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Bare, Naked, Nude

A Story of Modernisation in Turkish Painting

November 25, 2015 – February 7, 2016

The Pera Museum, Meşrutiyet Cad 65, Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu, Istanbul


This exhibition focuses on the ways in which artists at the turn of the 20th century attempted to overcome cultural resistance to artistic representations of nudity. At this time of transformation, during which the Ottoman Empire became the Turkish Republic, the few nude paintings that were made in secret created a new perspective that has had significant consequences for the present time.

This moment in history is also important because it was during this time that an artist went from being ‘subject’ to the Sultan to becoming an ‘individual’; this exhibition explores the pains of transitioning from one mindset to another and the struggle of identity between the artist and the ‘Muslim-Turk’. The show will also look at the process of establishing a new perception of the female body that was devoid of sexuality and associated only with privacy and seclusion, and the association between the nude form and the modern(ised) perception of art.


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