Panel: The Ceramics of the AKM
and Modern Architectural
Ceramic in Turkey

Salt Galata

November 27, 2012 18.30

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AKM’de Sadi Diren tarafindan tasarlanmis seramik pano
Ceramic panel designed by Sadi Diren for AKM

SALT Galata, Auditorium

Speakers: Sadi Diren and Beril Anılanmert
Moderator: Gökhan Karakuş

Organized in the scope of The Performance of Modernity: ATATÜRK KÜLTÜR MERKEZİ, 1946-1977 exhibition, “The Ceramics of the AKM and Modern Architectural Ceramic in Turkey” is a panel discussion that will focus on the architectural ceramic works in Turkey. Departing from wall panels designed by Belma and Sadi Diren for the Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM), the panel will include various examples from the 1960s and 1970s. It will also address the reasons behind the widespread popularity and the subsequent sharp decline of architectural ceramics in Turkey in the l980s.

The ceramicists Sadi Diren and his wife Belma Diren were important designers of ceramics for architectural settings in Turkey from the 1960s onwards. The Direns’ technical knowledge, combined with an aesthetic sensibility that merged modern and traditional Turkish forms, resulted in original panel murals and tiles that decorated significant public buildings. While Sadi Diren focused on creating forms that were based partly on the decorative geometry of Anatolian craft, Belma Diren concentrated on surface glazing and color.

Their design of modular ceramics for the indoor and outdoor spaces of the AKM were major modernist additions to the long history of ceramics in architecture in Turkic lands since the Seljuk period. Their achievements in architectural ceramics in the late 1950s and early 1960s were paralleled by notable artists, who also created mural panels and modular systems including Füreya Korel, Jale Yılmabaşar, Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu and Hamiye Çolakoğlu. Later from the late 1960s to 1980s, Direns’ work was continued by their students such as Beril Anılanmert and artists including Atilla Galatalı and Mustafa Tunçalp.

The panel discussion will be held in Turkish.
Sadi Diren is a ceramic artist, who had significant impact on the design of architectural ceramics in Turkey from the early 1960s on together with his late wife Belma Diren. He graduated from the İstanbul State Academy of Fine Arts in 1953. He moved to Germany upon an invitation in 1955, and started to work for the ceramics factory in Höhr-Grenzhausen. In 1964, Diren returned to Turkey, and joined the Eczacıbaşı Ceramic Factory Department of Ornament and Kitchen Appliances as an artist and supervisor. The same year, he started teaching at the İstanbul State Academy of Fine Arts. He served as the Dean of Mimar Sinan University Faculty of Fine Arts for three terms in 1982, 1988 and 1991. Sadi Diren was awarded the title “State Artist” in 1991, and retired in 1994. Diren’s architectural ceramic works in public buildings in İstanbul include İstanbul Textiles Market (1963), Atatürk Cultural Center (1967) and Tarabya Hotel (1972).

Beril Anılanmert is a contemporary ceramic artist renowned for her works, in which she uses multiple techniques to restructure and redefine forms. She graduated from the İstanbul State Academy of Fine Arts in 1968, where she had also been teaching until 2005. She has organized 15 solo exhibitions and participated in more than 100 national and international exhibitions, workshops and symposia. She has been a jury member for national and international competitions. Anılanmert has numerous works in permanent museum collections, including Everson Art Museum (USA), Tajimi Arts Center (Japan) and Ariana Museum (Switzerland). Anılanmert is currently a lecturer and the Head of the Industrial Product Design Department at FMV Işık University Fine Arts Faculty.