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Hakan Gürsoytrak

Image by Patrik Velich

Refusing to establish an overwhelming hegemony over the audience, Hakan Gürsoytrak produces works that the audience can relate to and participate in using familiar images while taking inspiration from everyday life and agenda. In his works, the artist depicts the contradictions caused by contrasts with his own ironic and simple style while theories, models, and parallels of philosophy in routine life make up his subject matter. In his compositions, where he tells stories without a beginning or end; figures are depicted within their environments. Gürsoytrak leaves uncertain spaces within his paintings, aiming to have the viewer's mind complete them. The artist uses a color palette that shifts over time according to the subject and conceptual background of the related work.

Born in Ankara in 1963, Hakan Gürsoytrak graduated from the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Department of Painting in 1990. In 1993, he completed his master's degree at the Department of Fine Arts of the University of Reading in England. Between 1993 and 2006, he worked as a lecturer at the Painting Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Anadolu University. In 1996, he received his qualifications in art with his thesis titled “Image in Contemporary Art” at Anadolu University Department of Painting. He opened his first solo exhibition at Eskişehir Palette Art Gallery in 1996. Between 1996 and 2010, he participated in group exhibitions at venues such as the Kare Art Gallery, the Ataturk Cultural Center, the El Hamra Art Gallery, the Munich Rathausgallerie, and the Evin Art Gallery with the Hafriyat Group, of which he is one of the founders. He also ran the exhibition space "Hafriyat Karaköy '' with other founders of the group. His works were a part of the "Clandestine" section of the 50th International Venice Biennial titled "Dreams and Conflicts - The Dictatorship of the Viewer''. He participated in the group exhibition "In a Multiple Perspective" in YARAT Contemporary Art Space located in Baku, curated by Fırat Arapoğlu. The artist, who participated in many group exhibitions in museums, galleries, and fairs in his home country and abroad throughout his art career, opened thirteen solo exhibitions in different venues. His works have been included in the permanent collections of museums such as the Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture, the Anadolu University Museum of Contemporary Arts, and Istanbul Modern, as well as important private and corporate collections in Turkey and the world. Gürsoytrak started working with Evin Art Gallery in 2006 and has been working as a Professor at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University since 2012. The artist continues his practice in his atelier in Istanbul.

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