A Life Devoted To Painting Naile Akıncı

Celil Civan November 2013

AN EXACT CONTEMPORARY OF THE TURKISH REPUBLIC, NAILE AKINCI IS CELEBRATING HER 75TH YEAR AS AN ARTIST. CANVASES PAINTED BETWEEN 1998 AND 2013 BY AKINCI, ONE OF THE DOYENNES OF TURKISH PAINTING, ARE COMING TO ART LOVERS AT THE KIZILTOPRAK ART GALLERY, NOVEMBER 2 TO 30.

Resme Adanmış Bir Ömür Naile Akıncı
Resme Adanmış Bir Ömür Naile Akıncı

Naile Akıncı has a special place in Turkish painting as the representative of a unique iconography. Rather than taking an impressionistic approach, Akıncı avoids copying nature in her paintings. In this sense, her “Variations” go beyond mere landscapes and take on a plastic quality. What is important for this artist, following in the footsteps of her teacher, Zeki Kocamemi, who said, “Painting is inventing, not imitating,” is not nature but “the essence of nature”. Akıncı observes a spot in nature numerous times and then brings it to life again on canvas. But, far from seeing her as an impressionist, we can see her as an artist who has continuously expanded the painterly concepts of impressionism engendered in her by the nature she observes. And now you, too, can follow this development in all its phases in Naile Akıncı’s recent works, which are being shown at the Kızıltoprak Art Gallery in honor of her 75th year as an artist.

A PAINTER ENAMORED OF ISTANBUL
The artists “Variations” reflecting her passion for Istanbul stand out especially in the Naile Akıncı exhibition. Starting with the “Eyüp Variations”, which make the artist’s name practically synonymous with this traditional quarter of the city, as well as her variations on all the city’s picturesque spots like Bebek, Ortaköy, Küçüksu and Anadolukavağı, these are the works that best capture her quintessential style. You can also see in this show self-portraits and still lifes, as well as compositions featuring island women, fishermen, horses and cats that reflect the unique local color and characters of Marmara and Ekinlik islands, where the artist began making her home for part of the year in 1962, and by whose lives she was touched during that period.

CROWNED WITH SUCCESS
Born in Van in 1923, the year the Republic was founded, Naile Akıncı gained admission to the Fine Arts Academy in 1938 and registered in the Middle School Department of Painting. She studied with Nurullah Berk and Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu and took evening classes as well under the direction of Şefik Bursalı. Working in the ateliers of Léopold Lévy and Zeki Kocamemi, she graduated from the Academy’s Middle School Painting Department in 1943. Forced to abandon her studies for six years due to illness, Akıncı returned to the Academy in 1949, graduating in 1952 from the Upper School Department of Painting and the atelier of Zeki Kocamemi.
The artist, who held her first solo show in Istanbul in 1964, has represented Turkey in 13 national and 14 international exhibitions and garnered seven international awards. In 1977, she was invited to the “Exhibition of Women Artists of Our Day”, mounted by the Mandet Museum in the French city of Riom, for the numerous international prizes she collected one after the other. Naile Akıncı, whose career as an artist has been filled with successes, continues her explorations in the name of art by renewing herself aesthetically each time without repeating herself in her works.

IN THE WORDS OF NAİLE AKINCI
“Seventy-five years… A long, full seventy-five years that I have spent tête à tête with my canvas, never betraying each other, never getting annoyed and turning our backs on each other. When I look back, if I filter out the hundreds of words that come to mind, there is a single word left that sums up my feelings: Gratitude.”
Naile Akıncı Retrospective
1949-2013, Türkiye İş Bankası Cultural Publications