Ahmet Güneştekin

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Reflection and Resumption

Ahmet Güneştekin’s survey exhibition Reflection and Resumption will be on view simultaneously at Vasarely Museum, Janus Pannonius Museum and Zsolnay Museum from November 15 to February 1. The exhibition is going to be one of the largest museum survey exhibitions which display founder of an art movement in art history and a contemporary Turkish artist together in a museum exhibition.

Janus Pannonius Museum presents artist’s works in a solo show, Vasarely Museum will display Güneştekin’s works along with the iconic paintings of Victor Vasarely, founder of op art movement and Zsolnay Museum will present artist’s new ceramic works with its permanent ceramic collection.

Reflection and Resumption features the artist’s works in various mediums such as op paintings, dimensional works that artist refers to as optical cages, carpet and patchworks, all in the genre of op art, and artist’s ceramics manufactured in the world famous porcelain factory of Kütahya, a sister town of Pécs. Embracing a diverse range of work and bringing together two prominent artists, the survey exhibition speaks of the dialogue between the works of Victor Vasarely and Ahmet Güneştekin and traces the genealogy of this dialogue.

József Sárkány, the art historian specialized in contemporary Hungarian art including the work of Victor Vasarely and Kemal Orta, art director of Güler Sanat Gallery of Ankara, will curate Güneştekin’s show in Pécs.

Numerous prominent exhibitions have rediscovered Vasarely’s art in the last decade in Milan, Cairo, Vienna, Brussels, Madrid, Gordes and Istanbul, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors. The realisation of Güneştekin’s show in Vasarely’s hometown of Pécs, for József Sárkány, is also related to this series of events.

The artist applies techniques used by Vasarely in his op art paintings in order to enhance the three-dimensional effect of the forms created by perspective distortion. This metamorphosis of the form is further enhanced by colour contrasts; the contrasts of cold, warm, dark and light shades. For Sárkány, there is an important difference, though, between the method applied by Güneştekin and Vasarely: while Vasarely always worked with flat surfaces and homogeneous colours to create his geometrical optical illusions, Güneştekin creates extremely rich surfaces within the colour spots. Vasarely’s paintings are sterile and precise and they are engineered compositions into which sometimes more playful solutions find their way, as often happens when the goal is to provoke the viewers’ eye with illusionistic spaces, ambiguous situations and compositions.

Güneştekin’s art is more of a universal nature, Sárkány emphasizes. He reacts to the most important questions of creation and humanity and gives place to playfulness in a different way. The illusion of a cosmic, inter-planetary space reigns on several of his works of art. At this setting the viewer can discover stories grouped around two tightly related topics. They are mythological stories about creation, the love of gods and humans, birth and rebirth.

The abstract, geometrical works of Vasarely are characterized by optical effects of movement, and by unstable, ambiguous images. These visual games are used for merely formal motives in his work, while Güneştekin uses them rather for their potential as metaphors. For Kemal Orta, Güneştekin attempts to find new ways of expression for his figurative abstraction for his unique technique by intertwining it with Op art. Rather than as an end in itself, he considers Op art as a means of expanding his artistic practice.

Artist’s works, states József Sárkány, presented in Pécs seek answers to the most essential question of life, that is, creation. Most probably that is why his artworks have very strong intellectual and emotional content and the colours he most frequently uses are the innumerable shades of red and yellow. They are the colours of the Sun, which sometimes transform into a white brilliance; the colours of life and the universe.

Reflection and Resumption, accentuates the phenomenon of spiritual love, exploring the concepts of creation and existence. The cohesion and juxtaposition of the artworks in the exhibition space generate a pattern revealing the way artist investigates the elements of monotheistic religions, ancient Greek mythologies and Anatolian and Mesopotamian legends. The survey exhibition, in this sense, endeavours to give the audience the opportunity to journey through the transformation of the idea of optical illusion within Güneştekin’s work, Op art through a new lens and thus in new realms.

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