Fahrelnissa Zeid, Autoportrait, undated, Painting, 115 x 89.5 cm
Courtesy of Dirimart and Zeid Family
Founded by Hazer Özil in 2002 in Istanbul’s Nisantasi district, Dirimart has been instrumental in strengthening Istanbul’s role in the global art world by cultivating long-lasting relationships with prominent international artists. It has successfully introduced internationally acclaimed artists, including Thomas Bayrle, Hermann Nitsch, Shirin Neshat, Bernard Frize, Julian Rosefeldt, Candida Höfer, Franz Ackermann, Peter Zimmermann, Sarah Morris, and Ghada Amer among others to the Turkish art scene.
Dirimart is also strongly committed to promoting established and emerging contemporary artists from Turkey internationally, such as Sarkis, Ayse Erkmen, Hayal Pozant, Nasan Tur, Guclu Oztekin, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ozlem Gunyol & Mustafa Kunt, and Ebru Uygun as well as Fahrelnissa Zeid and Yuksel Arslan who were active in the 20th century.
Dirimart’s first gallery space was located in Nisantasi, Istanbul’s center for high fashion and entertainment, which has also been populated by art galleries since the 1970s. Dirimart Nisantasi hosted more than 100 exhibitions between its inauguration in 2002 and its closing at the end of 2018. The gallery has been operating exclusively at its Dolapdere premises since the beginning of 2019.
Inaugurated in May 2016, Dirimart’s second gallery space in Istanbul, Dirimart Dolapdere, is a significant addition to the contemporary art scene in the city. Dolapdere is a rapidly emerging art district within the Beyoglu periphery, the cultural center of Istanbul. The opening exhibition was curated by Heinz Peter Schwerfel and featured both Turkish and foreign artists—Franz Ackermann, Haluk Akakce, Ayse Erkmen, Bernard Frize, Isaac Julien, Sarah Morris, Shirin Neshat, Eva Rothschild, Tomás Saraceno and Ebru Uygun. Designed by architect Markus Dochantschi of Studio MDA, New York, it includes a generous exhibition and office space as well as an outdoor sculpture garden, making it one of the largest galleries in Istanbul.
Robert W.o. Stone
Dirimart would be delighted to participate in the Art Dubai with a booth that brings together works by Fahrelnissa Zeid compiled from her career spanning over more than forty years. Having lived in different cities including London, Paris, and Amman, Fahrelnissa Zeid’s artistic practice reflects the influences of these cities and their art worlds. Interiors from her Istanbul period (1929–46) are transformed into complex paintings. Reflecting on the coexistence of elements from Eastern and Western civilizations, these paintings not only give insight into the environment she lived in, but also give hints of her steps towards her abstract compositions, which made her voice heard in the following years. Turkish Bath (1943) from this period, referring to French orientalists, especially Ingres, reinterprets patterns of Western painting, with the use of nude figures having an objectified look seeming unaware of the artist’s glance, and depicted as groups gathered in a blue oasis.
During the period she lived in London and Paris (1946–75), which she refers as the years when she established her artistic self-confidence and developed an identity as a modern artist, Zeid joined the abstract art discussions among her contemporaries thanks to exhibitions she opened in these two cities and New York. She was included among prestigious artists of Salon de Nouvelles Realités flourished in post-war Paris, which is also an indication of how actively she participated in the discussions. Her distinctive painting style shaped by the influences of Byzantine, Islamic, and Western European culture has a multi-layered characteristic that cannot be defined with only one artistic style and explained with linear temporality. After the death of Emir Zeid, in 1975, the artist moves to Amman. She gives free lectures to woman artists at the institute she founded, paints, and opens exhibitions in Jordan and European cities for the rest of her life. As in her life, Fahrelnissa Zeid’s works are being exhibited at international museums and institutions since her decease.