Number of Pages
24 x 34 cm
1st Press: Istanbul, March, 2019
Özlem İnay Erten
Jane Ellen Harrison – Zeynep Şen
The book focusing on over 80 drawings by Cihat Burak, one of the most important representatives of figurative painting in Turkey, from the Mengü Ertel Collection, has been named “From A Friend’s Drawer” in reference to the duo’s friendship. It cracks open a door onto the universe shared by these two friends from the 1960s, characterized by the dialogue between literature and painting, poster and design, architecture and theatre, all the way up to the early 1990s.
The book written by Oğuz Erten is particular in that it allows for a reading of Cihat Burak through his own stories. Everything about him that makes Cihat Burak who he is – which may at times become crystallized in yearning for the mother, at times in the anxiety over losing Istanbul, at times in his love for animals and other times in his love for books to the extent of losing himself in a novel – are brought alive to speak of him in his own words, while Mengü Ertel’s collection serves to visualize this dream-world. The book provides us with the opportunity of placing Cihat Burak – a figure who, while he lived, observed us from the outside as an insider and expressed these observations in his stories and paintings – in the seat of the one being watched instead, allowing us to enjoy seeing him in all of his aspects.
The Bozlu Art Project Mongeri Building is also host to the exhibit “From A Friend’s Drawer (Mengü Ertel Collection)”, prepared in parallel with the book. Set to take place from April 9th to August 31st, 2019, the exhibit brings on display newly-uncovered drawings of Cihat Burak, one of the most unique and extraordinary figures in Turkish painting. Curated by Esma Ertel and Oğuz Erten, the exhibition comprising near eighty artworks of Cihat Burak’s also involves videos, quotes from his short stories and sound installations prepared by Mengü Ertel’s son and founder of BaBa ZuLa Murat Ertel and his wife Esma Ertel.