Lütfü Günay

Who is Lütfü Günay?

He completed his primary, secondary and high school education in his birthplace, Çanakkale. Then, he passed the exams of the Fine Arts Academy, Department of Painting, now known as Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, and became a student of Zeki Kocamemi.
Painting education started in Kocamemi’s workshop in 1944 and continued until 1949. He graduated from the Academy in 1949. He moved to Ankara two years after his graduation. He directed painting courses for trainees consisting of young amateur painters at the Turkish American Association.

In the meantime, in addition to his painting works, he made significant contributions to the formation of artist organizations at the association level by being a founding member.

Turkish Painters Society in Istanbul in 1950, Ankara Painters Union in Ankara in 1958, Black Pencil Group in 1961, and Ankara United Painters and Sculptors Association in 1970, whose membership continued until his death.
In 1953, he opened his first exhibition with the painter Adnan Çoker at the Ankara Faculty of Languages, History and Geography hall, under the name “Before the Original Exhibition”. A year later, he opened his second exhibition with Adnan Çoker at Ankara Helikon Association and moved it to Istanbul Maya Art Gallery in the same year.

The artist, who held his first personal exhibition in Ankara Helikon Association in 1955, opened his second personal exhibition in Ankara in 1957, his third in 1964 and his fourth in 1967. Günay participated in group exhibitions with the participation of his students from the American Association Workshop, and gave paintings to group exhibitions, the first of which was the group exhibition "500th Anniversary of Conquest of Istanbul". He regularly participated in the exhibitions of the Turkish Painters Society and the Ankara Painters Union.

He contributed his paintings to group exhibitions held in different cities of Austria in 1961 under the name "Eight Turkish Painters". As an Honorary Member, he took part in the exhibitions of the "Group of Six", consisting of the students of his own workshop. Lütfü Günay also participated in international exhibitions held in Belgium, Denmark and India in 1970; He started to take part in State Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions since 1948. At the 31st State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition in 1970, his painting "Life in Red" was deemed worthy of the second prize.

Contemporary Arts Foundation (ÇAĞSAV) routinely distributes corporate and personal honorary awards every year. In 2009; In the corporate field, "Graphic Arts Museum IMOGA", the first contemporary printmaking museum founded by Süleyman Saim Tekcan, was deemed worthy of the "Graphic Arts Museum IMOGA", and in the personal field, Lütfü Günay, who opened the first abstract painting exhibition in Turkey in the context of pioneering contemporary art movements, was deemed worthy of the "ÇAĞSAV Honor Award".
I work both from nature and abstractly. When I transfer what is in the depths of the visible to the canvas, I reach the abstract. I am affected by the sense of experience around me. When the images of peeling walls, rusted tin cans, and poster residues on the walls are not enough; I also use the material. Finally, collages are formed. Says the artist;
While his joint exhibition with his wife at Nurol Art Gallery continues; According to the statement made by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, he passed away on November 12, 2020, at 23:00, at the age of 96, in his home where he lived with his wife Ülkü Günay. His funeral was held at 14.00 after the noon prayer at Ankara Karşıyaka Cemetery on 13 November 2020.

Artistic Perspective
Although the artist's paintings are evaluated in two periods, he always combined collage, abstract compositions and landscape paintings from nature. It is not possible to distinguish between the abstract period and the landscape period.

It can be seen that the slum abstractions, which he mainly worked on in the 1970s, run parallel to the abstract compositions. "Tin Collages" created with Rusty Tins are his most original works. Abstract solutions are based on large-scale color arrangements that reveal themselves. You won't find any traces of nature in these pictures. The dynamic effect of the paint, the interrelationship of colors, reminds us of the complex color texture in the life flow of city walls.
The main formations that can determine Lütfü Günay's abstract works are; It is the concern to give priority to simplicity and the unique values of painting. While producing works that utilize pieces of paper or metal within the texture of abstract formations in order to develop a sensitivity prone to the collage technique; In his subsequent studies; It seems that he gives priority to pastel paintings.
The artist has works in official and private collections such as the Museum of Painting and Sculpture, the National Library collection, İş Bank, Ziraat Bank, the Ministry of Culture, and the Turkish Grand National Assembly Contemporary Arts Museum.

Selected personal exhibitions
1955- Ankara, Helikon Association
1957- Ankara, Helikon Association
1964- Ankara, Helikon Association
1997- Istanbul, Gallery Two Monkeys
2004- Istanbul, Terakki Foundation Art Gallery. Archived 23 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
2010- Ankara, Hacettepe University Cultural Center, Ahmet Göğüş Art Gallery
2011- Ankara, Armoni Art Gallery Archived 29 November 2020 at the Wayback Machine.
2011- Ankara, Sevgi Art Gallery
2011- Ankara, Armoni art gallery 112th personal exhibition
2011- Ankara, “Memory Traces in Time”, Atlas Art gallery
2013- Ankara, Armoni Art Gallery 90th Year Celebration Exhibition Archived 29 November 2020 at the Wayback Machine.
2015- Ankara, Sevgi Art Gallery
2016- Ankara, Sevgi Art Gallery Archived 28 October 2020 at the Wayback Machine.
2018- Ankara, Armoni Art Gallery
Selected group exhibitions
1953 - First exhibition with Adnan Çoker, "Before the Original Exhibition", Ankara Faculty of Languages, History and Geography Hall
1953 - Istanbul “500th Conquest Anniversary of Istanbul”
1970 - Ankara 31st State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition
2011 - Ankara, Arda Art gallery, "Selections from 13 Masters of Abstract Painting"
2020 - Ankara, joint exhibition with his wife Ükü Günay, Nurol art gallery,
1970 - Second Prize in the 31st State Painting and Sculpture Competition
1986 - Honorable Mention at TPAO 5th Atatürk Painting Competition
1994 - International Plastic Arts Association Honor Award
1999 - Mimar Sinan University 50th Art Year Gratitude Plaque
2009 - ÇAĞSAV Honor Award (Personal)
Inter 7 and Inter 10 Exhibition Participation Certificate Honorary Diploma Award

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