The Goddess through History: Creator, Transformer and Consumer

July 10, 2019

On July 10, 2019, Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul hosted renowned artist Elif Uras, JD '97, MFA '03, as part of its Distinguished Leaders Speaker Series.

At the heart of Elif Uras’ artwork is the female. Each art piece is a story, told against the backdrop of her experience as a female growing up in Turkey, and influenced by the many women from different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs she has met around the world. In particular, she spoke about how she was deeply influenced by women in İznik, a town in northwestern Turkey known for hand-painted İznik tiles from the Ottoman era. She showed various art pieces that wove in elements of her relationship with them.

She also spoke about and showed other pieces spanning from the Neolithic clay Goddesses of Catalhoyuk to paintings to ceramics, telling the stories of the female in each of them under the context of shared heritage, hybridity, tradition, labor and consumption.

Elif Uras lives and works in New York and Istanbul. Notable solo exhibitions include: Déjà Vu (The Box, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, 2017); Hayal Meyal (Galerist, Istanbul, 2016); Nicaea (Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut, 2015); Panorama Arcade (Galerist, Istanbul, 2008); Drawing Disconnect (Kirkhoff, Copenhagen, 2008); The Occidentalist (Smith-Stewart, New York, 2007); Industry (GAVLAK, West Palm Beach, 2006); Private Collection (Kenny Schachter/ROVE, New York, 2004) and What You Want (Galerist, Istanbul, 2004). Her works have also been exhibited at MoMA PS1, Salon 94, New York, 9th Shanghai Biennale, Proje 4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, and Pera Museum. They are included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ringier Collection, Zurich, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, among others. Uras has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York; a BA in Economics and International Relations from Brown University; a JD from Columbia Law School; and an MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts.

Click to listen to Elif Uras' talk in Turkish on our podcast channel.