Sentez ve Montaj: Özer Kabaş Yazıları [Montage or Synthesis: Texts of Özer Kabaş]

1 4 <i>Sentez ve Montaj: Özer Kabaş Yazıları</i>, Salt, 2023 [ön kapak]
Tasarım: Okay Karadayılar
Sentez ve Montaj: Özer Kabaş Yazıları [Montage or Synthesis: Texts of Özer Kabaş], Salt, 2023 [front cover]
Design: Okay Karadayılar
Salt launches its new book, Sentez ve Montaj: Özer Kabaş Yazıları [Montage or Synthesis: Texts of Özer Kabaş] (available in Turkish). Published within the scope of the institution’s long-term research projects focusing on art in Turkey after 1950, the book presents an expanded version of the e-publication with the same title, and brings together a comprehensive selection of texts written by the artist, educator, and writer Özer Kabaş (1934-1998).

Montage or Synthesis carries its title from the artist’s 1969 essay on aggregations of Western formats and local content in Turkish painting. His texts written between 1966-1997 cover various subjects, ranging from art, design, and cinema to social, political, and environmental relations.

The publication also includes interviews with Kabaş, transcripts of the meetings he attended, and an article by Vasıf Kortun on his writings. Kortun’s text discusses Kabaş’s lesser-known facets as an educator and art thinker. The roundtable discussion with Kabaş, Onat Kutlar, Ömer Uluç, Sezer Tansuğ, and Yılmaz Zenger explores the relationship between cinema and painting. The book also includes transcripts of two panel discussions organized by Robert College’s Student Union in 1969. In the first session moderated by Faruk Pekin, Kabaş together with Aziz Nesin, Kemal Tahir, and Selahattin Hilav discuss the relationship between art and politics, while in the second session moderated by Sezer Tansuğ, Kabaş and Adnan Çoker, Cihat Burak, Orhan Taylan, Ömer Uluç offer an insight into the trajectory of painting in Turkey from the 19th century to the late 1960s. In the gathering commemorating Kabaş, organized by Zeynep Rona shortly after his passing, Ali Teoman Germaner, Cevat Çapan, Engin Cezzar, Gülriz Sururi, İclal Erentürk, Jale Erzen, Mete Yalçın, Oya Başak, and Süleyman Saim Tekcan look back on his contributions and his approach to art education.

Montage or Synthesis is co-edited by Sezin Romi, Tuğçe Kaplan, and Vasıf Kortun and copy-edited by Ezgi Yurteri. The book’s designer Okay Karadayılar was inspired by the original design of Kabaş’s writings and the typefaces he used in his academic studies.

About Özer Kabaş
Born in Mersin in 1934, Kabaş was interested in theater and sports at Robert College (1946-1957), acting in plays Köşebaşı with Cevat Çapan and Julius Caesar with Engin Cezzar. Following his graduation from Robert College’s (now Boğaziçi University) Mechanical Engineering Department, Kabaş studied at the Yale School of Art from 1957 to 1962. In 1961, he received his bachelor’s degree in painting. He was a student of artists such as Josef Albers, Bernard Chaet, Neil Welliver, William H. Bailey, Richard Claude Ziemann, Rico Lebrun, Gabor Peterdi, Sewell Sillman, Peter Milton, and Jack Tworkov. In 1962, Kabaş obtained a graduate degree in drawing, for which he received the first prize, and held his first solo exhibition at the Ross-Talalay Gallery (New Haven, USA).

Kabaş taught art history at Robert College (Boğaziçi University) between 1964-1974 and served as advisor of the Robert College Cinema Club until it was shut down after the military memorandum of 1971. He received the first prize with his 16mm film İstanbul Hatırası [Memory of Istanbul] in the 1st Hisar Short Film Competition in 1967. He also served as director of the Social Hall and organized several exhibitions and conferences for students. Kabaş, together with painter Altan Gürman, sculptor Ali Teoman Germaner, and architect Erkal Güngören, was one of the progenitors of Basic Design education at the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts, where he began to teach (part-time) in 1971. In the same year, he founded Urart Art Workshop with his brothers Mehmet and Vedat Kabaş and pioneered modern jewelry design. In 1974, he joined the teaching staff of the Academy and left Urart shortly after.

In 1976, Kabaş participated in the group exhibition Painters from Istanbul at the State Fine Arts Gallery (Ankara), together with Altan Adalı, Ali Teoman Germaner, Seyyit Bozdoğan, Mehmet Güleryüz, and Altan Gürman. He focused on encountering the fluidity and variability of the sea with oil paint; he turned to the relationship between the sea, labor, and individuals. The sea shaped his artistic practice and occupied an important place in his life.

In 1976, Kabaş received his doctorate degree from the Basic Art Education Chair at the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts. His dissertation, All-Environmental Realism: An Overview of the Formation of Plastic Arts from the Perspective of Communication and Cybernetics Theories, was informed by fields of study such as Gestalt theory, Basic Design education, and information aesthetics. In 1980, he submitted the thesis titled Communicative Approach in Basic Drawing and Design Practices Specific to Plastic Arts for associate professorship. In 1985, he was appointed as an associate professor at Mimar Sinan University, Department of Painting, became a professor in 1990, and served as the Department Head from 1991 until his passing in 1998.


Sentez ve Montaj: Özer Kabaş Yazıları [Montage or Synthesis: Texts of Özer Kabaş]
Turkish, 400 pages ©2023 Salt/Garanti Kültür A.Ş. (Istanbul)

ISBN: 978-605-69760-5-6
Editors: Sezin Romi, Tuğçe Kaplan, Vasıf Kortun
Copy Editor: Ezgi Yurteri
Texts: Özer Kabaş, Vasıf Kortun
Contributors: Adnan Çoker, Ali Teoman Germaner, Ayşe Gönüllüleroğlu, Aziz Nesin, Cevat Çapan, Cihat Burak, Engin Cezzar, Faruk Pekin, Gülriz Sururi, İclal Erentürk, Jale Erzen, Kemal Tahir, Mete Yalçın, Onat Kutlar, Orhan Taylan, Oya Başak, Ömer Uluç, Rauf Gönenç, Selahattin Hilav, Sezer Tansuğ, Süleyman Saim Tekcan, Yılmaz Zenger, Zeynep Rona
Design: Okay Karadayılar
Print: Umur Printing

Available at: Robinson Crusoe 389 Bookstore (Salt Beyoğlu and Salt Galata)
Click here to purchase online.
Price: 130 TL

Salt would like to thank Yula Kabaş for making this research possible, Ayşe Umur and Umur Printing for supporting the publication’s print edition, and all individuals and institutions for their invaluable contributions.

Salt Research’s work on art history and archives is supported by Bohen Foundation in 2022-2023.

Click here to view Özer Kabaş’s archive comprising photographs, documents, and ephemera that shed light on the artist’s work, education, and academic studies.