artist / participant


press release

Rampa opens with Cengiz Cekil

Rampa opens on May 11 with a one-person exhibition by artist Cengiz Çekil. This, the first comprehensive presentation of Çekil's practice, brings together a selection of his works that span three decades. In the main gallery space key pieces such as "Manifestos I-IV", "Iron Earth, Copper Sky" and "Smashed into Pieces" will be presented alongside recent reconstructions of earlier productions in an effort to restore their historical pertinence. Exhibited across the street in the Rampa project space is the new iteration of the work, "Reverse Image" that has been reconfigured by Çekil with this interior and the context of the exhibition in mind.

Çekil's works in the exhibition are rare examples not only in terms of the threading of social history and specific local, visual cultures with an unwaveringly individual experimentalism, but also within the context of expanded modernities. The artist's approach to his own practice is underscored by the relevance of a precise relationship to the physical material, as well as the ethical integrity, and diligence he applies to his craft. Çekil sources his inquisitions from wayward walks with incessant observation of spontaneous, anonymous aesthetics and peculiarly specific visual structures. Instead of working within a specific range of medium, he chooses his materials according to the requirements of his work, and has a garnered a reputation for his ability to continue working without being influenced by the ostentation and fast-pace of the art world.

Born in 1945 Çekil studied at the Department of Painting and Handicrafts at the Ankara Gazi Institute of Education and completed his studies at the École Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-Arts in Paris, which he attended on a state scholarship. His works have been exhibited in Istanbul, Bourges, Paris, Bergamo, Wiesbaden, Kassel, and Berlin, and in the 4th and 11th Istanbul Biennials and Manifesta 5. A series of conceptual text pieces by the artist, which were produced between 1976-1980, were presented in the most recent Istanbul Biennial in 2009 to resounding acclaim and were widely covered in the international art press.

Rampa's inaugural exhibition with Çekil is the first in a series of ambitious projects that will see the gallery host and support emerging and well-established artists from Turkey and abroad. Within this framework the gallery is committed to the realization, presentation, dissemination, research and scholarship of distinctive practices. An additional aim is to place works by exhibiting artists in exceptional private and public collections internationally. Rampa comprises two spaces, the first is a basement exhibition room of almost 900 square meters and the second a smaller project space on street level. Rampa was founded by Leyla Tara Suyabatmaz and Murat Arif Suyabatmaz to provide artists with a space for innovative work unfettered from the pressures of the market. Cengiz Çekil exhibition is curated by Vasıf Kortun, Garanti Kültür, Director of Research and Programs, with the assistance of Merve Elveren.

only in german

Cengiz Cekil
Kurator: Vasif Kortun