Every endeavour to review and write the history of contemporary art in Turkey calls upon the name of a pioneering, founding artist who marks a turning point, a moment of beginning: Altan Gürman (1935-1976).
Altan Gürman’s oeuvre is brought to viewers for the first time in such an exhaustive capacity through one of the inaugural exhibitions at Arter’s new building in Dolapdere. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition, curated by Başak Doğa Temür, not only features almost all of Altan Gürman’s works included in the Arter Collection, but also presents to readers various documents, drawings, sketches, correspondences, photographs, class notes, slides, and meticulous arrangements from the artist’s archives, as well as his theses permeated with a new concept of art that would leave its imprint on the 1960s and 1970s.
The book includes essays by Barış Acar, Selen Ansen, Ahu Antmen, Duygu Demir, Bora Gürdaş, Ali Kayaalp, İz Öztat and Nermin Saybaşılı which carefully reread Altan Gürman from an art historical perspective, address the artist’s impact and various stages of evolution, and open Gürman’s works to new encounters by approaching each one individually. Both the exhibition and the accompanying book pay a collective homage to a mind-opening artist who passed away at a young age.