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1926 – 2008
Artist Nuri Abac, born in Istanbul in 1926, initially started painting as a child, but received his first formal training at the Istanbul Fine Arts Academy in 1944. His father was a famous Turkish actor, Mahmut Celalettin. His paintings were displayed in all exhibitions of the Turkish State Fine Arts as well as United Painters & Sculptors Association between 1958 and 1991. In 1991, Abac joined the Faculty of Fine Arts at Bilkent University and Hacettepe University, where he taught art perspective classes.
After an early surrealist period, Abac did art which came to be influenced by Hittite plasticism and early Anatolian Turkish art. He later incorporated symbols from the Turkish "Karagoz" shadow-theater tradition into many of his works, using pastel colors and traditional patterns. Yalcin Gokcebag, who was born in 1944, has a characteristically naif style, with colors reminiscent of embroidery.
Abac participated in more than 130 mixed exhibitions. His paintings were accepted in Venice Biennial (twice) and Monaco Biennial (twice) in various dates. He won artistic awards in 11 contests as well as was decorated with many honorary awards. One of his greatest honors was received in 1996, when his work was chosen by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to serve as the cover for UNICEF’s yearly greeting cards.
Abac passed away in Ankara, Turkey on March 2, 2008.
March 2, 2008, Turkishpress.com
Turkish Cultural Foundation
NYCTurk.com, online newspaper for the New York City Turkish community
Hurriyet Daily News
Submitted by Mark Johnson
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