Balkan Naci İslimyeli
20 September – 8 October 2022

As an art voyager, Balkan Naci İslimyeli has passed away from Turkish and World Art scene, leaving his artwork behind. We have watched his passionate voyage as his students, friends and as art loving followers.

His exhibitions starting with “Drawings in Prison” in 1970s, and later “Things Drawn On Water”, “The Architecture of Demolition”, “Night Faces”, “Travelers”, “Pentiments”, “The Owners”, “Air Water Earth Fire”, “Trace”, “Strait Jacket”, “Secret”, “Word”, “Words of The Artist”, “Crime”, “Likeness”, “Deja Vu”, “Matah”, “Tar” “Remember” and others… 
Balkan Naci İslimyeli who passed away on April 14th is commemorated by Ekavart Gallery on his birthday, 20th of September with a special selection of his artwork. His poem “Passing By” which was read after him as farewell rhymes, is the main title for this exhibition.
Curated by Erkan Doğanay, this exhibition contains his work from various periods and also contains work that has never been exhibited. His close friends will join panel sessions and Violinist Cihat Aşkın will play his compositions that he attributed to Balkan Naci İslimyeli. Balkan Naci İslimyeli was equipped with intellectuality on global quality and clarity. İslimyeli followed new trends in both his expression and his style. His wise reconstruction of life scenes reminds the viewer that there is an eternal renewal from the
past into the future. His use of wide variety of material stating that eternal art space has richness as well as difficulties.
Balkan Naci İslimyeli was a multidisciplinary artist; his artwork includes painting, sculpture, photography, video art, literature, theatre plays, cinema and stage design. He was a sensitive poet with his naive words from his humanitarian nature, some news he heard or something he lived, loss of his cat, disadvantaged people, marginals, women, children, unfairness, unlawfulness have all been diverted into art in his rhymes. He was a teacher who believed in sharing, he transformed all his experience to his students in a friendly and master-apprentice manner rather than “playing the man who teaches them”. He was their master who supported, gave courage and prepared them for the art scene at school, at his atelier, with his published work and with art projects and even on social media. 
He was a collector who believed in cultural accumulation. It was his mission to collect objects, photographs, costumes, kickshaws, statues, calligraphy that have true stories and he would carry their stories which have traces from his individual life or collective past, into the future.  Balkan Naci İslimyeli has left us and we have lost a good friend, a good guide, a good archivist, a good intellectual, and a good artist.

“Passing By” exhibition can be seen at Ekavart Gallery until October 8, 2022.

Curator: Erkan Doğanay
Project Coordinator: Gülfem Dedeoğlu