Elif Uras’s first monograph and site-specific installation The Source, realized under the leadership of Galerist and as part of Kale Group’s 2018 project in support of ceramics in art, will be on view at a historic storefront in Istanbul between November 24 and December 30. Featuring a functioning ceramic fountain, a tiled wall, and new drawings presented in ceramic frames, Uras’s new body of work draws from various cultural references and explores ideas of shared heritage, hybridity and pluralism. Also presented onsite and edited by L. İpek Ulusoy Akgül, Uras’s comprehensive monograph looks at the artist’s practice from multiple perspectives.
Essays by internationally acclaimed writers Ahu Antmen, Amy Smith-Stewart, Kathy Battista and Merve Ünsal investigate critical issues around the feminist undertones of her works, how the artist utilizes “traditional” techniques in her ceramic objects, and how her unique patterning and ornamentation connect these works with her paintings. The publication also includes a conversation between the editor and the artist, and an extensive visual documentation of Uras’s works. Published in separate English and Turkish editions by Galerist Publishing, the monograph will be distributed internationally by Revolver Publishing.
“The ceramic works of Elif Uras create an exceptional experience for each one of us.”
Kale Group’s President and CEO Zeynep Bodur Okyay states that Kale Group has made it their mission to promote ceramics in art and to support artists through the resources they provide for arts and culture. She further points out: “We want to create a series of success stories for Turkey’s future. Our priority is to be involved in innovative and inspiring projects, and to encourage like-minded people and communities. This year, we are proud to be supporting the publication of the first monograph of our internationally renowned contemporary artist Elif Uras. The ceramic works of Uras, through which we can witness the artist’s distinct imagination, generate an exceptional experience for us. Uras’s first monograph sheds light on her practice through texts by distinguished writers, facilitating further recognition of her practice within Turkey and beyond. Uras traces the diverse traditions of our geography and transforms them into something unique and contemporary, which I believe is a critical contribution to our global discourse.”
About the Artist
Elif Uras lives and works in New York and Istanbul. Notable solo exhibitions include: Déjà Vu (The Box, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, 2017); Hayal Meyal (Galerist, Istanbul, 2016); Nicaea (Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut, 2015); Panorama Arcade (Galerist, Istanbul, 2008); Drawing Disconnect (Kirkhoff, Copenhagen, 2008); The Occidentalist (Smith-Stewart, New York, 2007); Industry (GAVLAK, West Palm Beach, 2006); Private Collection (Kenny Schachter/ROVE, New York, 2004) and What You Want (Galerist, Istanbul, 2004). Her works have also been exhibited at MoMA PS1, Salon 94, New York, 9th Shanghai Biennale, Proje 4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, and Pera Museum. They are included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ringier Collection, Zurich, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, among others. Uras has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, a BA in Economics and International Relations from Brown University and a JD from Columbia Law School. She received her MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts in 2003.
About the Curator/Editor
L. İpek Ulusoy Akgül is an independent editor, curator, and writer currently based in Istanbul. Most recently, she has consulted for editorial projects in English at SALT, Istanbul (2017-18) and acted as the Managing Editor of ArteEast Quarterly (2014-16). Her selected curatorial projects include: Reading Room (Mathaf, Doha, 2015), Proposals on Monumentality (Green Art Gallery, Dubai, 2014), A.i.R Dubai Open Studios (Dubai, 2014) and many new media exhibitions including Brigitte Kowanz: Cut a Long Story Short (associate curator) at Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul (2012-13). She contributed to Artforum.com, Ibraaz, ArtAsiaPacific, m-est.org as well as various exhibition catalogs and artist books. She completed graduate coursework in History at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul after receiving her BA in Cultural Studies from Sabancı University, Istanbul. She was granted a Fulbright Scholarship for her MA in Museum Studies at NYU.
Founded in 2001 in Istanbul, Galerist has established a reputation for nurturing the careers of emerging Turkish contemporary artists and introducing their work to a national and global audience. In addition to the ongoing exhibition program in Istanbul, Galerist continues to participate in prominent art events abroad, strengthening their position and network in the international art world. Galerist’s bimonthly publication Art Unlimited has positioned itself as one of the country’s leading art magazines since 2006 and a key supporter of the growing contemporary art scene in Turkey. Other publications from Galerist include Yusuf Sevinçli: Oculus (2018), Semiha Berksoy Catalogue Raisonné (2017), Nil Yalter Monograph (2013), Taner Ceylan: 1997-2009 (2011), Haluk Akakçe: Reincarnation (2009) and Leyla Gediz Monograph (2008).
Since its establishment in 1957 as Canakkale Ceramic Factories Corporation, Kale Group has been a pioneer in Turkey’s ceramics industry, becoming an international giant with its investments in this sector. Kale Group is currently comprised of 17 companies, and is regarded as one of the leading industrial enterprises of Turkey with over 5,000 employees and factories in Canakkale and all over the country. Kale Group is Europe's fifth and the world's 17th largest ceramics manufacturer. In the construction chemicals sector, it is ranked first in Turkey and fifth in Europe in terms of production and sales volume. Moreover, as a fully private Turkish company, it has taken on a leading and influential role in defense and aviation sectors.
With a growing focus on design, technology, and the human element, one of Kale Group’s missions is to support art and artists, particularly those working with ceramics. Last year, Kale Group realized the first retrospective of distinguished ceramic artist Füreya Koral to commemorate the 60th anniversary of its founding. The comprehensive exhibition of works by Koral, the first contemporary ceramicist in Turkey, was considered to be one of the most acclaimed and visited exhibitions in 2017.