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Rahmi Aksungur

Image by Patrik Velich

One of the distinguished names of sculpture in our country, Rahmi Aksungur reflects the incorporeal and emotional human values into form through plastic means. He designs forms in a unique style and establishes his sculptural discourse in relation to space, environment and scale, featuring the plastic values of sculpture while taking inspiration from everyday objects, living beings and mythos for his subject matters. Through his usage of empty space in his unique and ever-changing grid structures which became a staple of his sculptures of last years he transforms the installation space into part of the sculpture’s construction. His material usage differs according to the physical and emotional requirements of the designs. The artist has many site-specific and public sculptures. How the sculpture will communicate with the space and the viewer affects the designs in terms of size and scale.

Born in Izmir in 1955, Rahmi Aksungur graduated with honors from Istanbul State Fine Arts Academy Sculpture Department with his diploma work in 1979. He started working as a research associate at the same university in 1982. He received his proficiency in arts in the Department of Sculpture in 1983, an associate professorship in 1994, and a professorship in 2000. Between 1983 and 1994 he participated in the New Tendencies exhibitions organized by his university. His first personal exhibition was opened at Urart Art Gallery in 1988. Then, he opened personal exhibitions at Gallery Siyah-Beyaz, Izmir Painting, and Sculpture Museum, Milli Reasürans Art Gallery, Elgiz Museum, and finally Evin Art Gallery which he has been working with since 2008. He received the Sedat Simavi Visual Arts Award in 2001. In the same year, he won the first place prize with the sculpture project he presented in the Arrangement of The Republic's History competition organized by the Ministry of National Defense. He put together a project with a group of artists and applied it to the State Cemetery in Atatürk Forest Farm. This project is still one of the most comprehensive sculpture projects in the art history of our country.

Aksungur served as the Faculty of Fine Arts dean of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University between 2002 and 2006 and as the rector of the same university between 2006 and 2010. The sculptures of the artist, who participated in many group exhibitions on both national and international scales throughout his artistic career, are included in the permanent collections of important private and corporate collections as well as museums such as Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum, Istanbul Modern, Türkiye İş Bank Painting and Sculpture Museum and Odunpazarı Modern Museum. The artist has public space sculptures in many cities in Turkey and abroad, which have taken their place in their respective city’s societal memory. Aksungur, who has been on the selection committee of the Terrace Exhibitions organized by the Elgiz Museum since 2012, continues his practice in his atelier in Istanbul.

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