Salt Research
Gürel Yontan Archive

2 Gürel Yontan, <i>“Merhaba”</i>, <i>2. Yeni Eğilimler</i> sergisinden görünüm, Fındıklı Parkı (İstanbul), 1979
Salt Araştırma, Gürel Yontan Arşivi
Gürel Yontan, “Merhaba” [“Hello”], installation view from the 2nd Exhibition of New Trends in Art, Fındıklı Park (Istanbul), 1979
Salt Research, Gürel Yontan Archive
Gürel Yontan Archive has been recently added to the artist archives at Salt Research and can be accessed online.

The collection includes Gürel Yontan’s portfolio comprising his works from the late 1970s to the 1990s and a selection of his personal photographs. Digitized and cataloged in parallel to the e-publication Serseri Mayın: Gürel Yontan [Loose Cannon: Gürel Yontan], the archive brings together various resources about the artist and presents a perspective on his practice.

The archival collections at Salt Research encompass over 2,000,000 unique digitized resources on “Art,” “Architecture and Design,” and “City, Society, and Economy.” The Art Archive focuses on the history of art in Turkey after 1950 and incorporates artist archives, including Ahmet Öktem, Altan Gürman (in collaboration with Arter), Cengiz Çekil, Gülsün Karamustafa, Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, Moni Salim Özgilik, Mustafa Altıntaş, Kutluğ Ataman, Nur Koçak, Özer Kabaş, Sabiha Rüştü Bozcalı, Serhat Kiraz, Tomur Atagök, and Yusuf Taktak. All collections are accessible online via

About Gürel Yontan
Gürel Yontan was born in Istanbul in 1938. He graduated from the Department of Interior Architecture at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul. From 1963 to 1976, he worked as an interior designer, illustrator, set designer, and art director in Istanbul, Paris, London, and Brussels. In 1971-1972, he was the art director of Le Point Insolite magazine in Paris. He taught Basic Design courses at the Academy between 1976-1983, and continued to work as an interior designer, stage designer, and art director in Turkey, France, Russia, and Italy between 1983-1996. He founded Akademi İstanbul, where he served as the chair of the Department of Interior Design between 1998-2003.

Yontan launched his artistic practice with drawing and painting in the late 1970s, using various materials from mirrors to soil and found objects to produce installations and performative works. His first solo exhibitions were at the Forum Art Gallery in Istanbul (1982) and Dost Sanat Ortamı in Ankara (1983). He participated in numerous exhibitions of critical importance, including Yeni Eğilimler [New Trends in Art] (1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, and 1987), Günümüz Sanatçıları İstanbul Sergileri [Contemporary Artists Istanbul Exhibitions] (1982 and 1988), Öncü Türk Sanatından Bir Kesit [A Cross Section of Avant-garde Turkish Art] (1985), and Seretonin (1989).

Yontan received the first prize at the New York World Fair Turkish Pavilion in 1963 (alongside architects Ünal Demirarslan and Ruşen Dora), fourth place mention at the Conkbayırı Mehmetçik Park Monument competition in 1968, and first place in the Narratives on Housing Exploitation Competition in 1973. He also won the first prize and a mention with the Turkish Pavilion at the Osaka World Fair in 1970 and first prize in the graphic design category in 1975. He was awarded a merit prize in the second New Trends in Art exhibition (1979), and a gold medal in the fourth (1983). He has received art direction awards for Menekşe Koyu (1991) at the Ankara Film Festival and Bir Aşk Uğruna (1994) at the Adana Film Festival.

The artist has also published various books and currently works as the interior designer of the Armada Hotel.