Ayşe Erkmen is an internationally recognized artist known for creating innovative works that engage with the specific conditions of a given site. In her work she seeks to overcome the conventional opposition between art and everyday life through close attention to spatial and social situations that are often predetermined by architecture or environment. She frequently finds inspiration in existing architectural elements to create her brightly colored objects and installations that challenge the viewer’s expectations of a given place. For this lecture Erkmen will discuss Places (2015), her first permanent public art project completed in the United States. This site-specific installation, completed earlier this year as part of Washington University’s Art on Campus program, is comprised of nine large-scale geometric monoliths covered in small glass mosaic tiles—a material with historic significance to the artist’s native city of Istanbul.
Ayşe Erkmen was born in 1949 in Istanbul and currently lives and works in Istanbul and Berlin. She studied at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul from 1971 to 1977, and in 1992 she received a fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for an artist residency in Berlin. She held a visiting professorship at the Art Academy in Kassel and a professorship at the Art Academy at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Since 1990 her work has been regularly exhibited internationally in galleries, museums, and biennials. Recent solo exhibitions include By Nature, Kunsthal 44 Moen, Askeby, Denmark (2015); Ayşe Erkmen: Intervals, Barbican Centre, The Curve, London (2013); Turkish Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale (2011); 15-5519, Between You and I—Intervention 4, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2010); Ayşe Erkmen, Hausgenossen, K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany (2008); and Busy Colors, Sculpture Center, New York (2005).
Places (2015) is installed to the south of Samuel Cupples II Hall on Washington University’s Danforth Campus.