Erol Akyavaş

Erol Akyavaş, began painting as a visiting student in the Bedri Rahmi atelier of the Fine Arts Academy of Istanbul. Between 1950 and 1953, he attended the summer classes of the Fine Arts Academy in Florence. He worked in Paris with André Lhote and Fernand Léger, and participated to the “Cercle et Carré” exhibitions and to the Salons des Réalités Nouvelles. After leaving France, Akyavaş travelled to the States and studied architecture with Mies Van Der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Shortly after his graduation, one of his paintings, “The Glory of Sultans”, was purchased by the New York, Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA). “The Glory of Sultans” was included the following year in the exhibition “History of Modern Painting” organized by MoMA. Engaged in architecture in addition to painting, his designs for the Capadocia Hotel dating back to mid 1960’s became the winning project of the Agha Khan award, some 20 years later. His works have been exhibited in various museums throughout the USA as of 1955 and in 1968 Cleaveland Museum hosted his exhibition.In the years to follow, Akyavaş continued opening solo exhibitions on a regular basis in a number of cities, including major centres of art like New York, London, Paris and Istanbul. Akyavaş died in April, 1999; his retrospective organized at Dolmabahçe Palace in October, 2000 by the Istanbul Bilgi University, was visited by twenty thousand viewers. More recently, the works of Akyavaş included in the British Museum collection were presented to viewers in London within the framework of an exhibition entitled “Word into Art” held at the British Museum between May 18 and September 3, 2006.