MESUT KARAKIŞ: Serial Beauty February 6 – March 14, 2020

Galeri 77 is hosting Mesut Karakış between February 6 – March 14 with his second solo exhibition, “Serial Beauty”. By utilizing unequivocal patterns, the artist renders the relationship between forms, shapes and colors with an unorthodox technique. In his paintings, this is the reason why the processes of creating and destroying, as well as showing and hiding contain conceptual dimensions that refer to the current state of our reality. It is this dialectic that gives his work a meaning and importance that goes beyond the limits of his canvas. With abstract works each more distinctive than the other and a remarkable method of painting, the exhibition brings a breath of fresh air to Turkish contemporary art and can be seen in Galeri 77’s space in Karaköy, Istanbul until the 14th of March.

For formalist painters like Mesut Karakış, shapes and colors are the only artistic elements that matter. Focusing on the intrinsic structure of painting itself, the work’s composition aims for a maximal aesthetic impact and retinal effect. The meaning of such pieces cannot be found in narration, representation or illustration but in the formal and technical ways of expression. Formalist as well as minimalist paintings do not tell a story or communicate a literary content to the spectator. There is nothing besides the actual and specific being of the painting. For this, in 1964, Frank Stella coined the slogan of “What you see is what you see”, and transferred so the popular phrase of “It is what it is” into the intellectual context of art.

Mesut Karakış counts among these innovative artists that push abstract painting beyond its classic limits for opening-up new ways of production and reception. Experimenting with color as well as with alternative painting methods, Karakış’ artistic development has led him from figuration to abstraction. In his current work, the self-referential and autarkic character of his paintings is prevailing. Different from the former series, which were mostly characterized by organic deformation and lyrical ways of expressions, the current paintings are based on geometrical shapes, and show highly dynamic matrixes of lines, thin shapes, complex textures and appealing bride colors. A linear form language based on the grid dominates now his compositions. In rational looking arrays, numerous rectangles and highly complex networks of lines and forms characterize the compositional being of the paintings. Although they seem to refer to urban or to architectural structures as well as to microscope images or to representations for the digital matrix of 0 and 1, the pieces are self-referential. They do not refer to any outer context or outer reality. These paintings are about painting itself.

Mesut Karakış’ sophisticated and individual painting technique shifts permanently between construction and destruction. During the production of his pieces, he constantly creates and erases parts of the paintings to formulate his characteristic aesthetic of blurredness and clarity. In a highly complex dialectic of rational calculating and chance, the pieces refer to the multidimensional being of contemporary painting itself. In between plan and coincidence, on a threshold of various schools of aesthetics, the pieces reveal the richness of the history of abstract painting as well as the current being of our visual culture.

In Mesut Karakış’ paintings, the final image that appears on the foreground is not painted with a brush. The artist uses a chemical reaction between water and acrylic paint for disengaging and dissolving certain parts of the color from the ground. After having put dozens of monochrome layers on top of each other, he draws water marks and certain compositional designs onto the surface. During the painting process, like a color-scientist, the artist has to consider and measure time, place, heat, moisture and many other environmental effects on the paint.

Karakış contrasts bride colors with black and white in order to strengthen the aesthetic power of his paintings. Especially in the current series, white becomes a compositional void, which pushes the color to the front and so into the focus of the spectator. From the upper part to the lower ones of the paintings, the color scales change from intensiveness to calmness. This not only supports the psycho-visual effect of the color but also increases the feeling of movement and spatial deepness.

In his alternative method of painting, erasing and revealing has not only a visual quality. Indeed, observing the results of this dynamic flux and gazing through the numerous layers of paint is a feast for the eye. Its visual impact is high and appealing. Though, this multilayered transparency and dynamism also refers to the state of our visual culture, where in high speed, pictures and incidents constantly melt into each other just to vanish in the mountain of never-ending images. This is the reason why the processes of creating and destroying, as well as showing and hiding contain conceptual dimensions that refer to the current state of our reality. It is this dialectic that gives his work a meaning and importance that goes beyond the limits of his canvas.

Having performed his first solo exhibition “A Glimpse into the Void” last year under Galeri 77, Mesut Karakış actually accentuates his journey of abstractionism in this new series. In this latest series, the artist utilizes horizontal and vertical lines in a more methodical, symmetrical and balanced way for the sense of completeness; strengthening the optical effects of the geometrical forms and carrying these linear crosscuts over to new compositions. Mesut Karakış’ second solo exhibition “Serial Beauty” can be seen by all art enthusiasts between 6 February – 14 March in Galeri 77’s space in Karaköy, Istanbul.

Mesut Karakış was born in Sakarya, in 1976. He graduated from Marmara University Faculty of Fine Arts, Hüsamettin Koçan Workshop, Department of Painting. He has participated in various group exhibitions since he was a student. He currently works and resides in Istanbul, Turkey.


  • Necatibey Cad. No:77 Ayvaz Han 34420 Karaköy/Beyoğlu, İstanbul
  • Opening → Vernissage: February 6, 2020 Thursday, 10:00-20:30 (Coctail Reception: 18:30-20:30)
  • Visiting Hours → Monday to Saturday, 10:00-18:00 (Sunday by appointment only)
  • Organizer Buğra Uzunçelebi

Prominent Works