Istanbul: Abstract Now!

Caroline Kryzecki at 44 Istanbul

It is the juxtaposition of accumulation of buildings, things, stockpiles, consumption goods and food in numerous photographs on the one hand, and the precisely drawn and painted abstractions on the other hand that catch our attention. Postcard-sized photographs focus on surprising details in crowded Istanbul streets; they present coincidental perceptions but always have the intention to show the excess, the abundance, the lavishness of urban transformation and the consumption economy.

Instead of reproducing these real and representative images the paintings and drawings series with their geometrical abstraction lead to contemplation and thinking about this typical Istanbul phenomenon.

Caroline Kryzecki depicts by this well-calculated approach the daily conundrum of the vast megalopolis Istanbul, where the eye unconsciously scans the urban landscape and absorbs a vast quantity of things, objects and incidents. The Berlin Scholarship artist, living and working in Istanbul since January 2012, presents her observations, perceptions and impressions via a variety of drawings and paintings on different materials and her archive of photographs arranged in an installation.

Nowadays digital photography overstrains abstraction as it is regarded to be the uncontaminated form of making art. Abstraction refers to the artist’s quest for conceptual equivalents to the visual tumult and stands for a strong will and the courage to break up today’s imperatives of ostentation in visual art. Abstract art today reflects a perceptible visuality which doesn’t directly represent the external world or try to simulate reality. The intentional use of colour, form and different materials to create a non-objective or non- representational entity aims “to rebuild the bridge between perception and thinking” as Rudolf Arnheim states in “Visual Thinking”. He describes perception as “grasping of relevant generic features of the object”, and about the process of thinking he says that “in order to have something to think about, it must base on images of the world in which we live”. “The thought elements in perception and the perceptual elements in thought are complementary” so that they create “a unitary cognition”. In other words “sensory information” is transformed into “theoretical ideas”.*

This applies to Kryzecki’s work. Based on the world we live in – in this case Istanbul – she translates all her observation into the photographic images and with “thought elements in perception and perceptual elements in thought” she transforms these images into abstractions. The assemblage of colour, form and material in these mostly linear and geometric abstractions is based on mathematical and geometrical calculations, and often the series derived from these calculations become a visual game for the viewer. Classified lines and well-selected colours are the structural basis of Kryzecki’s work. The artist achieves extraordinarily diversified results by accentuating the nuances and referring to geometrical forms. In her work, functionality fulfils the intellectual necessity for abstraction within the current invasion of trivial images in daily life.

By using different categories of a mathematical and geometrical order, Caroline Kryzecki creates new, non-figurative realities. Her images may not be related to the people’s daily needs in the city, but precisely because they are highly transcendental, thanks to the artist’s creativity they relieve one’s mind from the excess of daily information overload.

Through the abstract classification of her environment Caroline Kryzecki offers a sensation, a visual sound or a spiritual experience which might be impossible in the everyday humdrum in the city of Istanbul. Her geometric abstractions invite one to enjoy the perceptual clarification of Istanbul’s realities.

Beral Madra

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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