Galerist proposes a solo presentation of Semiha Berksoy (1910-2004) as part of the curated galleries
section by Omar Kholeif entitled Focus: Beyond Territory for Abu Dhabi Art 2017.
Semiha Berksoy is a key figure in the recent cultural history of Turkey. Born in Istanbul, Berksoy was, over her lifetime, a leading opera singer, painter, actress, performance artist and poet. Throughout her life, Berksoy’s creative production can be considered a ‘gesamtkunstwerk’, combining multiple elements of the plastic and dramatic arts. Her visual work, powerfully expressive and naïve in style and predominantly autobiographical in content, has been increasingly recognized in its own right since her first solo art show in 1969. In recent years the support of key figures such as Rosa Martinez and Robert Wilson has helped revive and expand interest in her work. Martinez included 26 of her paintings in the Arsenale during her 2005 edition of the Venice Biennale. Her work has also been included in the 5th Istanbul Biennale (1997), Manifesta 2 (1998) and 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012).
Our presentation focuses on a selection of large and important paintings, such as ‘Unity of Eternity Based on Love’, along with her self-portraits and portraits of her acquaintances; relating to her brave, enthusiastic, disciplined and unique personality, as well as, her comprehensive, multi-disciplinary education and experience.