Erol Akyavaş

Who is Erol Akyavaş? (1932 Ankara -1999 Istanbul)

He was born in Ankara in 1932. His father is Hasan Tahsin Akyavaş and his mother is Melek Akyavaş. Due to his father’s job at Emlak Bank, the family; He lived in Ankara, Izmir, Samsun, Bursa and Istanbul.

He graduated from Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Architecture. He studied painting as a guest artist at the Bedri Rahmi Workshop of the Academy of Fine Arts between 1950 and 1952. He attended summer studies at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts in 1952 – 1953, then went to Paris and worked in the Lhote and Léger workshops. He began to produce post-cubist geometric abstract paintings.
He lived in the USA between 1954 and 1960; He studied architecture with Mies Van Der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. In 1956, he met and married Ilona Mosolygo, the daughter of a Hungarian family, in Cleveland, Ohio. 1959 daughter Nazan was born. His painting titled “The Magnificence of the Sultans” dated 1959 was taken to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He worked on design with Earo Saarine between 1960 and 1962.

He came to Turkey in 1963 to do his military service. 1964 – 1965 “Kaya Hotel” architectural works in Göreme (Aga Khan award finalist) He worked as an architect between 1965 – 1967. He settled in New York in 1968.

In the 1970s, he worked on geometrically structured paintings in which figures and architecture were used and unusual architectural perspectives were seen. Towards the beginning of the 1980s, he produced works that made references to Islam and Sufi philosophy.
He died on April 20, 1999, at his home in Salacak, Istanbul.

Approach to Art
In addition to his paintings, he also has works created using various tools and original prints.
While at first he was prone to surrealist technique, creating an original series of works featuring architectural spaces and the concept of depth, he later turned to conceptual works. In his new works, inspired by traditional calligraphy and miniatures, he evaluates such quotations in the context of the piece and the whole, and establishes the framework of the composition in the light of the guiding factors of his own understanding of art.
Since the 1980s, Akyavaş interpreted the images he took from miniature, calligraphy and marbling arts in an abstract manner in the series "Ghazali", "Miraçname", "Hallac-ı Mansur" and "Kerbela", which he associated with the Sufi philosophy of Islam.

 Works; New York Museum of Modern Arts (MOMA), Istanbul and Ankara Painting and Sculpture Museums, Berlin Art Museum, Stuttgart Art Museum, T.R. It is in the collections of the Central Bank, Istanbul Modern and the British Museum. Following his death, a comprehensive retrospective exhibition was organized by Istanbul Bilgi University at the Istanbul Dolmabahçe Cultural Center in 2000. The Miraçname series, consisting of 8 lithographic prints that he prepared in 1987, was published by the Republic of Turkey in 2004. It was published as a book by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Personal exhibitions
2015 Erol Akyavaş Photography Galeri Nev, Istanbul
2013 Erol Akyavaş Retrospective, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul
2012 Galeri Nev, Ankara
2012 Galeri Nev, Istanbul
2007 Galeri Nev, Ankara
2006 Galeri Nev, Ankara
2005 "Miraçname" IMM Atatürk Library Art Gallery, Istanbul
2003 "Meaning Required, No Case Required" Borusan, Istanbul
2000 Retrospective, Dolmabahçe Cultural Center and Bilgi University, Istanbul
1996 "Bosnia", Beloselsky Pallace, St. petersburg
1993 "Icons for Icons" and "Fihi Ma Fih" State Fine Arts Gallery, Istanbul
1993 "Prints" Gallery Nev Istanbul & Ankara
1993 Aksanat, Istanbul
1993 Gallery HP, Nicosia
1993 Galeri Nev, Ankara
1992 Galerie Castille, Paris
1991 Palitra Gallery, St. petersburg
1991 Galeria Civice d'Arte, Turin
1990 "Icons for Icons", Benois Palace
1990 Hermitage Museum, St. petersburg
1990 Galerie Mangisch, Zurich
1989 Modus Vivendi Galleries, Zurich
1988 Institute of Contemporary Art, London
1987 "Miraçname", Galeri Nev Istanbul & Ankara
1987 Urart Art Gallery, Istanbul & Ankara
1986 Galerie im Atelier, Stuttgart
1985 Urart Art Gallery, Istanbul
1985 Tanbay Art Gallery, Ankara
1984 En Gallery, Istanbul
1983 Galerie im Korrnhaus, Kirchheim
1983 Stuttgart Museum of Art, Stuttgart
1983 Urart Art Gallery, Istanbul
1982 Übersee-Museum, Bremen
1981 Baukunst Galerie, Cologne
1979 Galerie Altstadt, Bern
1978 Galerie Brücke, Cologne
1978 Vakko Art Gallery, Ankara
1972 Galeria Schwartz, Milan
1970 Galeria Schwartz, Milan
1966 French Cultural Center, Istanbul
1964 German Cultural Center, Istanbul
1964 French Cultural Center, Istanbul
1960 "Erol", Angelesky Gallery, New York
1959 Galleria Bottegha, Oscura Rome
1954 Art Colony Gallery, Cleveland

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