The solo Exhibition of Ardan Özmenoğlu, Anna Laudel Gallery
Anna Laudel Düsseldorf presents Turkish artist Ardan Özmenoğlu’s first solo exhibition in Düsseldorf titled “Alles wunderbar” between 16 September – 13 November 2021. Curated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch, the exhibition showcases the 9-year creative journey of the artist, covering different topics of her artistic career. With endless creativity and the capability of addressing both simple and complex issues in a playful and joyful manner, Özmenoğlu comprises a broad range of themes using different materials such as paper, glass, or neon light tubes in her works. She creates three-dimensional sculptural works with a series of painted glass layers, depicting flowers or trees as a sort of comment on the fragility of nature and human vulnerability.
Born in 1979 in Turkey, Ardan Özmenoğlu obtained her BFA as well as her MFA in the Department of Art, Design and Architecture from Bilkent University, Ankara. She was an Artist in Residence at Kala art Institute in Berkeley, Ateliergemeinschaft Milchhof e.V. Berlin, Frans Maserell Centrum in Belgium, Kulturkontakt Austria in Vienna and Glasstress in Murano, Venice. Her recent work consists of site-specific screenprint installations, which incorporate architecture and sculpture, using materials such as glass, neon tubing, and post-it notes. At the interface between printmaking and sculpture, these three-dimensional portraits come into being. Her works can be found in important collections internationally, such as the Hort Collection NYC, Naked Heart Foundation, the Frankfurt Airport Collection, the Osthaus Museum Hagen Collection, the Kala Art Institute Collection, the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection, the UniCredit Bank Art collection, the Fondation Jan Michalski Collection, the Imoga Mundi (Benetton) Collection and the Istanbul Modern Collection.
Katerina Valdivia Bruch is a Berlin-based independent curator and arts writer. She holds a BA in Philosophy (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú), a postgraduate diploma in Cultural Policies and Management (Universitat de Barcelona), and an MA in Museum Studies and Critical Theory (Independent Study Programme, MACBA/Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona). Katerina has curated exhibitions and organised talks, conferences and lectures for a number of institutions, including ZKM-Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Bielefelder Kunstverein (Bielefeld), Grimmuseum (Berlin), CCCB (Barcelona), Instituto Cervantes (Berlin and Munich), Instituto Cultural de León (Mexico), Para/Site Art Space (Hong Kong), and the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore. In 2008, she was co-curator of the Prague Triennale at the National Gallery in Prague. Besides her work as a curator, she contributes essays and articles to art publications and magazines.
“Alles wunderbar” pays attention to the artist's long-standing relationship to Germany, particularly to the city of Berlin, her main production site after Istanbul, where she lives. The exhibition includes her latest pieces named after the first German words the artist learned; the post-it works Alles gut (All Is Good), Alles schön (All Is Beautiful), and Alles wunderbar (All Is Wonderful) from which the exhibition is named, and the neon tube light sculptures Ja, ja, ja, ja (Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes).
From Post-it’s To Neon Works Ardan Özmenoğlu Playfully Challenges The Viewer The imperfection of life is the perfect scenario for the artist’s explorations. Attention to detail, subtle reflections on every day and the now, but also on media, art, Turkish identity, and history distinguishes her oeuvre. Always with a shred of humor, in her works, she hints at a sense of community and belonging, but also a strong receptiveness to the new and an openness to the surprises of life. In general, post-its are used as aide-memoirs, as well as to separate pages in paper piles, or to leave quick notes on different surfaces.
Through Özmenoğlu’s eyes, post-its acquire other meanings: they speak about Turkish history and politics, as well as daily life in Istanbul, but also portray how the artist understands modern urban women, who are shaping contemporary Turkish society. Her post-it works include popular massmediated images from popular cultures, such as celebrities from the arts scene, music or fashion industries, historical figures as well as famous Turkish political leaders. She also portrays impressions of daily life in urban settings, spanning from random phrases written on walls, doors or graffiti, to manhole covers traced by the artist in different cities.
Özmenoğlu also brings her own interpretation of society and the art environment in her works produced using neon lights, where she started to work with neon during her residency in Berlin. Curated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch, Ardan Özmenoğlu’s solo exhibition “Alles wunderbar” featuring artist’s brand new works as well as the recent ones, will be on display at Anna Laudel Düsseldorf until 13 November 2021.
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