Avni Arbaş


16 Ekim, 2003
Istanbul State Fine Arts Academy Department of Painting

Painter (B. 1919, Istanbul – D. 16 October 2003, Foça-Izmir).He completed his secondary education in GalatasarayHigh School. Between 1938 and 46 he became student of İbrahim Çallı for six months and later student of Leopold Lévy at Istanbul State Fine Arts Academy, Department of Painting. During his studies he was one of the founders of YenilerGrubu (Group of Innovators) and participated to their events. He went to Paris in I946 by using a scholarship of French Government and continued his works there until his return to Turkey in 1977. His works were exhibited in Salon de Mai whose member he was and which was a supporter of abstract painting. He abstained from following artistic tendencies in fashion. Although he produced works which were at the border of abstract painting he always protected formal characteristics which have their source in his selfhood.

In the beginning he worked within an attitude, which combined national traditions with the modern understanding. He presented traditional life motives in a scheme of order, which consisted of decoration elements, piling researches and dark-bright stains. Later he approached Cezanne’s understanding who said "the art of painting is a harmony which is parallel to nature" and attached himself to nature with a strong emotion. After 1954 he made ceramic works aside from painting. In 1955-56 he was inspired by boards of traditional tile-works and turned towards flower paintings in soft color and pattern. Again during his Paris years, he realized his series of “Atlar” which was a symbol of freedom, struggle and power and which reminded some mythos related to Anatolia. In these works in which he worked with a flexible and changeable color and stain tissues, an elitist perspective purified from details and a style which reconciles finesse with stability are followed.

Arbaş worked in a socially realistic tendency and in a colorist figurative understanding, he took concrete and experienced realities as starting point used bright and dark shades and realized landscape, portraits and still-life paintings with a stable structure and a soft sensibility. Towards the end of 1970s he inclined towards the life of sea and seamen. In these late works he inclined towards a half-abstract expression in a style, which would emphasize the first impression of the topic, without distancing the figure from its natural structure and by raising the influence of tachism.

Arbaş held numerous exhibitions in important artistic centers of Europe and in Istanbul and his works are present in ParisModernArtsMuseum, AntibesGrimaldiMuseum and Istanbul State Painting and SculptureMuseum. The artist passed away on the 16th of October 2003 in Izmir Foça.

Avni Arbaş - Oil Painting


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