Sarkis, ‘Blackout VII Italian’, 1975, Zucker Art Books

Bronze plate and black plastic.
Installation for the solo exhibition "Metal 2 BLACKOUT 7", Cenobio Visualita' Milan.

Sarkis Zabunyan, known as Sarkis, was born in Istanbul in 1938. He is a Turkish-born Armenian conceptual artist living in France. His family moved from Sivas to Istanbul. Sarkis studied at the St. Michel French High School and got his degree from Mimar Sinan University. He decided to use his Christian name Sarkis in his professional artistic life, and moved to Paris in 1962 after winning the Paris Young Artists? Biennial Prize. One of the leading conceptual artists, Sarkis has returned to his native Turkey many times since the 1980s to exhibit his work. He has participated in the Istanbul Biennial. Since the 1970′s, Sarkis has used installation, photography, watercolor and video to bring together the legacies of art and cinema with the intellectual traditions of East and West. His art explores issues of presence and absence, place and identity, permanence and transience. Drawing on the mystical traditions of the East, he is particularly interested in the relationship between time and memory, and emphasizes the temporary nature of matter and experience. He was the curator of the last ever Fureya Koral exhibition when ceramic artist Koral was still alive. As a professor at Strasbourg Beaux Arts, Sarkis has trained young Turkish artists including Su Yücel and Serhat Kiraz. Sarkis′s exhibition, A Milestone, was curated by Ali Akay, (May 2005) at the Akbank Art Gallery in Istanbul. The gallery devoted all of its six floors to the Sarkis. Apart from Turkey and France, Sarkis has exhibited his work in over three dozen countries, including the USA, Germany, India, Australia, China, Japan, Mexico and Brazil. Sarkis′s motto is "Anılarım Vatanımdır" (My Memories are My Country).

Series: Black Out

Signature: yes

Cenobio Visualita', Milan

Private collection since 1975
Cenobio Visualita', Milan

About Sarkis

A prominent and influential conceptual artist, Sarkis Zabunyan, known as Sarkis, has produced films, drawings, texts, photographs, and site-specific works that explore wide-ranging themes, including his own physical and psychological experience and issues of exile, freedom, and cultural difference. In his exhibition “Izik/Twin” (2013), he responded to the gallery space and context—the site of an old wheat mill based in Istanbul—merging architectural and historical references with the artist’s concern with material and gesture. The exhibition included a semi-permeable wooden crate placed on shipping pallets, containing bubble-wrap and covered by a copper lid, creating tension between the work’s disposable and more permanent materials, and a video in which the artist drips candlewax into his palm, turning a gesture of supplication into a source of physical pain. In other work, Sarkis has explored the relationship between cinema and contemporary art.

Turkish-Armenian, b. 1938, Istanbul, İstanbul, Turkey, based in Paris, France