• International Modern & Contemp auction at Christies

    Sale 7804

    International Modern & Contemporary Art

    27 October 2009, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 65

    Selma Gurbuz (Turkish, b. 1960)

    Moonlit Nudes

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Selma Gurbuz (Turkish, b. 1960)
    Moonlit Nudes
    signed with the initials and dated 'S.G.09' (lower right)
    oil and velvet tape on canvas
    61¾ x 109½in. (157 x 278cm.)
    Executed in 2009


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    Endless pairs of confronted women line up against a black ground. Most oppose each other like heraldic beasts on a medieval textile, their brains picked out in white, like the horns of fighting animals, their static profiles forming a pattern as abstract as it is figurative. In other pairings, fighting has broken out, with flailing fists and reeling bodies. This surprising treatment, humorous but shocking, makes this an outstanding work of Selma Gurbuz. The artist frequently employs strong echoes of Ottoman and traditional folk art from Turkey in her paintings. Her distinctly drawn figures corresponding to archetypes are set out flat against the picture plane, recalling those of Turkish miniatures. There is also often a strong resemblance of these figures to those of Oriental shadow theatre, with its skeletal puppets which pick out the details against the light.

    Whilst the combination of these elements are uniquely Turkish and rooted in the culture of that country, the other features- the strong outlines, eclectic subject matter and surreal goings on- give her works a sense of being highly personal, giving the viewer a window into the day dreams of the artist. Indeed, Selma Gurbuz's works are improvisations and are not thought out in advance. As she says 'I have a world that I am trying to build through memories and other things I have accumulated until now.'

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    Exhibited

    Istanbul, Akbank Kultur Sanat Merkezi (AKSM), Uninvited, January 2009