Icons of Thinking: Images and Texts


Evliyagil Museum is now preparing the exhibition “Icons of Thinking: Images and Texts”, curated by Beral Madra. The exhibition brings 23 artists, all from the Evliyagil Museum Collection, and invites viewers to think about these artworks together with matching texts. “Icons of Thinking: Images and Texts” can be seen between 17.03.2018-30.12.2018 at Evliyagil Museum.

The exhibition brings together works of Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, Ferruh Başağa, Selim Turan, Nejad Devrim, Mübin Orhon, Yüksel Arslan, Burhan Doğançay, Seyhun Topuz, Osman Dinç, Kemal Önsoy, Canan Tolon, İnci Eviner, Mithat Şen, Kemal Seyhan, Ekrem Yalçındağ, Günnur Özsoy, Ebru Döşekçi, Nermin Er, Haluk Akakçe, Evren Tekinoktay, Ebru Uygun, Seçkin Pirim and Can Akgümüş.

The production processes of Modernist, Post-Modernist and Relational Aesthetics of Turkey is authentic and unique in terms of its geographical location. The artists who had been producing in the field of Contemporary Art had endured the drastic changes in politics, economics, culture and passed Modernist and Post-Modernist stages to produce paintings, photographs and three-dimensional works.This exhibition, which is designed with the art pieces chosen within Evliyagil Museum Collection and which is aimed to utilize and preserve these productions, is focused on the relation between the act of thinking and art production as the options of defence and resistance against an epistemological crisis.

Artworks that are being considered as “abstract art” is selected within the collection. Texts, which appear in the same size, accompany the artworks. This choice is based on a quotation from Rudolph Arnheim; “Thinking calls for images, and images contain thought. Therefore, the visual arts are a home ground of visual thinking.”

The main connection between these artworks, produced with different views, aims and techniques by artists within the political, economical and social conditions they live in, is the existence of free thought against all the negativities of the system. If the making or art is to be defined as thought process, the transformation of thoughts into production, and finally the visual outcome, then when the artists are asked which one of these processes is more important, the answer should be the though process, which is essential for art’s evolution. The function of the process of thinking determines the attitude of the artist towards present stages of the system. Therefore, the two factors which are important in defining the artwork’s world of visual metaphor, namely, the though process that goes into the making of art, and the artist’s position with regards to this process, are complementary elements.

The Sarp Evliyagil Collection

The pieces in the Sarp Evliyagil Collection were first seen in the collection exhibition “Menzil” by M1886 gallery between May 24 – August 24, 2013. As Menzil’s name suggests, it must be seen as a moment of respite in the story and evolution of Evliyagil’s own art world. The exhibition took the works in Sarp Evliyagil’s collection down from under the lights of his family house and family company and placed them outside, under the spotlight and critical views; leading to another viewing, at a remove from the personal memories they conjured up, and a weighing-up of their merits. After this stage, the journey would speed up and the paths would shorten.

Three years after Menzil, the collection, now enhanced for the opening of the Evliyagil Museum, has been collected in the form of a book independent from the museum’s first exhibition “Anakara”. This book can be seen as the second stop on the journey of the works belonging to Sarp Evliyagil, which are dotted across the world’s museums, gallery exhibitions, artistic workshops, and of course the walls of his home. All these works have been brought together in order that others can add or be added to their journey. Hence, this is just the first page of both Evliyagil’s enormous atlas of history and an endless travelogue.

The Evliyagil Museum

When we consider how collectors’ works are bought from exhibitions at galleries that last a few weeks, from fairs that last a few days, or from auctions in which everything is decided in a few minutes, we may become uncomfortable at how many works are spirited away after insufficient inspection to “private” spaces.

Sarp Evliyagil wanted to open his collection to everyone wishing to see these “unseeable” works, or, in other words, to “museumize” it.

The Evliyagil Museum allows this public viewing through temporary exhibitions with different focuses from works selected among hundreds collected by Chairman of the Board of Ajanstürk Sarp Evliyagil, including, due to his occupational interests, many original series of prints, plus the enormous statues which set the collection apart.

The Evliyagil Museum was conceived in 2008, and from its construction in 2014-2015 in “center far from the center” İncek, it has enriched art in Ankara with a three-floor 750 m2 exhibition area, statue garden, screening room and library.

Visiting Information

Turgut Özal Bulvarı 

Şevket Evliyagil Sokak No: 1
İncek / Ankara / Turkey

t +90 312 460 11 06

Visiting days and hours:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 
11.00 - 17.00

Admission is free.


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