selma gÜrbÜz: "shadows of my self"
Leighton House Museum, London
23 february - 9 april 2011
This is the first solo show in London of the drawings, paintings and sculptures of Selma Gürbüz, one of Turkey’s leading contemporary artists. Gürbüz reveals a gestural staging of her past and present; of the earth and sea; art history and real life events; animals and humans; East and West. In a way, Shadows of My Self represents the cross-cultural aspect of her place of birth, Istanbul, the city where she lives today.
Exploring the simple and powerful effects of line drawing, Gürbüz produces fairytale landscapes, creatures of the sea, patterned images, and beautifully crafted and haunting figures. With great economy of means, she creates characters that are cunning, frank, courageous, sometimes carnal yet always attractive. With stark simplicity, they condense the art of silhouettes, shadow theatre and animation, resulting in fable-like archetypes.
There is also an autobiographical aspect to Gürbüz’s work in the maidens leaning on uncomfortable beds of thorns or sea urchins, laboring ants, tamed lions and playful dogs and cats. Her references are far-reaching, embracing Ottoman, Japanese and European motifs, from Velasquez’ Las Meninas to figures made from the evil eye or chintamani. The effect is always thought provoking and captivating.
A monograph published by Rose Issa Projects will accompany this exhibition, and there is also a small display of recent large canvases by Selma Gürbüz at the Rose Issa Projects space on Kensington High Street.
Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 (020 7602 3316)
Open daily 10am to 5.30pm, closed Tuesdays.
Admission £5 to include membership and free access to Leighton House for one year
For more information click here