eaÜber den Künstler Ergin Atlihan

Der in Edirne (Türkei) geborene Künstler Ergin Atlihan studierte Archäologie und Kunst.

Nach Aufenthalten in Istanbul, London und Paris lebt der vielseitig tätige Künstler jetzt als Weltbürger zwischen Ankara, Frankfurt und New York.

Zahlreiche erfolgreiche Ausstellungen weltweit.



Presse New York

Startling diversity

As the critic Barbara Rose once pointed out, American art since the late 40s has been an art of synthesis, retaining the most relevant elements of the past, even while rebelling against tradition. Indeed, many of the major contributions to American art have been made by immigrants such as the Armenian Arshile Gorky and Dutchman Willem de Kooning. Like these earlier masters, the Turkish born Ergin links two continents, reintroducing an awareness of historical contingencies into the vital arena of contemporary painting. In Ergin’s case this synthesis is made possible by his superior draftsmanship, Which is always classically controlled, even at its most seemingly spontaneous. In his large acrylic paintings, as well as his more intimate pastel drawings, Ergin’s whiplash line is one of the most powerful weapons in his artistic arsenal. For, that line can apparently do anything, as seen in Ergin’s splendid female nudes, which evoke a fleshy sensuality with a few swift strokes, as well as his by-now-classic jazz studies, capturing the spirit of the music in visual terms with stunning economy.


Frenzied expressionist energy

Both the nudes and jazz drawings show Ergin’s sensibility at its most lyrical extreme, joyously sharing his personal enthusiasms with the viewer. In other untitled pastels and acrylics, however, the artist attacks the figure more violently, scattering exquisitely drawn anatomical fragments with frenzied expressionist energy. Particularly forceful are a series of evocative faces, their physiognomies flayed by slashing strokes of brillant color. In one masterful pastel, the dispersed features of a female face merge with a lush green landscape, creating an ambiguous relationship between figure and ground worthy of vintage middle-period de Kooning. Another powerful drawing called „The Scream“ makes Edvard Munch’s famous image with the same title seem almost serene by comparison; while another superb head (the untitled colored drawing reproduced on the exhibition announcement) has a dynamic triangular composition. Here, streaks of blue, strokes of red and a mere smudge-of-yellow create a stylized female face, flying through space like an Art Deco chevron. As in all of Ergin’s most memorable paintings and drawings, the sweeping movement of the artist’s hand is forever frozen in the image it portrays.

After witnessing this Main Event of an exhibition, even our most macho expressionists will probably think twice before getting into the ring with Mr. Ergin.