Nazif Topcuoglu, A Pre-Raphaelite picture, c-print, 90 x 61 cm, 2011.

Nazif Topcuoglu, Solace, 2009, c-print, 120 x 182 cm.

Nazif Topcuoglu Meditations on and Idealizations of Youth

Nazif Topcuoglu, Introspection, 2010, c-print, 120 x 168 cm.

Nazif Topcuoglu, Dragon, 2009, c-print, 140 x 100 cm.

Nazif Topcuoglu, The Space- Jadu Witch, 2011, c-print, 120 x 80, cm.

 

Green Art Gallery
51st Street, Villa #23
Jumeirah 1
+ 9714 3449 888
Dubai
Innerscapes
January 11-March 5, 2012

Nazif Topcuoglu presents a new series of work, marking his second solo exhibition at the gallery,

Known for his highly staged theatrical works typically featuring young girls in period stage settings, Topcuoglu’s photographs take on a nostalgic view of youth. While in his works, like Proust, he does not glorify a certain-definite- “past” era, he nonetheless implies a yearning for one's own youth or an imagined “golden age.” The way in which we as humans rate our experience as valuable is through moments that are imagined, be they in the past (half-remembered) or in the future (not yet realized).

This idealization of youth however, goes hand in hand with an overall sense of sadness and desperation felt by the artist. With encroaching global problems facing contemporary youth, war, famine, economic downturn, a hope for a better future becomes an idealization in itself. Topcuoglu, who is part of generation that participated in major upheavals the world faced in the 1960s, maintains that the sense of hope, of a view of changing the world experienced then, seems desolate and almost obsolete today.

The young female subjects depicted in his works have grown up in this context and are now facing the various adult issues of the day. Like a modern-day Alice, they may be opposed and frustrated at every turn, but they are mostly dissenters not collaborators, speaking up against the way people insist on the rightness of their conventional ways of doing things. Like in Alice in Wonderland, these girls raise the voice of common sense against the arbitrary rules and unjust commandments of a grown-up world. It is for this reason that when looking at Topcuoglu’s seemingly ‘pretty’ images of attractive girls, the viewer nonetheless cannot help but sense a disturbing tension that lies beneath.

Born in 1953, Nazif Topcuoglu graduated with a Masters degree from the Institute of Design in Chicago in 1981. Since then he has exhibited worldwide and has held several solo shows both in Istanbul and abroad, as well as publishing 3 books on the history and criticism of photography. Topcuoglu’s work was included in the Turkish pavillion during the 50th Venice biennale in 2003 and he has participated in various prestigious group shows including A Subjective Panorama of Contemporary Turkish Photography as part of the Turkish Cultural Season in Paris at the Maison de Metallos in November 2009. His work is included in several public and private collections as well as several significant publications on contemporary art. These include: Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography, published by Phaidon in 2006, User’s Manual: Contemporary Art in Turkey 1986-2006, published by the art-ist in 2007 and Unleashed: Contemporary Art from Turkey which was published by Transglobe in the spring of 2010.

Nazif Topcuoglu, Sisters, 2011, c-print, 120 x 80 cm.

Nazif Topcuoglu, Sorrow, 2010, c-print, 180 x 120 cm.

Nazif Topcuoglu, All for One One for All (Tous pour un un pour tous), 2010, c-print, 120 x 161 cm.

 

Nazif Topcuoglu, The turtle charmer, 2011, c-print mounted on foam-board, edition 1, 5ap2, 167 x 120 cm.

Nazif Topcuoglu, Lamentations, 2007, c-print mounted on foam board, 114 x 171 cm, Ed 5/5.

Nazif Topcuoglu, Triptych, 2009, 3 panels, each 180 x 120 cm, c-print mounted on foam board, Ed 3-5.

Photographic Theatre, Time, Memory, Loss & the Fragility of Existence

Nazif Topcuoglu, The Red Apple, 2009, c-print mounted on foam board, 92 x 123 cm, Ed 1-5.

Nazif Topcuoglu, The Proust Picture, 2001, c-print mounted on foam board, 59 x 47 cm, Ed 5-5.

 

Green Art Gallery
51st Street, Villa #23
Jumeirah 1
+ 9714 3449 888
Dubai
Nazif Topcuoglu. Consolation
December 12, 2009-January 21, 2010

Nazif Topçuoglu creates highly staged, theatrical works typically featuring young girls living in lavish period backdrops. They play symbolic roles and become almost akin to Old Master paintings with their glowing skin and richly coloured garments.  In many aspects, photography is in dialogue with the history of painting, whilst also recalling the world of theatre.
 
The underlying thread in his work is a constant preoccupation with time, memory and loss. He worries about our tenuous grip on existence, how quickly life and our ideals can slip through our fingers.  Through his constant references to art history along with the writings of authors like Marcel Proust, Vladimir Nabokav and Lewis Carrol, he attempts to preserve the past on his camera film.

Consolation, a solo show for Turkish photographer Nazif Topçuoglu, marks the Istanbul-based artist’s first appearance in the Middle East, in an effort to bring Turkey's exciting contemporary art to the region.

The exhibition encompasses new works in addition to those developed in his earlier series including “Readers”, “Curiosity & Experience” and “New World.”

Born in 1954, Nazif Topçuoglu graduated with a Masters degree from the Institute of Design in Chicago in 1981. Since then he has exhibited worldwide and has published three books on the history and criticism of photography. Nazif’s work was included in the Turkish pavillion during the 50th Venice biennale in 2003 and he has held several solo shows  both in Istanbul and abroad.

Most recently he participated in the Solo Project in Basel in 2009 and was included in the group show entitled A Subjective Panorama of Contemporary Turkish Photography as part of the Turkish Cultural Season in Paris at the Maison de Metallos in November 2009. His work was also shown at ARCO in 2008 & 2009, Scope Basel in 2008 and Paris Photo in 2007-2009 and appears regularly at auctions most recently in the Christie's Dubai sale in April 2009, the Sotheby’s Turkish Contemporary Art auction in March 2009 and Phillips De Pury’s Now: Art of the 21st Century in September 2009.

Nazif’s works are part of museums and in private and public art collections of which most notable are JPMorgan-Chase, USA, Marion and Guy Naggar, London, UK, Schürmann, Germany, Sema and Barbaros Ça?a, Istanbul, Fotocollectie Hoboken Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands and the Reflex Miniature Museum of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam, Netherlands. His work is included in several significant publications on contemporary art including Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography, published by Phaidon in 2006 and User’s Manual: Contemporary Art in Turkey 1986-2006, published by artist in 2007. He will also  be included in the upcoming publication entitled Unleashed: Contemporary Art from Turkey to be published by Transglobe Publishing in spring 2010.

Nazif Topcuoglu, Consolation, 2009, c-print mounted on foam board, 110 x 165 cm, Ed 1-5.

Nazif Topcuoglu, Virgin Suicides, 2009, c-print mounted on foam board, 112 x 167 cm, Ed 1-5.