Modern/Çağdaş Seramik Sanatı: Türkiye’de Seramiğin Öyküsü
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The establishment of a ceramic studio in the Academy of Fine Arts (1929) marks the beginning of modern Turkish ceramic art. Ceramic art of the early Republican period in which Art Déco-style is prominent is functional and industry-oriented. The concept of modern studio ceramics based on the Far East-inspired pottery has almost no effect on the first generation ceramicists. Turkish ceramic art, which takes on a surface-oriented character in the 1950s, begins to be a part of the context created by the disciplines of sculpture and painting and adopts an abstract visual language drawing upon traditional sources in parallel with the art scene of the period. The 1960s is an exuberant period in which Turkish ceramic art enters a clear breakthrough. The discourses of nationality / national culture reinforce the understanding that approaches to traditional Turkish china as a valuable heritage. In this respect, the ceramic works of the period are seen as modern adaptations of a proud past and ceramics is emphasized as an indigenous art of Turks. An ornamental understanding nourished by Anatolian culture is very prominent in the ceramics of this period. Ceramics artists of the 1970s, the period of maturity of Turkish ceramic art, continue to diversify the understanding which takes the ceramic as a sculptural-material and makes the distinction between art and craft uncertain. While the conception of utilizing local sources maintains its weight, a simplification is observed in the visual language of works. In the 1970s, when the social / humanitarian issues begin to be addressed, the success of Turkish ceramicists increasingly continues abroad. The 1980s is the period when Turkish ceramic art is almost completely purified from industrial and traditional connections, and ceramics are regarded as a sculptural material. While the approach to the traditional tile art as a branch of Islamic arts emerges, the collective aims regarding Turkish ceramic art / design / industry are left behind. In this period, the main issue of ceramic artists, in general, is an effort to present an original form based on an abstract/abstractive understanding. Discourses and discussions arise on the problem of ceramics / sculpture and the status of ceramics. Turkish ceramic art undergoes a significant transformation in the 90s, when globalization is the determinative factor. The widespread and usual use of conceptualistic ceramics practices is accompanied by the affirmation of functionality, the strengthening of figuration, and the discourse that this branch has entered a period of stagnation. 20th-century Turkish ceramic art, unlike its Western counterpart, has a distinctive course that is born and developed on the basis of a surface-oriented approach, where the “ceramic-cup” phenomenon is not central at all.
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