- What’s On
Famous for her prolific large-scale abstract compositions and captivating life story, the ‘painter princess’ of Turkish modern art recieves a long overdue tribute
There is about the art of Fahrelnissa Zeid a sense of irrepressible strength and blind devotion in the face of loss, illness, exile and struggle. “You must have a story to tell, a song to sing,” her biographer, Adili Laidi-Hanieh, reports the artist proclaiming, “otherwise you will only be a painter, not a creator.” And Zeid certainly had a story to tell. Now, after many years of relative obscurity, both her life journey and her extraordinarily versatile work are reaching a wider audience as a retrospective at Tate Modern in London moves to Berlin.
Zeid was born Fahrelnissa Şakir Kabaağaçlı, in 1901, on Büyükada, largest of the Princes Islands, to an Ottoman diplomat, Şakir Pasha, and his Cretan wife, İsmet Hanım. She grew up in a home filled with books and objets d’art, exposed to myriad cultural influences, but her privileged existence descended into tragedy when she was 13, with the fatal shooting of her father by her brother Cevat.
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In a chilly spring the apricot trees of Cappadocia were frothing with white blossom. By early summer the boughs would be heavy with fruit, to be eaten fresh from the branch, dried in the sun – or made into conserves like bottled sunshine for the cold winter months.
After a road trip like no other, taking in many of the best of Turkey’s burgeoning wineries, Kevin Gould and the Cornucopia tasting panel raise a glass (or several) and recommend the best of an impressive bunch