kirkhoff is proud to present Drawing Disconnect, a solo exhibition of new paintings and Iznik Çini sculptures by Elif Uras.
Elif Uras was born in Ankara, Turkey, and lives and works between New York and Istanbul. Urasʼs
work explores the collision of civilizations, especially in relation to the stereotypes and prejudices which thrive in both the East and the West.
In Urasʼs decadent world, veiled women, belly dancers and nudes co-exist with developers,
religious fundamentalists and suicide bombers. Her engagement with politics, economics, and the
culture of leisure, excess and hedonism is revealed in cinematic tableaux punctuated with brilliant color and contemporary detail. In the architecture, interiors and landscapes depicted, oriental arabesques and Islamic ornamentation weave into Western painterly traditions with references to the Rococo, History Painting, Art Nouveau, Symbolism and Surrealism, and to artists as diverse as Fragonard, Ingres, Hogarth, Goya, Klimt, Otto Dix and Hundertwasser.
Multiple prespectives also prevail in the manner with which Uras deals with space in her work.
Perspective is pushed up to its limits, resulting in a dreamy and indeterminate perception of the
world. Mirrors, reflections, paintings within painting, make it difficult to distinguish what is inside or outside.
The Painting The Great Divergence alludes to the recent construction bubble and the growing gap
between the rich and poor. It presents a bifurcated space where harpies toil as workers while an
industrialist and his family are settled comfortably and conveniently separated from the activity as their future unfolds in the pictorial space. Another work, Half Asleep responds to the Mohammed cartoon protests and depicts a Western couple caught in a waking dream of fire and destruction.
The painting Secular, at first sight a seemingly innocuous bath scene in the genre tradition, is populated by an unabashedly naked central female figure surrounded by women covered with headscarfs and long jackets.
The traditional Turkish tea glass, a ubiquituous symbol of leisure in the Middle East, inspires the form of the four Iznik Çini sculptures which are also presented here. They were produced at
the Iznik Foundation in Turkey, where Uras has a residency. Iznik is historically famous for its
unique pottery and tiles that adorned the palaces, mosques and baths of the Ottoman Empire
and were widely imitated in Europe. With these works, Uras transposes her narratives onto three
dimensional surfaces while incorporating the vocabulary of the Iznik tradition.
Elif Uras received her Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University in 2003. Her work was
included Greater New York 2005 at P.S.1/MoMa, New York. Uras has mounted solo exhibitions
at Smith-Stewart, New York, Galerist, Istanbul, Gavlak, West Palm Beach and Kenny Schachter/
ROVE, New York. Her work has also been exhibited at Proje 4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary
Art, Istanbul, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, Greene Naftali, New York and Andrew Kreps,
New York. In Denmark, she previously exhibited work at the Absolute Summer Show in 2005 at

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