March 1, 2014
Turkish Kilim Designs
talk by Ali Riza Tuna

Some pictures
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This presentation developed the idea that the Anatolian Kilims, evaluated with the same criteria as Modern Art, offer outstanding aesthetics and can be appreciated at the same level as modern artworks.

Anatolian Kilims have been seen mostly as folk art and their appreciation has been mostly based on closeness to traditional icons and tribal culture. While brewed from tradition, examples of Anatolian kilims have also reached quintessence of form and color, which raise them to the level of a universal fine art.

In the West, the emergence of modern art has required a definite break from the traditional fine arts in the 19th century. On the contrary, Anatolian kilims have achieved the same or even better level of aesthetic qualities through centuries of refinement in symbolisation and abstraction by the civilisations of Anatolia. How can freedom and novelty be achieved through tradition ?

The presentation uses visual comparisons between works of western modern art (paintings from impressionists, abstracts, Picassso, Matisse, etc..) and Anatolian kilims. It traces parallels in the form and color, and abstraction levels between the two mediums and guides the audience through new ways of discovering the aesthetics of the Anatolian kilim and proposes new appreciation criteria.

Ali Riza Tuna was born in Istanbul and educated as an engineer in France. Since 1980 he has been passionate about Anatolian textiles, not only as a collector but also as independent researcher and lecturer.

Papers and Lectures have included:
- Turcoman Pattern Designs on a Newly Discovered 18th Century Ushak Carpet, International Conference on Oriental Carpets, Hamburg 1993
- Turkmen Based Designs in Historical Anatolian Carpets, Second Turkish Carpet Congress, Istanbul 1994 - A Structural Study of Ottoman Carpets in Transylvanian Churches, International Conference on Oriental Carpets, Istanbul 2007; published in Oriental Carpet and Textiles Studies Volume VII, co-authored with Stefano Ionescu
- Back to the Future - Reconstruction of Anatolian Carpets from Renaissance Paintings, International Conference on Oriental Carpets, Stockholm, 2011 and Volkmanntreffen, Berlin 2012
- exhibited in: Weaving Heritage of Anatolia From Turkish Private Collections, International Conference on Oriental Carpets, Istanbul 2007

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