Nejad Devrim

Le grand mérite de Néjad c’est d’être Néjad

12.12.2018 - 12.02.2019

Galeri Nev Gezegen

Galeri Nev is launching a new series of exhibitions at its new venue on Kırlangıç Street. Each exhibition in the series will feature a single piece of artwork, reimagined in ways that demonstrate the cultural breadth and historical reach of the gallery in art history and art criticism. The first exhibition of the series, “Nejad’s great merit is to be Nejad”, will feature a masterpiece of Nejad Devrim —an oil colour from 1954. The work will be accompanied by economic, political and artistic documents from the artist’s life and times. The exploration will not be limited to popular stories from Nejad’s life (1923-1995) —his childhood in famous Şakir Paşa household or the atmosphere of post-war Paris. It will also shed light on Devrim’s frequent journeys and his years of darkness in Poland —considered to be a primary source of inspiration for the artist. The unique assemblage of the art, objects and people that defined them will present the viewers with a background setting covering the time period before and after 1954 —the year the piece, titled “Château de Chambord. Symétrie Française”, was painted. The venue will be decorated with several information and documents reserved in the gallery’s archive: newspaper and magazine clippings, exhibition cards and posters, sketches of the very painting and some other drawings from the artist’s pictorial journeys; letters, postcards, oral evidences, audio and video recordings, and particularly photographs… It will be fascinating to see Nejad Devrim photographed among the audience listening to Picasso’s manifesto speech in a small square in Paris or at social Paris gatherings with Alice Toklas, Sonia Delaunay and Jacques Lassaigne; to join a family scene where Devrim hands his newborn daughter to his father for the first time; to witness his times of debt, distress and depressive thoughts, desperately looking for a lobster in the streets of a town in Poland and expressing his despair in a poem…. One of the innermost objects of the exhibition is Nejad’s drawing on the cover of a notebook owned by his first wife Maria. The notebook is from 1946- 47, the times they first met; Maria was studying Politics in Paris and taking lecture notes on it. 95 years old Maria Devrim (b. 1923) will travel to Ankara to attend the opening, and will share her breath-taking experiences with us. French Embassy and Institut Français Ankara will welcome and organise invitations. The new Internet archive project of the gallery will be inaugurated during the exhibition as well. On the occasion of its ‘twenty-fifth year’ in 2009, Gallery Nev has opened up gallery’s archival collection, NEVARCHIVE, for the use of readers, researchers and students. The archives, comprising some 2000 books and magazines and over 5000 documents, brings together a comprehensive anthology focusing on artists represented by the gallery, modernism in Turkey and in general, history of galleries and museums, and also Paris as the art capital of nineteenth century. For the last 10 years, NEVARCHIVE has been kept at gallery’s Gezegen Street venue, managed by Zeynep Kayan. Now, another important step is taken towards extending the reach and accessibility of this archival project: With this exhibition, gallery’s archival collection, together with documents belonging to Devrim’s family and his close surroundings, will be uploaded to NEVARCHIVE website and will be open for public viewing. The content of NEVARCHIVE website will include only works related to Nejad Devrim for the moment. However, the website will grow richer with each exhibition of the series, and will serve as a guide for everyone interested in exploring our cultural world through the artists’ lens. The exhibition exploring Nejad Devrim’s sui generis world, on view first at the gallery venue and then on the Internet, is titled after an essay on Nejad written in 1953 by the art critic Michel Seuphor: “Un grand mérite de Néjad c’est d’être Néjad” (Nejad’s great merit is to be Nejad). The single piece art exhibition presents a full breadth of discovery for the viewer: seeing, reading, listening, perhaps studying… Nejad Devrim will be revived between December 12, 2018 and February 12, 2019 at Gallery Nev.