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Feyhaman Duran - Between Two Worlds

Feyhaman Duran - Between Two Worlds

The Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s (SSM) latest exhibition to celebrate its 15th anniversary “Feyhaman Duran. Between Two Worlds” presents the artist’s technique that carries traces of the country’s transformation from the Ottoman Empire into the Turkish Republic, also reveals all the clashes and the developments of the era. The exhibition reflects the influences that shaped the art of Duran, who left an empire on the brink of collapse to arrive at the home of art in Paris and returned back to a country in revolutionary transformation.

Duran, greatly influenced by impressionist movement during his Parisian education, took up the habit of carrying his canvas to various spots across the city to just sit back and paint. Duran’s landscapes of Süleymaniye, Bosphorus and Istanbul’s islands, provide a comprehensive glimpse of Istanbul’s history. His work in the province of Gaziantep as part of the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) Nationwide Journeys documents the ideological structure of the era while revealing the extent of his talent through his use of various techniques quite different from those he uses in Istanbul.

Throughout his artistic life, Duran articulated his inner experience of amalgamating the East and the West through his paintings. Due to the demand for portraits in the early Republican years, he has been mostly known for his work in this style but he was equally proficient in other styles such as still-lifes and landscapes. In addition to his portraits, the nudes he painted during his education in Paris, landscapes in various regions and still-lifes where he used Ottoman calligraphy as objects in his compositions, are included in the exhibition to present the artist’s full potential to all visitors.

Feyhaman Duran, an executive at the Ottoman Painters Association, became a first-hand witness to the social transformation taking place in the country with his portraits of leading politicians of the Republican era, from Presidents Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and İsmet İnönü to reformist Education Minister Hasan Âli Yücel. Still, he never completely severed his ties to the traditional Ottoman arts and life style. Coming from a long line of poets and Ottoman calligraphers, his use of calligraphy in his compositions and still-lifes attracted significant attention. The compositions of the Topkapı Palace Museum’s miniatures onto the canvas, which was commissioned by the Istanbul Maritime Museum when it was first founded, and his landscapes also at the Topkapı Palace Museum demonstrates the artist’s interest in the history and the art scene of the Ottoman Empire.

The exhibition includes samples of 19th century Ottoman calligraphy understood to have been left to his wife Güzin Duran by her grandfather, the famous calligrapher Yahya Hilmi Efendi, beautifully composed inscriptions by the artist and his wife’s calligraphic pictures. The portraits, which form a substantial part of the exhibition, are presented with a short biography of the subjects to provide visitors with a more comprehensive look to the era. Some parts of the Beyazıt home the artist shared with his wife Güzin are presented in the museum in a style to depict the daily life and the studio of the artist. It is the first time Feyhaman Duran, whose work and life show how deeply he was attached to tradition, is subject to such a comprehensive exhibition. The large sample of works chosen from the artist’s own collection, with additions from SSM’s collection, present a detailed look into the career of this very important artist who witnessed and shaped many of the turning points in the history of Turkish art.

Children are introduced to Feyhaman Duran’s art
As part of SU Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s (SSM) exhibition ‘Feyhaman Duran. Between Two Worlds’, which has been made possible with the support of Sabancı Holding and in cooperation with Istanbul University, SSM Children’s Education Programs introduce children to Feyhaman Duran’s art. Participants of the program will be taught on the subjects of portraiture, landscapes, still-lifes and Turkey’s art history in creative and fun workshops, and they will also be provided with insight to the impressionist movement, which brings light, nature and color together.
The weekday sessions for the school groups are held in hourly sessions from 10.00 to 15.00. The weekend sessions between 11.00 – 13.00 and 14.00 – 16.00 are open for individual participation and free.


Weekdays for School Groups


Colorful World with Charcoal / For school groups in all ages
Feyhaman Duran’s charcoal landscapes will be colored by children and turned into living sceneries with the characters they will add to the paintings.


Weekends for individual participation


Thinking portraits / For all ages in January
What would a figure standing still in a portrait have in his/her mind? For their fun quest in the pursue of an answer, children will draw portraits that reflect various thoughts.

Portrait Notebook / For all ages in February
Should a figure in a portrait just smile and stare at the distance? Or are there any other possibilities? For this workshop, children will bring together portraits that reflect a wide range of emotions, gazes and postures.


Unfinished Works / For all ages in March
How would a person’s face look if her/his nose is changed with someone else’s? How would you draw the rest of eyes in a painting? For this workshop, children are given details from different paintings and asked to complete them in their own style.


Tale of the Shadows / For all ages in April
Inspired by Feyhaman and Güzin Duran’s Karagöz shadow plays, children will create their own figures and animate them in the stage that will be mounted in the workshop space.


What If My Model is a Lamb / For all ages in May
Could only the humans be the subject of portraits? In this workshop, animals will pose for the portraits drawn by children.


The Painter’s Miniature World / For all ages in June
How would Feyhaman Duran’s vast world fit in a small box? Children will take a closer view at the painter’s world as they make small models of his house and studio. While scaling his paintings, furnitures and and art supplies down, they will focus on the details of his life.


Portraits from the Scenery / For all ages in July
Think of a portrait with scenery inside. Combining two different types of painting, children will create portraits comprised of colorful sceneries.
In ‘Gallery Meetings with the Storytellers’ children and their families will come together in the sections depicting Feyhaman Duran’s house in the exhibition.

Fairy Tale in the Museum
Fairy tales will be your guide for the exhibition ‘Feyhaman Duran. Between Two Worlds’. Presenting a different subject each month, the event ‘Fairy Tale in the Museum’ features the theme of scenery in its June edition. The participants will be told tales from both the East and West, and take on a quest between two worlds, just like Feyhaman Duran did in his life. SSM welcomes you to take on this quest and experience the world that the artist and his wife Güzin Duran brought together, in 17 June at 11.00. The event is open to children with their families. 

For admission and further information please contact us at 0216 550 97 62 from 09.00 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 17.00 on weekdays.

SSM’s Children Education Programs are conducted in Turkish.