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Erol Akyavas


Erol Akyavaş was born in Istanbul in 1932. He was a guest student at the Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu Studio at the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts from 1950 to 1952. He then travelled to Florence and Paris where he enrolled at the Fernand Léger and André Lhote studios and joined the Cercle et Carré group. Akyavaş travelled to the US in 1954 to study architecture under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology and worked with the architect Eero Saarinen from 1960 to 1962. He settled in New York in 1967 and later shared his time between New York and Istanbul. Akyavaş had solo exhibitions around the world since 1950s: Cleveland and New York in the U.S.; Rome, Milan and Turin in Italy; Bremen, Stuttgart, Cologne in Germany; Bern and Zurich in Switzerland; Nicosia, Cyprus; Paris, France; as well as at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in Russia. His works were also included in various group shows such as “New Acquisitions” at the Museum of Modern Art (1962), “Paintings from the Museum of Modern Art” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (1963), “Turkish Artists in New York” in New York (1970), 1st and 2nd İstanbul Biennials (1987,1989), “Parİstanbul” at the international Art Centre in Paris (1990). Akyavaş passed away in Amerika in 1999. In the 1950’s, Akyavaş produced paintings that reflect his architectural background with an affinity to Post-Cubism. This attitude changed as he started using more coincidental and intuative elements in his work. His tendency towards Eastern art coincides with this period. In the 1960’s, alongside paintings dominated by amorphous figural elements. Akyavaş created strange depictions of perspective he called “Rooms”. This period was followed by his birds-eye view and brick structured pictures and “Pyramid Landscpaces”, “Interiors”, “Walls” and “Corners” of the 1970’s. The artist’s architectural background enabled him to master relational aspects of space and construct pictorial space in a surreal atmosphere. Within these castle-like iner spaces created by bricks or tiles, the artist placed geometric shapes such as pyramids, cones and cubes alongside objects such as tables and chairs all within a strange perspective. In the beginning of the 1980’s, Akyavaş started producing a series of paintngs with reference to İslam and mysticism through forms abstracted from miniatures, calligraphy and marbled paper art. In 1983, he returned once again to his birds-eye view castle pictures with his “Karbala” series. In “El Gazali” of 1983, the print series “Miraçname” in 1987 and “al Hallaj” in 1988-89 he made constant references to calligraphy.


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Büyükdere Cad. No:185 Kanyon AVM K:P2 Levent-İstanbul 34340 Türkiye


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