Candeğer Furtun, exhibition view, 2021.
Photo: flufoto

A Conversation with Candeğer Furtun

10 February 2022
Thursday, 7 pm (GMT +3)

Participants: Candeğer Furtun, Rabia Çapa, Deniz Artun, Yasemin Özcan

Moderator: Selen Ansen


Organised on the occasion of the Candeğer Furtun retrospective exhibition at Arter, this online conversation will focus on various facets of Furtun’s life and artistic practice.  Moderated by Selen Ansen, the curator of the exhibition, the event will host Candeğer Furtun, along with Rabia Çapa, Deniz Artun and Yasemin Özcan, who have closely witnessed different phases of the artist’s production. The conversation will approach Furtun’s works through the lens of the social and artistic circumstances of the period in which they were produced, as well as their position within the artistic climate of the 20th century, a transformative time for the art of ceramics.


From the 1960s onwards, Candeğer Furtun has produced ceramic works informed by problematics relating to life, philosophy, history, society and politics, featuring a wholly original approach in terms of both form and material. The artist’s first retrospective exhibition brings together more than a hundred works reflecting her rich world of forms and textures, along with archival materials that closely document the research and production processes in her studio. The exhibited works manifest Furtun’s contributions to the art of ceramics – which went through a significant transformation during the 1960s – as an artist who involved natural processes in her work by liberating the soil and allowing for coincidences in her artistic practice.


The event will be held in Turkish.


Online communication platform: Zoom

Meeting ID: 895 9329 8163

Approximate duration: 90 minutes


Click here to join.


*The event will be recorded. Event durations may vary according to participants’ contribution.


Candeğer Furtun (b. 1936) graduated from Nurullah Berk’s studio at the Academy of Fine Arts with a degree in painting in 1957, after which she studied ceramics at İsmail Hakkı Oygar’s studio until 1959. In 1959–1960, she attended the Faculty of Chemistry of Istanbul University as a special guest to carry out research on clay and minerals. She started to work at the Eczacıbaşı Ceramic Factory Art Studio in 1960. She completed her postgraduate studies in 1963 at the Rochester Institute of Technology, School for American Craftsmen which she attended through a Fulbright scholarship she received in 1961. While serving as a teaching assistant at the Worcester Craft Center where she had been invited during the preparation of her thesis, Furtun also continued to pursue her personal endeavours. Prior to her return to Turkey, the artist opened her first solo exhibition at the Worcester Craft Center in July 1963 at the invitation of the institution.

Furtun has been working in her private studio she set up in Şişli since 1964. The artist has presented her works in ten solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Furtun is the recipient of an “Honourable Mention” at Fitchburg Museum’s Annual Regional Exhibition in 1963, “First Prize” in ceramics at Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts’ Art Awards Exhibition in 1965, along with a “Silver Medal” at the 5th International Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition in Istanbul in 1967.

Furtun has served as a jury member in significant art prize committees, in addition to partaking in numerous conferences, interviews, symposiums, television and radio broadcasts. She has also authored numerous essays published in various periodicals.


Rabia Çapa (b. 1940) graduated from Saint Pulchérie French High School in 1957, four years after her graduation, she entered the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts, where she studied with Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu. She is a founding member and sat on the boards of directors of the Creative Children’s association and Sevinç Erdal İnönü Foundation. She and her sister, Varlık Sadıkoğlu, founded Maçka Art Gallery in 1976, as one of Turkey’s first contemporary art galleries. In 2002, the government and museums of the French commune of Cholet invited her to hold an exhibition in 2002. From 6 June to 15 December 2004, she and the artists of Maçka Art Gallery held the exhibition From Bosphorus to Moine: Aspects of Turkish Contemporary Art in France at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Cholet and the Artist’s Clothing exhibition at the Musée du Textile et de la Mode. She was named a Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2012 by the French government. From 1976 to 2016, she held nearly 200 exhibitions both nationally and internationally, as well as participated in biennials, fairs and exhibitions in many countries. She has organised artist talks, a gallery periodical and exhibition catalogues. Her book, Görünmeyene Bakmak [Looking at the Invisible] was published in 2016, with support from Ömer M. Koç and the Vehbi Koç Foundation, as part of Maçka Art Gallery’s 40th anniversary celebrations. The same year also marked the donation of Maçka Art Gallery’s archive to Arter. She continues to serve as a member of the board of directors of Maçka Art Gallery, which her daughter, Didem Çapa, reopened in 2021.


Deniz Artun (b. 1975) graduated from the Sociology Department of Middle East Technical University in 1998. She completed her master’s degree in Cultural History at New York University. While she was in New York, she worked in the Art and Sculpture department of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Artun commenced her PhD on Cultural Anthropology at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris in 2000. In the context of her PhD thesis, she studied artists who travelled to France from the Ottoman Empire and Turkey between 1850 and 1950. Serving as the director of Galeri Nev in Ankara since 2001, she continues to work as a curator, documenting and exhibiting several private collections in public spaces.  Artun also has a book titled Paris’ten Modernlik Tercümeleri [Translations of Modernity from Paris] (Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2007).


Yasemin Özcan (b. 1974) studied at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Ceramics and Glass Department. Working in different mediums such as photography, video, sound, ceramics, lecture performance and text, Özcan elaborates on forms of existence, movements, and the performances of objects, individuals, and institutions. Her works include references to identity, cultural policies, gender, esotericism and psychology.  She is recently working with ceramic materials to explore the relation between living things and earth, as well as labour and craft. Her works have been exhibited in many institutions and art spaces, including Galerie Nord–Kunstverein Tiergarten, nGbK Berlin, SALT Beyoğlu, Arter, WKV Stuttgart, Wiener Secession, CCS Bard, Rodeo İstanbul, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, İstanbul Modern, Kunstmuseum Bochum, DEPO and Ludwig Forum. She participated in artist residency programs of the Berlin Senate, nGbK – DEPO (Berlin, 2019), Cité internationale des arts – İKSV (Paris, 2012) and Can Xalant Centre for the Creation of Visual Arts and Contemporary Thought – Platform Garanti (Mataró, 2009).


Selen Ansen (b. 1975) received her Ph.D. in Theory and Practice of the Arts in 2001 following her master’s degree in Modern Literature and Cinema from Université Marc Bloch in Strasbourg. She worked as a lecturer of art theory and philosophy of art in several art and design schools of France, including Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Strasbourg. Between 2009–2015, she taught courses that focused on the topics of silence in literature and corporeity in contemporary thought in the Philosophy and Social Thought and Comparative Literature MA programmes at Istanbul Bilgi University. While writing and curating alongside her academic career, Ansen formed her initial connection to Arter in 2011 with the exhibition Berlinde de Bruyckere (The Wound, 2012) she curated. Joining Arter’s team in 2015, Ansen curated the exhibitions Marc Quinn (The Sleep of Reason, 2014), It takes two to make an accident (HISK, Gent, Belgium, 2015), Not All That Falls Has Wings (2016), Words Are Very Unnecessary (2019–2020), Céleste Boursier-Mougenot (offroad v.2, 2019), Cevdet Erek (Bergama Stereotip, 2019–2020) and KP Brehmer: The Big Picture (2020–2021); and Candeğer Furtun (2021-...) contributed to various international publications. Ansen is also the curator of the Performance Programme (2019–2020) inaugurated at Arter’s new building in Dolapdere.

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