Simple yet powerful, Mehmet Ali Uysal‘s large scale installations redefine the traditional white gallery space or even outdoor landscapes, integrating them into the artworks to create surreal and distinct concepts. With a degree in architecture and a MFA in sculpture, Uysal makes installations that alter the viewer’s perception of space and matter, questioning the boundaries between the individual and physical objects, whether metaphysical or concrete, and putting an emphasis on an emotional link between the viewer and the artworks.
For his first exhibition in the US, Mehmet Ali Uysal was invited by the Sapar Contemporary art gallery to interact with the recently renovated exhibition rooms and to create a couple of pieces specifically for the new space. Along with previous installations, the new works bring the surreal world of the Turkish artist to Tribeca, New York. Uysal “creates key parallels between physical surfaces and the sensory pulse of the human skin, malleable enough to be pinched, ripped, contorted, and torn off.” A large section of a wall peels away and forms a spiral, revealing the bricks underneath, while others are precisely cut in long sections or curve to show what lies beneath the pristine white walls of a classic art gallery. In “Suspended”, the artist lends picture frames new meaning by stripping them of their function yet allowing them to fulfill a new purpose, while in “Skin, 2013”, the immaculate walls are pinched by clothespins. This latter installation has an outdoor version featuring an impressive six-meter-high wooden clothespin pinching the surface of the grass; this work was included in a top ten of the most important public artworks in the UK by the Independent. The Hi! exhibition will be on view at the gallery until June 19. Images courtesy of Sapar Contemporary.