By Mathias Hornung and Onur Hastürk at Anna Laudel Istanbul

The title of the exhibition “Echos”, derives from the Latin verb “echo” meaning a sound repeated by reflection. Likewise, despite different techniques of the artists, two solo exhibitions and the artists complement each other by establishing a bridge between past and the present in Turkey followed by their first presentations in Germany. “Echos” brings together compelling themes and techniques highlighted by Hornung and Hastürk, diverging from integration of Islamic painting with contemporary art to the transformation of traditional engraving into a digital art. Supporting artists with two international gallery spaces, Anna Laudel Istanbul presents “Defragmentology” by Mathias Hornung and “Assimilation” by Onur Hastürk under the title of “Echos” until 28 February 2021. Showcased at Anna Laudel Düsseldorf in 2020, two solo shows in İstanbul feature brand new works of both artists as well as the recent ones.

Mathias Hornung - “Defragmentology”

Mathias Hornung was born in 1969 and first worked as an engineer, before diving into the life of a full time artist. His works are based on rectangular grids that are either printed on paper or three dimensionally on wood. Topography, as well as time and space, play a big role in his works, but the ultimate idea behind his works is the imminent "fall out" from the perfect, even and regular grid of life. He had his solo exhibitions in different cities such as Berlin, Reutlingen and Belgium. And he participated in a large number of group exhibitions in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany and South Africa.

Dissolving the boundary between technology and sculpture, Mathias Hornung showcases his first solo exhibition at Anna Laudel Istanbul. Hornung draws a bow from the woodcut into the digital world and situates his images thematically and structurally in the confusing present. By doing that he questions the multi-layered and at the same time incalculable dimensions of dealing with information in an irritating way.

Hornung, symbolizes different ages, each re-enlightens itself, expands into new possibilities, commonalities, and points of view with wood, paper, and technological devices used in his artworks. In a world of ever more perfect technical images and the medial flood of images, he links their codes with the old process of high pressure with his direct manual access to sensual immediacy, to corporeality and haptics.

Artworks based on rectangular grids printed either on paper or three-dimensionally on the wood are sensual and at the same time conceptual images that play with the space and interspace between media and materials. In his woodblock prints, Mathias Hornung presents the past, present, and future’s oscillating relationship. Topography, as well as time and space, play an important role in his works, but the ultimate idea behind his works is the break from the perfect, even and regular web of life.

Onur Hastürk - “Assimilation”

Born in 1983 in the seaside city of Mersin in southern Turkey, Hastürk earned his bachelor’s from Konya Selçuk University in 2008, with a concentration in the traditional Islamic arts of gilding and miniature painting. His abiding interest in the arts of the book led him to Istanbul in 2012, where he earned a master’s degree in fine arts from Marmara University with a thesis on figural analysis in Ottoman illustrated manuscripts at Istanbul’s venerable Süleymaniye Library.

Throughout his training, Hastürk has combined his intensive studies of Islamic painting and design with a consistent application to the study of international contemporary art. He spent the summer of 2010 in New York City for new experiences and research in Art. He studied art and design at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze in the 2013/2014 seasons. His work has been exhibited both within Turkey and abroad, including Düsseldorf, Istanbul, London, Milan, Porto and Rome. He currently lives and works in Istanbul.

Recognised by his combined style of Islamic painting and design with contemporary art, Turkish artist Onur Hastürk meets with art lovers with his first solo show at Anna Laudel Istanbul. Welcomed in Europe with his debut solo exhibition in Düsseldorf, Hastürk pulls freely the numerous artistic cultures of Islam and places them in new conversations with art of the modern West, from Henri Matisse to Andy Warhol. Within the exhibition, Hastürk presents his works within 3 compelling series: Respect to Matisse, Respect to Warhol, and Classical Miniature.

Respect to Matisse

Hastürk’s Respect to Matisse series is a contradiction produced between the modern and the traditional. Matisse’s paintings include the naturalism and tactility of the European painting tradition, rhythmic patterns of Islamic carpets, and the shallow compositional areas of Islamic miniature painting. His work doubles as Islamic art’s returning gaze on Matisse’s Islamic-inspired modernism, where the nameless Islamic artists are eclipsed by Matisse’s breakthrough. With the eyes of a miniaturist, Hastürk makes the loose brush strokes and solid colors visible with sharp lines. Artist also interprets Matisse’s extraction of Oriental motifs on his paintings and cutouts for a new kind of ornamental decoration.

Respect to Warhol

Like Matisse’s paintings, Warhol’s canvases and ready-made sculptures reflect Hastürk’s practice. In 1957, Warhol published A Gold Book, a bound volume of 19 offset lithograph prints depicting flowers, high-fashion shoes, and magazine models, most of which were printed on gold paper. Hastürk engages with a different dimension of Warhol’s oeuvre in the series Respect to Warhol and explores the impact of the artist's figures and, it’s attraction to gold with Islamic art practices.

Classical Miniature

In the Classical Miniatures series, Hastürk presents the miniature’s potential for both dynamic aesthetic experimentations and the representation of modern subjectivity. He shows the extraordinary properties of İznik Tile’s, which modernists, such as Henri Matisse, admired. Hastürk's playful attitude towards the parameters of Islamic miniature painting extends to his work in other traditional media. In his ceramics, the male silhouette with fez, which appears in Hastürk's Warhol series, makes the leap from the gold-plated side to the pottery plate. This dynamic minimalism extends to his “Red Fezzed Figures''. Here, the familiar fezzed silhouettes appear on paper, drawn in a single gold line with only slippers, fez, and faces rendered in colored paint. Their delicate, generic expressions recall the highly codified repertoire of facial models found in Islamic miniatures.

On display at Anna Laudel Istanbul, two solo shows including “Defragmentology” by Mathias Hornung and “Assimilation” by Onur Hastürk showcased under the title of “Echos” and a special selection of artworks showcased at a virtual art fair can be visited by appointment until 28 February 2021.

11th February, 2021 Visual Art | Paintings