Past Event

Blue Voyagers: The Art of Romare Bearden and Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu

April 15, 2015 - May 17, 2015
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul and the Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul will host the "Blue Voyagers: The Art of Romare Bearden and Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu" exhibition from April 15 to May 17, 2015. This exhibition is co-curated by Robert O’Meally and Merve Tezcanlı İspahani and represents the final leg of a global voyage of the works of African-American artist Romare Bearden’s iconic series of works based on Homer’s "The Odyssey." The exhibit is part of a yearlong series of programs, lectures and performances inspired by Bearden’s interpretation of Homer’s classic, a staple of Columbia’s undergraduate Core Curriculum.

Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul is grateful to Eyüboğlu family and the Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul for their generous support for the Istanbul exhibition.  

Opening date and time: Wednesday, April 15 at 19:00

Panel: Inviting the Other In: Translation, Adaptation and Improvisation, Thursday April 16 at 18:00

Venue: Sismanoglio Megaro
Address: Istiklal Cad. No: 60 Beyoğlu

Exhibition visiting hours: 

Monday - Friday: 15:00 - 20:00
Saturday - Sunday: 12:00 - 19:00
Exhibition can be visited until Sunday, May 17
Entrance is free of charge.

Background information about the exhibition

Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey,” curated by Dr. Robert G. O'Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature, first opened at Columbia’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery in November 2014, accompanied by an exciting program of lectures and performances. In January 2015, an adaptation of the exhibition was shown at the Paris Center, featuring works by Henri Mattise.

Along with works from Romare Bearden's "A Black Oddyssey," the exhibition in Istanbul will feature works by the Turkish modernist Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, (who, like Bearden) was instrumental in blending modern Western aesthetics with Anatolian themes. Focusing on journey as a central theme in their works, both Bearden and Eyüboğlu envisioned a "global odyssey" as a search for a new home that used the legacies of the ancient Greek civilization as a common point of reference.  

What brings Bearden and Eyüboğlu together?

Born in 1911, both artists were strongly influenced by the works of Matisse and Picasso. They were both in Paris during the 1950s. While Eyüboğlu was in search for Anatolian identity as part of Blue Anatolianism (Mavi Anadoluculuk) a humanist school of thought, Bearden was re-thinking African American identity in reference to ancient Greek civilization. They were both literary figures and artists, simultaneously using various mediums of artistic and literary expression. Both artists were strongly influenced by improvised music, Bedri Rahmi fascination with Aşık Veysel, and mystic bards, whereas Bearden strongly influenced by jazz.

The works that will be displayed

The exhibition will feature Bearden’s A Black Odyysey silk screens alongside by Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu’s remarkable works from Eyüboğlu Family collection. Some of the works include;

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu: Torun, Seni Düşünürken, Baltabaş Kemnçeci, Kağnı, Ana ve Çoban, Aşık Veysel, Saz Çalan ve Yavuz Geliyor Yavuz

Romare Bearden: Sirens' Song, Sea Nymp, The Fall of Troy, Odyssey Leaves Nausicaa, Home to Ithaca, Cattle of the Sun God