Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is pleased to present a new work in The Box by Turkish artist Elif Uras.
The paintings and ceramic works of Uras explore the transformation of gender roles within Turkish society. Uras' work in The Box merges traditional, decorative patterns from Turkish ceramic making with figurative Western imagery. Rendered in minuscule detail, the woman at the centre of the work is depicted in a state of contemplation whilst sat at a canvas. Made in Iznik, celebrated for its fabrication of tiles and ceramics during the Ottoman Empire, Déja Vu (Hayal Meyal) (2016) places the female figure centre stage; contrary to its patriarchal history, women have begun to play a major role in both the management and labor of ceramic production in Turkey. This allusion to change is reflected in the work's title, Hayal Meyal, which refers to a state of indeterminacy between dreaming and reality. The image of the woman, paintbrush in hand, also resonates with Artemisia Gentileschi's Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (1639) and its own exploration of gender identity and empowerment.
Elif Uras was born in Ankara and lives and works in New York and Istanbul. She studied economics and law before receiving her Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia University School of the Arts in 2003. Uras had a major solo exhibition at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut in 2015. Her works have also been been shown at Galerist, Istanbul; 9th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai; Salon 94, New York; MoMAPS1, New York and Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul. Uras' work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Ringier Collection, Zurich and Collezione Maramotti, Italy.