Temporary Exhibitions

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Memoirs of a Sea Urchin

Melike Abasıyanık Kurtiç

Erimtan Museum of Archaeology and Art preparing to host a comprehensive retrospective of Melike Abasıyanık Kurtiç. The exhibition, organized in collaboration with Erimtan Museum, Galeri Nev, and Kale Design and Art Center (KTSM), will open to visitors on April 19 and run until September 1.

Curated by Deniz Artun, the exhibition will display the seed ceramics, sea urchins, seaweed curtains, rice papers, and tidal photographs that form the spinal cord of Abasıyanık's art, all in their unique and complex nature. At the same time, the exhibition aims to make one feel the extraordinary coherence, the infinite and intricate relationships between these disparate productions.

"Although the artist has shared very little of her work in her lifetime, she has been widely written about and interviewed, and at first glance she often gives the impression of someone who 'opens up' a form, a shell, or space itself. Contrary to what has been written in the past, 'Memories of a Sea Urchin' presents Melike Abasıyanık Kurtiç as an artist who "closes"; in the exhibition, the shell crusts, the moss mosses, the stone petrifies. Therefore, on the one hand, the exhibition includes gropingly created drawings, scribbled working notes, broken sea urchins and fresh seaweed, but on the other hand, it opens the doors of a naturalist's laboratory that the artist has set up in her studio and allows one to witness the layers of her research. On the other hand, the same materials also accompany the works as a highly personal and intimate treasure, leading the viewer into the darkness of the philosopher or poet who lived in the same studio.” Deniz Artun, 2024

For further information: www.erimtanmuseum.org / @erimtanmuseum / info@erimtanmuseum.org

Exhibition Photography: Oğuz Karakütük

Melike Abasıyanık Kurtiç, graduated from Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Decorative Arts in 1955. Between 1960 and 1962, she worked at Eczacıbaşı Ceramic Factories, Wax-making Atelier. In 1963, she conducted clay studies at the Herman Kâler Ceramic Atelier in Naestved, Denmark. Between 1963 and 1966, she was invited to the Royal Danish Porcelain Factories in Copenhagen. There, she worked for four years on one-piece ceramic forms and glazes. In 1967-1968, she worked on glazes as a guest artist (glazer) at the Ceramics Department of the Copenhagen Academy of Fine Arts. She continued her research at the Mineral Research and Exploration Institute in Ankara between 1968 and 1972. At the meantime, she continued her design works at the Museum of Nature. Between 1971 and 1975, the venue for her works was the Heinz-Theo Dietz Ceramic Workshop in Bonn-Bad-Godesberg, West Germany. In 1973 she was honored with membership by the jury of the Chamber of Applied Fine Arts of the state of Nord-Rhein Westfalen. In 1973, she became a member of the GEDOK Association, headquartered in Hamburg and affiliated to the Federation International des Associations Culturelles Feminies in Paris. She returned to Ankara in 1975. She continued her ceramic works in Ankara and Adapazarı until 1977. During the same years, she was fascinated by the sea urchins she saw on the beaches of Çeşme and started her first sketches. In Athens, where she was on assignment with her husband between 1977-79, she made large prints of sea urchin drawings, and 8-mm film works. She continued her ceramic works in Copenhagen between 1979-1981. In the same year a ceramic sculpture of her was purchased for the government building in Grenaa, Denmark. Between 1981 and 1983, she started working on color on rice-paper in Budapest; her works were exhibited at the Hungarian National Museum. Between 1989-1993, she photographed the tidal waves on the ocean beaches of Portugal. Melike Abasıyanık, who died in 2021 at the age of 91, created a work with silver seaweed she collected from the beaches and presented it to the audience in the exhibition titled "Me-You-Them", which opened at the Meşher in September of the same year and featured 117 female artists. Exactly one year later, the artist's works were featured in the exhibition "Let's Go Back Again", a parallel event of the 17th Istanbul Biennial, organized by Galeri Nev in the space of Kendi Collection, also in Istanbul.
The exhibition will be open to visitors from April 19, every day except Mondays between 10:00-18:00. Within the scope of the exhibition, children, youth and adult workshops, book launches, and talks will take place.