to Afghanistan for the Kabul Embassy Building projects.

He studied prefabricated construction methods in Paris, where he was sent again in 1961 with a French Government scholarship. At the end of the scholarship, he left his job at the ministry to stay in Paris. At the end of this period, where he focused on painting, when he returned home in 1965, he gave painting lessons at the Private Işık School of Architecture and the Istanbul State School of Applied Fine Arts (Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts).

The artist, who opened his first solo exhibition in 1957 at Istanbul Beyoğlu City Gallery with his works in France, uses fantastic fiction in his works such as Dolmabahçe Palace Gate, Tombstones and Girl with a Pearl, as well as his works based on the concept of “Social Realism”. Among the works of the artist, who deals with the theme of death in his work titled “My Canary, My Beautiful Bird, I’m Infatuated with You”, are the paintings of famous people such as Yahya Kemal Beyatlı, Nâzım Hikmet, Neyzen Tevfik, Eren Eyüboğlu and Aliye Berger, as well as the recent “Cat” paintings.
Stating that he does architecture for a living and painting because he loves it, the artist said; Expressionism is observed in metal printing works, porcelain and glass works, and terracotta sculptures and busts, as in his paintings.

Burak's first story book, Cardons, was published in 1981, and was followed by Yakutiler, which was published in 1992 and won the first prize in the Yunus Nadi Gift Competition. His stories, which were not included in his books, were compiled from his handwritten and typewritten manuscripts and published in the book Stay Negro, nine years after his death. It was published under the name.
Cihat Burak died in Istanbul in 1994. Within the scope of the project to organize the graves of Istanbul, which was initiated by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Cultural Heritage Department in 2020, work was also carried out to arrange Burak's grave.

Artistic perspective
Cihat Burak gave examples from various experiences of those years in his indoor and outdoor works, referring to the social structure of the period. The artist has created a unique interpretation by combining the conscious deformation of form and space he uses in his works with a humorous expression. Traces of imagination and the effect of childlike sincerity can be seen in his paintings. In his paintings dominated by dark colors, he stacked the figures on the surface and conveyed them in a certain perspective order. He included a fairytale-like narrative in every frame of his paintings. In his paintings, the artist touched upon social realistic subjects as well as urban life, which bear the characteristics of popular culture. He used line as the main form of expression in his paintings and captured a moving image with agile brush strokes. The thick contour lines he used in the figures enabled the emergence of independent forms. The artist depicted the figures in his paintings in order of importance in accordance with the theme he was working on.

1964 Bronze Medal for his work titled Naval Battle in Paris, Dream Fleet
1964 Silver Medal at the Utrillo Gift Exhibition in Paris
1982 Sedat Simavi Foundation Visual Arts Award Istanbul
1991 Plastic Arts Association Honor Award

Personal Exhibitions
1957 - Beyoğlu City Gallery,
1958 - Ankara Art Lovers Association
1962 - Galerie Claude Levin, Paris
1962 - Galerie Raphael Mischkind, Lille
1964 - Carevan Galerie, Cannes.
1965 - Galerie Bodo Bratke, Wesel, Germany
1965 - Istanbul.
1967 - Turkish German Gallery, Istanbul
1968 - Taksim Art Gallery, Istanbul.
1969 - Taksim Art Gallery, Istanbul
1970 - German Library, Ankara.
1971 - Gallery I, Istanbul.
1974 - Artizan Art Gallery, Ankara
1975 - Melda Kaptana Art Gallery, Istanbul.
1976 - Gallery Baraz, Istanbul.
1977 - Oya Art Gallery, Istanbul
1978 - T. İş Bankası Parmakkapı Art Gallery, Istanbul
1978 - Hobi Art Gallery, Istanbul
1982 - Urart Art Gallery
1987 - Kile Art Gallery
1988 - Kile Art Gallery
1991 - Kile Art gallery
1991 - Garanti Bank Art Gallery
1992 - Sevimce Art Gallery 2nd Istanbul Art Fair
1994 - Sevimce Art Gallery 4th Istanbul Art Fair Retrospective Exhibition
Group Exhibitions
1962 - 8 Peintres de Paris,
1963 - Galerie Mouffe, Paris.
1963 - Coopers Town Association, New York,
1964 - Salon Interministeriel, Musée de l'Art Moderne. (Bronze Medal for his painting "Sea Battle/Imaginary Fleet" (116x191 cm.).
1964 - Contemporary Turkish Painting, Musée de l'Art Moderne.
1964 - Crane Callann Galerie, London
1964 - Gift of Utrillo, Paris. (Silver medal) .
1965 - Galerie Jacques Casanova, Paris.
1966 - French Cultural Center, Ankara.
1967 - Contemporary Turkish Painters Exhibition First Prize (50 Gold)
1967 - Ankara Doğuş Gallery. (Graphic Exhibition)
1968 - Painting and Society, Construction Industry Center Gallery, Istanbul. (Cihat Burak, Neşet Günal, Nedim Günsür, Nuri İyem, Gürol Sözen)
1968 - Gallery I, "Galatasaray 100th Anniversary Exhibition", Istanbul
1968 - Gallery I, "Art Lovers Exhibition", Istanbul.
1970 - Taksim Art Gallery, "Group Exhibition".
1971 - Melda Kaptana, Istanbul. "A composite exhibition".
1973 - Aydın Cumalı Art Gallery, Moda.
1974 - Artizan Art Gallery, Ankara. "Group Exhibition".
1975 - Künmat Art Gallery. "A composite exhibition."
1975 - Aydın Cumalı Art Gallery, Fashion. (Cihat Burak, Nedim Günsür, Nuri İyem)
1976 - Melda Kaptana Art Gallery. "A composite exhibition." (January 30)
1976 - Maçka Art Gallery, Istanbul. "Five Realistic Turkish Painters."
1978 - Ayvalık Art. (Cihat Burak, Devrim Erbil)
1979 - Bedri Rahmi Gallery. "End of Year Group Exhibition.")
1980 - Bedri Rahmi Gallery. "Amnesty International Group Exhibition.
1980 - Galeri Baraz, "Still Life in Turkish Painting."
1980 - Module Art Gallery, "Ceramics, Painting Group Exhibition".
1980 - Bedri Rahmi Gallery. "End of Year Painting Exhibition."
1981 - İm Art Gallery, "Group Exhibition."
1981 - Cardons, short story, Ada Publications
1992 - Yakutis, short story, Simavi Publications
2003 - Stay black!, story, Yapı Kredi Publications

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