Onur Hastürk
Assimilation

Anna Laudel, Düsseldorf / Germany

July 30–October 31, 2020
July 16, 2020
Anna Laudel
Mühlenstraße 1
40213 Düsseldorf
Germany

T +49 211 90226962
[email protected]

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Anna Laudel Düsseldorf showcases Turkish miniature artist Onur Hastürk's debut exhibition Assimilation, marking the largest display of the artist’s works to date, between July 30–October 31, 2020.

Onur Hastürk pulls freely from the numerous artistic cultures of Islam and places them in new conversations with art of the modern West, from Henri Matisse to Andy Warhol. In doing so, he has created a contemporary Islamic art with a unique attitude and style. Yet whereas the likes of Matisse embarked on these experiments from within the Euro-American artistic tradition, Hastürk applies his expertise in the history and practice of traditional Islamic art to interrogate its own abilities to respond and build on the cross-cultural experiments of Matisse.

Within the exhibition, Hastürk presents 3 compelling series: "Respect to Matisse," "Respect to Warhol," and "Classical Miniature."

"Respect to Matisse"
Hastürk’s "Respect to Matisse" series is a contradiction produced between the modern and the traditional. His work doubles as Islamic art’s returning gaze on Matisse’s Islamic-inspired modernism, where the nameless Islamic artists are eclipsed by Matisse’s breakthrough. With the eyes of a miniaturist, Hastürk makes the loose brush strokes and solid colors visible with sharp lines. Artist also interprets Matisse’s extraction of Oriental motifs on his paintings and cutouts for a new kind of ornamental decoration.

"Respect to Warhol"
Like Matisse’s paintings, Warhol’s canvases and ready-made sculptures reflect Hastürk’s practice. Hastürk engages with a different dimension of Warhol’s oeuvre in the series "Respect to Warhol" and explores the impact of the artist's figures and, it’s attraction to gold with Islamic art practices. In his gold book, created in reference to Warhol's A Gold Book where he depicts male figures on gold paper, Hastürk develops the figural silhouettes of his Matisse series into shimmering bodies falling or leaping through the blank space of the paper. Yet recalling Warhol, Hastürk harnesses the space of the gold book as a site of erotic play. 

"Classical Miniature"
In the "Classical Miniatures" series, Hastürk presents the miniature’s potential for both dynamic aesthetic experimentations and the representation of modern subjectivity. His playful attitude towards the parameters of Islamic miniature painting extends to his work in other traditional media. In his ceramics, the male silhouette with fez, which appears in Hastürk's Warhol series, makes the leap from the gold-plated side to the pottery plate. 

In his "Mythology" series, exhibited also at London’s Saatchi Gallery in 2017, Hastürk applies his mastery of the Ottoman miniature to a new kind of paper surface: the ubiquitous Starbucks coffee cup. Without fully erasing the cup’s hallmark logos, the artist incorporates the coffee giant’s branding into various scenes culled from the work of famous Islamic painters. The twist in Hastürk’s series is that he takes an art form once reserved for a small elite audience and seamlessly transposes it onto one of the cheapest, most widespread paper commodities around. 

*An exhibition catalogue for Onur Hastürk’s Assimilation has been published by Anna Laudel, please contact the gallery to obtain one.

**Anna Laudel accepts visitors by appointment as part of the preventive health measures. Please contact the gallery to make an appointment for a visit.

***Content of this text is taken from the essays by Thadeus Jay Dare Dowad written about Onur Hastürk.

For further information and press enquiries please contact funda.kucukyilmaz [​at​] flint-culture.com / T +90 (0) 533 496 4814

About Onur Hastürk
Born in 1983 in Mersin, Turkey, Hastürk earned his bachelor’s from Konya Selçuk University with a concentration on the traditional Islamic art of gilding and miniature painting. He earned a master’s degree in fine arts at Marmara University with a thesis on figural analysis in Ottoman illustrated manuscripts at Istanbul’s venerable Süleymaniye Library. He spent the summer of 2010 in New York City for research in arts. He studied art and design at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze in 2013/2014. His works have been exhibited across Turkey and beyond including Istanbul, Milan, Rome, Porto, and London.