Asım İşler “Second Paris Period Paintings 1987-1992” Exhibition

Galeri Işık of Fevziye Vakfı Mektepleri Foundation in the contemporary art center Nişantaşı brought the large scale acrylic and oil paint paintings of Asım İşler (1941-2007) which were created in paris between 1987 and 1992 together with the art lovers as an oil painting exhibition. SevPeriodl important works curated by professor doctor Kaya Özsezgin come together notably the ones titled “Op. 89” which can be claimed as the corner stones of abstract expressionist style of the new universe. We had a conversation with Asım İşler’s daughter Segan İşler about the exhibition and her father.

Asım İşler, Moderato Cantabile,150x200cm 1989
Asım İşler, Moderato Cantabile, 150x200cm 1989

Yasemin Semercioğlu: Miss İşler, the exhibition you organized artist created when he was in Paris between the years 1987-1992, the years that he lectured in universities and took part in the exhibitions. Could you tell us the characteristics of these works please?

Şegan İşler: I want to say that Asım İşler got training in Paris for four and a half years after by getting into Europe State competition, specialized in Paris Fine Arts Academy, did his doctorate in Sorbonne..

We organized this exhibition in order to keep Asım İşler who passed away 8 years ago alive and to show his works between 1987 and 1992 when he created works and took part in exhibitions. He went to Paris thanks to the government scholarship. The exhibition is curated by Prof. Dr. Kaya Önsezgin. İşler is in very productive in terms of art in the period that we named Second Paris Period. So, we brought the works such as canvases, Paris sign paintings, engravings and oil paintings of him together with the art lovers.


Y.S. The works are colourful, vivid and they contain motion. What could you tell about the Second Paris Period works when you compare them with the previos ones?

bakış II, 1990 , afiş üzeri akrilik 182 x 127 cm.
bakış II, 1990 ,182 x 127 cm.

Ş.İ. Yes, it is possible to see that Asım İşler used pastel colours in the 1960 and 1970s works containing the First Paris Period either the canvases or the engravings and figurative paintings, then we witness that he started to use lyrical and joyful colours in his abstract works after 1987. This situation shows that the artist’s transition to the abstract expressionism and also shows that the artist started to use vivid colours in bigger works. One of his works which is approximately 3.5 meters belonging to that Period takes part in this exhibition. The art lovers will also see the works exhibitited abroad such as Kassel and Paris.

Y.S. We also see that he added a new composition to his oil paintings and engravings in this Period. Could you pleasemention “Paris Sign paintings”?

Ş.İ. In The 2nd Paris Period(1987-92), there are works that İşler created on big sign paintings. He exhibited them in the late 1980s at Lami Art Gallery in İstanbul twice. We also exhibited them at Banu Çamlık’s Gallery Mac Art with the name of “Paris Sign Paintings” in commemoration of Asım İşler after his death.

Y.S. Could you please mention his Paris Exhibitions?

De Bonnard a Baselitz, 1992 sergi  katalogu
De Bonnard a Baselitz

Ş.İ Asım İşler is an artist who represented Turkey for a lot of bienales, international exhibitions and trienals. The most known exhibitions that he took part in in Paris in these years are here: an oil painting “Bir Hayal Ülkesine Seyahat” with which he exhibited at 33th Salon de Montrouge in 1988 at Galerie Montenay is also at this exhibition.

He also represented our country with his engraving work at ‘De Bonnard a Baselitz at Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris in 1992.
We can mention the “Espace AGF”- Turkish Artists Living in France Exhibition (Salon Ch. D’Antin), ” ParİStanbul”- Turkish Artists Living in Paris, Cite Int ses Arts-Paris.

Y.S. We know that he not only took part in exhibitions but also lectured as an assistant professor. Could you tell us which universities he worked?

Ş.İ. He worked as a lecturer at Paris Fine Arts Academy E.N.S.B.A between 1989-90, at Paris Decorative Arts National Academy (Ecole Nationale Superieur Des  Arts Decoratifs E.N.S.A.D) in 1991. He also worked as a professor at Sorbonne University Plastic Arts Engraving Workshop. He organised exhibitions for his students from Mimar Sinan University in these academies.

Kılıçkaya'da,  tuval üzerine yağlıboya 147x193cm,1987

Y.S. Will you mention his thoughts and his art perspectives, please? We witness that he struggle for showing his art in Paris without being pessimistic while he was working for representing Turkey best in this process, especially when we read his interview at Lami Art Magazine in March 1990. Asım İşler exhibited his works in Turkey that he created while he was in Paris. Which art galleries that he took part in terms of solo shows in these years, what are the group exhibitions? 

Ş.İ. Urart, LAMİ Art Galleries, Baldem, Temizocak (İzmir) Palet Art Gallery(Eskişehir), Akbank Art Galleries are the most known ones that he organized his own solo shows in that period.
“Santral Büyük Sergi”, Resim ve Heykel Müzesi (State Art and Sculpture Museum), İstanbul-Ankara-1990 Çağdaş Sanat 89 (Contemporary Art), Kazım Taşkent Art Gallery,İstanbul-1989, 2nd International Art Bienale, Askeri Müze (Military Museum),İstanbul-1989, ” Çelebi’den Gürbüz’e” TEM Art Gallery, A.K.M. İstanbul-1989, Çağdaş Sanatçılar I(Contemporary Arts I), Paintings and Sculptures Museum İstanbul-1989 were the important group exhibitions.

Şegan İşler
Şegan İşler

Y.S. Are we able to learn which collections that he  takes part in our country and abroad?

Ş.İ. İşler’s works have been exhibited at a lot of private firms and museums such as Victoria and Albert Museum-Londra, Bibliotheque National de Paris-France, Cité International Des Arts Association Collection- Paris, “Atelier 17”-Paris, Turkey Ministry of Culture Collection, İstanbul-Ankara-İzmir State Art and Sculpture Museums, Demsa State Art Collection, Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Elgiz Çağdaş Art Museum, Selçuk Yaşar Museum-İzmir, Akbank nd Ekonomi Bank; and solo shows such as Ghada SHOLY (Katar), Cengiz ÇETİNDOĞAN, Öner KOCABEYOĞLU, Emin HİTAY, Nezih BARUT, Can ELGİZ; Taha TATLICI, Ceri BENARDATE, Turgay KIRAN, Sema ÇAĞA, Tayfun BAYAZIT, Numan CEYHAN.

Y.S. What would Asım İşler recommend the young artists to do if he were alive?

Ş.İ. He would recommend them to go abroad, to create genuine works without drifting with the tide of others bu by following the art perspective and the level there closely at the same time. He would also say that they needed to be persistent, not be fashionable.

Thank her very much for this great conversation…

Translate; Hatice Topbaş

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