Murat Akagündüz, 1970

Ida-Soma, 2015

Born in 1970 in Gölcük, İzmit, Murat Akagündüz studied in the Department of Painting at Mimar Sinan University, Faculty of Fine Arts, between 1988 and 1995. The artist lives and works in Istanbul. A founding member of the Hafriyat Initiative, Akagündüz based his early series on the modern world. In these works, the city’s roads, highways, institutional buildings, parks, and public spaces have a monumental quality. Although the human being does not occupy a central position, the kind of lifestyle to which the artist refers is evident. With his strong foundation in drawing, Akagündüz treats solitary, distant, pale, and cold urban life in a striking way.

Akagündüz is open to different possibilities, from the use of paint and depiction of space to the composition and language of expression. However, the genre to which he usually remains faithful is landscape. Initially, his landscape paintings contained traces of the city, while in his later series, he moved away from cities and closer to nature. The magnificence of mountains, islands, rivers, earth, and fortresses built high atop hills grows even stronger with the mist that surrounds them. In these paintings, in which one can also feel the geographic past, nature is far away from everything—solitary, weary, yet standing.

In the “Island-Continent” series, Akagündüz references the Homeland Tours organized under the initiative of the Republican People’s Party between 1938 and 1945, and reconsiders this experience by trying it out himself. The series draws inspiration from the personal story of Akagündüz and the memory of the landscape and takes as a starting point the drawings and landscape paintings produced by the artist during his travels to various cities in Anatolia. In monochromatic resin on canvas, the light is magical, the space ambiguous. The power of the spare landscape lies in the relationship between the realism with which the artist depicts the soil and the uncertainty created by the atmosphere around it. When the splendor of the barren earth’s texture merges with the light and dark brown of the resin, the depicted landscape becomes iconic. In “Ida-Soma,” Akagündüz emphasizes the strength of rock and the solitude of earth.




Resin on canvas

Credit Line

Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Foundation Collection

Istanbul Museum of Modern Art / Long Term Loan