The Mystery of Figure is the second of three exhibitions at Plato Sanat, which investigate current tendencies in the fields of abstract art, figurative art, and research based art. After the review of abstraction and formalism in our previous show, this time, Plato Sanat discusses the current state of figuration in contemporary art in Turkey.
The Mystery of Figure brings together eight artists from different disciplines like drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and video in order to exemplify various strategies of artistic figuration. For more than 500 years, the history of art is influenced by the wish of creating the illusion of figuration in order to reflect human existence and to represent human tales. It seems that the more accurate the piece mirrors the world and its metaphysics, the easier it becomes for the spectator to identify himself with the displayed protagonists. As figurative art clearly focuses on the human being, it is always representational. At the same time, the artwork itself is unique and autonomous, as it claims its own existence. The mystery of figure lays exactly in this psycho-visual interplay between the real individual and its artistic depiction.
In the 20th century, abstraction and formalist tendencies attacked the leading position of figuration within the art world. Nevertheless, although going through various challenges and crises, figurative art remained always a key issue in modern and contemporary art. Since the resurrection of neo-expressionist figuration in the early 1980’s, it recaptured a central position in painting. In the end, since the 1990’s, digital media and technologies strengthened the illusionistic reproduction of reality, and caused a new hyperrealist figuration. Besides this, the latest revival of narration, socio-politically engagements and research based strategies in other disciplines like photography and video proof the current importance of figurative art.
Taking these tendencies and discussions in account, The Mystery of Figure reviews various aesthetics, techniques and concepts in the field of figurative art by exhibiting works shifting between representation, and imagination, narration and conceptualism as well as realism, surrealism and abstraction.