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Elif Uras

Nicaea

SAHA supported the production of Elif Uras’ new work for her solo show at the Aldrich Museum (3 May–25 October 2015).

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum presents a site-specific installation of recent ceramic works by Elif Uras, titled Nicaea. This exhibition transforms a gallery into an interior courtyard featuring domestic objects and architectural motifs, including a ceramic fountain, a tiled niche, and a large-scale tile mural.

Uras produces her ceramic works onsite in Iznik, Turkey (originally Nicaea, named after a nymph in Greek mythology), celebrated for its tile and ceramic production during the Ottoman Empire. Her imagery merges traditional nonfigurative Turkish art with Western art historical references, while highlighting shifting notions of gender and class within the context of the struggle between modernity and tradition.

Alongside Uras’s own work, the exhibition presents an original Iznik plate dating from the first half of the sixteenth century, on loan from the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Iznik plate is positioned in dialogue with Uras’s plates and vessels, some of which incorporate its intricate spiral motif.

About Elif Uras

Elif Uras was born in Ankara, Turkey. She attended Brown University and Columbia Law School before receiving a BFA from School of Visual Arts and MFA from Columbia School of the Arts.  She lives in New York and Istanbul.

In her paintings and works in ceramic, Uras explores ideas such as the status of women in the context of the East-West conflict paradigm, and the shifting gender and class structures in a globalized neoliberal world where culture is often infused with consumerism.  In her narrative-driven canvases reminiscent of giant miniatures, Uras provides acerbic social commentary reflecting our contemporary society with all its visual excess, constructing spaces executed with a synthesis of surrealist imagery, expressionistic color and arabesque motifs.

About the Aldrich Museum

Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich is dedicated to fostering innovative artists whose ideas and interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. The Aldrich, which served an audience of over 37,700 in 2011, is one of the few independent, non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States, and the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art.