Yüksel Arslan (b. 1933, Istanbul, Turkey) has often been associated with the loosely-structured surrealist movement in Turkey and was affiliated with the intellectual circles of 1960s Paris that included Jean-Paul Sarte, André Breton, and Jean Dubuffet. For the past 60 years, Arslan has been mining the depths of the unconscious mind, bringing together Western and Eastern aesthetics and philosophy in finely wrought works that he calls Artures . Serial in format, the hundreds of drawings he has produced deal with subjects as varied as schizophrenia and the eroticism of de Sade, Bataille, and Artaud, as well as visual interpretations of artists, poets, writers, scientists, musicians, and philosophers that have influenced his thinking. Arslan’s working process includes the use of self-made and antique tools and the production of his own colors using ancient methods of combining raw pigments with his own saliva, blood, urine, and other organic materials like honey, earth, and egg whites.
Though Arslan has exhibited extensively in Europe and is well-known in Turkey, this exhibition in the Drawing Room, curated by Executive Director Brett Littman, will be the first survey of his work in the United States.
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Image: Yüksel Arslan, “L’Homme XXVI: Hallucinations, Arture 385” (detail), 1988. Handmade pigments and ink on paper, 13 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches. Photo by Cengiz Tacer.