Biography

Mining the depths of the unconscious mind, Yüksel Arslan’s work connects critical thought and spirituality, existing between mythology, science and the visual arts. He has been associated with both the surrealist movement in Turkey and the intellectual circles of 1960s Paris.

Arslan’s work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions, including Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art, Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France (2017); Commemoration, Dirimart, Istanbul (2017); Yüksel Arslan, Dirimart, Istanbul (2014); Artures, Kunstalle Wien,Vienna (2013); Artures, Kunsthalle Zürich (2012); Artures, Kunstalle Düsseldorf (2012); Yüksel Arslan Retrospektif, Santralistanbul, Istanbul (2009); Visual Interpretations, Drawing Center, New York (2008); Untitled, Galeri Nev, Istanbul (2006); L’Homme, Galerie Vallois, Paris (1995) and Autoarture, Galerie Jean Briance, Paris (1988). Among his group exhibitions are The Encyclopedic Palace, Venice Biennial (2013); What Keeps Mankind Alive?, 11th Istanbul Biennial (2009); Modern and Beyond, Santralistanbul, Istanbul (2007); Galeri Artist 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Galeri Artist, Istanbul (2006); Abram Topor et Ses Amis, Galerie Vallois, Paris (1993); Art Contemporain Français, Galeri Nationale, Prague (1988); 300 Jahre Danach Türken 1683–1983, Moderner Kunst Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna (1983); Groupe Panique, Maison de la Culture de Rennes, Rennes (1979) and The H. Mark Moyens Collection, A Selection of Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC (1969) among others.

He has published a number of books, including Notebooks 1965–1994 (Gallery Nev, 1996); Great and Scary the Power of Laughing Arslan: Philippe Krebs Letters (Galeri Nev, 2005); I Have No Obsession with Western Culture: Letters 1957–2008 (co-authored with Ferit Edgü, Kitap Yayınevi, 2011); Yuksel Arslan: Artures (Hatje Cantz Publishers, 2012); New Effects (Flood Publishing, 2015); Man & The Creation of Man(co-authored with Jacques Vallet, Flood Publishing 2017; and A Life (Dirimart, 2017).

In 1954, Arslan received a bachelor’s degree in Art History from İstanbul University. He was born in 1933 in Istanbul and he died in 2017 in Paris.



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Yüksel Arslan has been associated with both the surrealist movement in Turkey and the intellectual circles of 1960s Paris. Mining the depths of the unconscious mind, his work connects critical thought and spirituality, existing between mythology, science and the visual arts.