The Turkish House Gallery at the Turkish Consulate
821 United Nations Plaza, 212-986-8800
September 8 - September 18, 2006
Reception: Friday, September 8, 6 - 8 PM
Gulay Alpay’s work displays delicacy and fragility, revealing a deep respect for something fundamental, some primal, indigenous sense of shape and color, yet she creates with bursts of contemporary idioms. Her paintings are playful, spirited, freeform and deceptively complex. There’s not a single corner, hard edged, geometric line to be found in her composition, instead the shapes are as fluid as the submerged sounds that fuel her imagination. There are connections to Sigmar Polk, Arshile Gorky, Kandinsky, Pollock, DeKooning, and less obvious, Josef Beuys.
Alpay’s oeuvre is organic, her shapes biomorphic. In her latest series, she’s inspired to save the whales, but the images are part of the abstract motifs with occasional words and phrases that are distractions from an otherwise controlled, well-articulated, passionate technique. It has been ten years since Alpay’s initial inspiration was the songs of whales, and her work has become freer and more experimental since this point. The fact that almost all of her work is on silk is itself a trademark, a signature. Some of the work is unframed, hung like a banner suggesting freedom of material and color; the form does not confine them.
On the other hand, when the works are framed, she places a layer of foam behind them that stretches the silk into deeper curves, extending the shape and colors. This method gives it a playful, satirical, even Pop-arty, dimension. Like taking a piece of exotic tapestry or embroidered pillow case fabric and framing it to the wall, Alpay plays with the boundaries between craft and fine art. It is humorous and ironic, and in the end you take notice: you are surprised by its beauty and grace. Abraham Lubelski, NY Arts Magazine