The works by the Istanbul installation artist Füsun Onur (*1937) come across as humorous, ephemeral and sometimes eccentric and strange, e.g. a picture frame from which a maritime scene literally gushes out (Untitled, 2012) or a surrealistic, walk-in cube wrapped entirely in blue yarn (The Third Dimension in Painting / Come in, 1981). Füsun Onur plays with the two-dimensionality of painting and the conventional views on the permanent relevance of the visual arts. The everyday objects and furniture used in her installations convey the mundane stories of life, while also embedding them in a larger historical and political context. In her installation “War Through the Eyes of a Child”, dolls, a girl’s dress and heavy black boots interweave as a vague memory of the artist’s childhood during World War II.
Although Onur’s sculptures drew international attention early in her career, and she is now regarded as one of the most influential contemporary artists in Turkey, her complete works have yet to be exhaustively reviewed. In cooperation with distinguished experts from the Istanbul art institution Arter, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne will stage a large-scale retrospective which aims to re-examine the significance of her work and recognise hers as an independent artistic position. The exhibition will be accompanied by an educational programme for various target groups, including children and young people from Cologne. Tours will be offered in German, Turkish and Kurdish. The exhibition catalogue featuring the artist’s central texts will be published in Turkish, German and English.
Artistic director: Barbara Engelbach
Co-curator: Emre Baykal (Arter, Istanbul)
Artist: Füsun Onur
Exhibition: Museum Ludwig, Cologne: 16 Sep. 2023 – 28 Jan. 2024
www.museum-ludwig.de (external link, opens in a new window)