Sarkis

Considered one of the most important figures in contemporary art, Sarkis’ work focuses on memory. Combining intellectual traditions of the West with the historically excluded cultures of the East, Sarkis tackles issues such as time, memory and identity. Many of his works refer to dramatic moments in the history of mankind, such as wars. Kriegsschatz, a German term referring to war spoils and Leidschatz, corresponding to the treasure of suffering, are key concepts in his oeuvre. Starting his journey with painting, Sarkis expanded his interests to include sculpture and audiovisual installations. Using a variety of techniques and materials, ranging from photography and video to painting and sculpture, from stained glass to neon lights, he deals with the struggle of the individual existing in modern history against a kind of forgetting. Sarkis de-contextualizes and gives new meanings to objects. These objects are transformed to reflect memory looking towards the future and tied to feelings of triumph, suffering and at times, shame and become archeological objects that have taken their place in the history of art.

Sarkis (b. 1938, Istanbul) graduated from Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Istanbul and he had his first exhibition at the Istanbul Art Gallery in 1960. His works have been exhibited worldwide in established institutions, such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Kunst-und-Austellungshalle, Bonn; Musée du Louvre, Paris; Bode Museum, Berlin; Fondazione MAXXI, Rome; and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. Sarkis was awarded the Prix de la Peinture at the 1967 Paris Biennial and the Grand Prix National de Sculpture in 1991. He lives and works in Paris.

SELECTED WORKS
V14
V14
Série Expositions N.3 Ballads
Série Expositions N.3 Ballads
Respiro Self-portrait N.1
Respiro Self-portrait N.1
Gun Metal 4
Gun Metal 4
After Hokusai, The Great Wave
After Hokusai, The Great Wave
Angel Rainbow
Angel Rainbow
Blue Heart
Blue Heart
Measure of the Light
Measure of the Light
EXHIBITIONS
PUBLICATIONS