H. Avni Öztopçu


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Route of Space
Muammer Öner; Sanat Cevresi. Issue no.121 November 1988 Istanbul

In very early researches of Avni Öztopçu, he emphasized the Spacing concept. Regarding to Kant’s “Space is a form of external sensitivity. Space and time are the discernments of mind before any experiment. Everybody think they see space and time. In fact, the seen things are the things that brought in through by space and time” rendition, he made an approach to figuring concept. After he characterized spacing concept as “Abstract Spacing” or “Imaginary Space”, in his paintings we can see that he tries to reach the “Fictional Space” integrity correlated with “space-light-object”. As he prioritizes the powerful contrast of light and dark as an element of figure, he verbalized this as “I want to benefit from the tension of light and dark”.

In his early Works (1985), the main elements are black which he identified as “darkness” and white as “light”. We see that he tried to reinforce the geometric speculative integrity of the stratified contrasts created by lighted crystal brightness of the mechanical objects which he placed inside the dark spaces with their greyish-white gradations, together with diagonal planes including amorphous motives with the connected motion, repetition and texture elements.

In his later Works (1986), the contrasts of motions transformed in to vertical and horizontal contrasts, rhythmic elements which compose the geometric planes of the mechanical objects took the place of the contrast forms (amorphous-crystal).

1986 Meţale After the transformation of gray-white gradation to colour gradation, at the same time “Volumetric” side of the effort of composing “Traverse Spacing” supressed , “Planimetric Spacing” tendency revealed (Leaves).

In this stage, rhythmic iterant elements sustain their mechanical structure and still continue searching for their roles.

Understanding the reason of this conversion in Avni Öztopçu isn’t very hard while in his paintings “colour” and “pattern” are gaining more importance. In his later works, we see that these two elements start to compose the main structure of his paintings. While, we can see the functional importance of light and dark contrast (white-black) in the beginning, in his later Works, we can see that colour contrast has more functionality. On the other hand, the passion of white and black contrast transformed in to gray, and participated in the painting as a complementary area.

While mechanical ornaments take the form of organic texture patterns, Planimetric" structure has been adopted with respect to space as a result of this approach.

Three years ago, after the arise up of Avni Öztopçu through Kant’s “Starry Sky Above me”, now found in a “passage” with “blue-green” flowers. Muammer ÖNER; H. Avni Öztopçu'nun "Uzam Yolu", Sanat Çevresi, Sayý: 121 Kasým 1988 Ýstanbul


Shelters and Individuals”
Lütfiye Bozdađ, ÇAĐDAŢ 1985; sayý:18 - Ekim 2014

Istanbul Mine Art Gallery, in their Niţantaţý venue exhibits H.Avni Öztopçu’s 1985-onset “individuals” and lately developed “shelters” under the name of “Shelters and Individuals”.

Introduction of perspective in painting underlies apprehending the integrity relationship between man and nature, throughout the history, art becomes a medium in search of unity between nature and man. Man, who is trying to understand the universe, asked some questions, and tried to explain some notions. With the start of industrial revolution, scientific and technological advancements enabled man meeting with high speed which has never been experienced before, and this gave birth facing with a new perception of time. Especially, after the discovery of the camera, when the concern of creating perspective in two dimension surface, has been realized by a machine, artists canalised examining the mental aspect of “space and time” concern that lies behind the visible, instead of reflecting the descriptions of the visible.

“Time and Space”, which is one of the main concerns of man, considered as the main problematical notions in H.Avni Öztopçu’s paintings as well.

Since 1985, the artist considers the “space and time” relationship with an intellectual concern, while developing multi-vision practices, shows an analytical approach. H.Avni Öztopçu is not only dealing with the belongingness of object to the space, at the same time dealing with the belongingness of object to the time. In the inquisition of object in relationship of object and space; the aim of the artist is not only authenticating a saved moment against the time slipping through our hands, and not capturing and eternalizing a moment existing with the time.

The artist enables us to read the opposite notions in a circular flow like emptiness and fullness, vertical and horizontal; the being of opposites inside the dialectic of object and space, which are the complementary parts of a whole in the language of the plastic world. In his paintings, H.Avni Öztopçu correlates the space notion with the gaps between the objects and crosscut planes or plane in series, and illusion of three dimensions by using the perspective. He builds a world which is composed of artistic instruments placed on an art-specific surface with a fiction which is composed by him and determines the rules of space. Although, the references of all elements in the composition are coming from the outer world, they can be read as the reflection of the artist’s inner world.

In the paintings of H. Avni Öztopçu, no object is accidentally located in the space. Object demonstrates its belongingness in time as an ongoing element of mobility, and artist questions the belongingness of object to the time and space with a sophisticated perspective. Since 1985, this perspective constitutes its own “Individuals” in every attitude of each stage, also reckons with the past and with the metamorphosis inside, and give a start to his odyssey in sheltered areas. In this odyssey, we see the individuals of each stage which are sourced from the mentality and perception perspective of the artist.  The artist who leans to new searches in his each stage, allows us to watch the circulation of the visible and audible in the “time and space” perception which are the baselines of his paintings, and also allows us to see the whole scenery; the problematique which has been discussed for 30 years, and the fictional conversions in his own stages.

H.Avni Öztopçu’s discussion of space-time relationship in his paintings goes beyond a physical state and with the synergy of emotions and thoughts confronts as the reflections of the envisioned imaginary process. Fiction progressed through the thoughts of the artist, while transmitted to the canvas, each element generates its own datas, and these datas concretize as form’s and motion’s optical expressions. The motion of all the used elements and the structure of the surface which shows resistance against it draw the attention with the planes and with the light and shadow. In addition to this, verticals, horizontals, and each piece placed on the painting are producing their own meanings and, while plastic values gathering in countless ways in the space of the painting surface, plane variations enriches our time and space perception. Spaces interrupted by planes and consisted corridors enable us to build a new relationship between the object and time. On the other hand, while physical space transforming to the work of art itself, and by incorporating the time perception in to the work creates a sense of fourth dimension. Therefore; the planes in Avni Öztopçu’s works, serves for a very important interrogation. The gap between the objects is not only areas plotting the objects; at the same time are parts of the space. Also, the gap between the objects as a design element is a figure and as well as a part of space. The plans which are related with each others in the space, at one side are creating a surface of a plane, on the other side reducing the surface of a plane by dividing. These vertical, horizontal or formless surfaces interrupt the space while disrupting the integrity of other surfaces. When we look at the visual world, either an object is in front of an object or behind another object. Between the adjacent and overlapped planes, there are transition steps, and like geometric forms planes seem overlapped by the effect of some factors. The paintings of H.Avni Öztopçu draw an attention with the fictions composed of sequences.

The paintings of the artist shouldn’t only be evaluated as an examination of plastic layout which creates the work of art, at the same time should be evaluated conceptually with space and time coherence. Ephemerality, conversion and continuity of time, enhance the conceptual importance of dialectic in fiction. And according to Paul Virilio, in new global information technologies, the most outstanding thing isn’t space, it is time. In the new post-modern period, the speed of time intensifies our perception of reality, and also accelerates it and this situation destroys the naturality of earthly time and space, and provokes to perceive the reality as time and space informality. But, the paintings of H. Avni Öztopçu points out the integrity of serenity and simplicity expressions instead of speed and fragmentation. The artist considers not only the superficial image in his paintings, also considers the balance of the oppositions originated by the elements. When this opposition examined, it can be seen on each vertical and horizontal section on the painting plane and with effecting the surface, it deforms its two dimensioned nature, and by creating its own domain, mediates a dialectic motion. Artist balances each element’s existence with a resistance against an opposite power. In this resistance, we are observing how opposite powers strengthen or weaken each other. At the same time, oppositions create a tension that ensures dynamism. This dynamism between the oppositions can be seen sometimes with the verticals and horizontals, sometimes with the light and shadow contrariness, and sometimes at the contrast of warm and cold colours. In this exhibition, H. Avni Öztopçu scents out a simple and minimalist understanding by focusing on the opposition of vertical and horizontal planes, light and dark colours instead of the opposition of colours. When we look at his compositions, he enables us to compare these dynamics with each others, and analyse them one by one, and after that enables us to integrate all these parts.

Integrity has a very important position in the paintings of H.Avni Öztopçu, and also enables us to develop a perception which helps us to organise correlating the visual elements in sensual aspect integrally, as already organised in mental aspect. On the surface which is limited with two dimensions, spatial distributions of the visual elements compose a perceptual effect. The artist, with the effect of perception created on the ground of conscious, provokes the sensitivity level of the audience and opens the doors of sensual perception. In our analysis, in some part of decomposition enables us to consider exterior impressions through shape, and in another part enables us to consider inner reactions through senses.

In Istanbul Mine Art Gallery, Niţantaţý venue, under the title of “Shelters and Individuals”, H. Avni Öztopçu exhibits his paintings and enables us to see how he benefits from the opportunities of the plastic arts, and how he deals with the main elements of art while questioning the fundamental problematic of “time and space” in his paintings. Since 1985, it is possible to witness a historical cycle of artist’s approach to these elements.

Each studied artistic production, shaped and rendered according to the period they are created in. H. Avni Öztopçu who renders the time-space problematic with the opportunities of plastic language, in his “shelters and individuals” exhibition is heading towards to the future while continuing his traces inside the corridors of the periods themselves, and transforming and altering in his inner dynamics.


Area Experiments and Individuals
Pýnar Sumer Biber;  ÇAĐDAŢ 1985" sayý:28

When we look at the process of Avni Oztopcu’s paintings, we can see how same attitude progresses over its cumulative segments and from time to time how they withdraw the previous experiments to experimental areas once again.

Even their names are different; we can see the individuals which have transformed on their own with the names “Tek Dg” and “Tek Bt” (1995). Before the Individuals, there were paintings of him which belong to the year 1985 and those were the preliminary works for the paintings in this exhibition. While these works looking for peace zones, they also strongly desire to reach the unique person and also touching their domain through the literal and absolute figures.

After the “Phases” exhibition, “Shelters and Individuals” was the last exhibition that Oztopcu has opened in 2014. In both of these exhibitions, the artist enables us to see the whole integrity of the fictional conversions consisted during his stages and the problematique which has been discussed for 30 years. We will meet with some of these new experiments in the exhibition of “Area Experiments and Individuals”.

In these experiments, we can see that the movement improves with the emphasis of the light and dark tones and with all the states of colours in the infinity of darkness. We face with the relations supporting balance which are continuously in a struggle, while the gravity is building up. We will see both contradiction and emphasis in the same environment.

We can see the attitude related to the contradiction of darkness and colour in Oztopcu’s report in 1986. “…In my paintings the figures which express an artificial appearance are lapsed in to colours and geometric or free shapes, sometimes give the feeling of a rough ornament and these are all in an infinite looking location, that can’t be determined by anything. This location is the space where the stars are travelling, and it is outside of our usual experiments. So it seems like an imaginary place for us.” (1)

In the report of 1989, for the period in which the colour contradiction empowered: “…geometric ornaments replaced with free shapes in the later times of 1986. And in the beginning of 1987, these free shapes adopt their role with their active sides in this combination. They are no longer in a dark place where the stars are travelling, but they are still located in an imaginary atmosphere. New ornaments undertake the enthusiasm in the painting while carrying three elements of the colour with their vibrant side” (2)

In both states of the contradiction, a strong desire exists for using the movement in edges. This brings up the linear structure. “Being in search of clarity, integrity and accuracy with the expansion of contradiction through the edges, made me approach to a linear structure. And also form occupation has cultivated the linear structure as well.

My method of seeing the form, transformed in to the duty of certainty. This doesn’t mean form needs to be certain all by itself, this just means each form has a strong tendency to manifest itself.

I hardly worked in order to make the elements seem with clarity and accuracy. Emphasis is over the boundaries of the object and linear approach separates the objects from each other. My target is comprehending the objects as permanent and tangible realities. Each form has been compelled in order to seem in the most typical way for themselves. Single (found by oneself) ornaments are improved in case of meaningful contradictions.

In my paintings while each part is tightly bounded to the whole, at the same time tries to be independent. This is not randomness; singles are subjected to the whole, but never give up existing on their own. This forces the audience to see additively, which is an occupation for combination of the independent parts.

…Certainty in my paintings remains in the visibility of forms. When it is watched entirely, there is an uncertainty in the meaning. In this case, this is not the complication of a puzzle; on the contrary it is just an occupation in order to conserve an uncertain part eternally. The duty of the uncertainty is dedicated to the meaning of the combination.

In the combination of all, the meaning is not related with anything. The certainty in the forms obtained with the expansion of contradiction. Forms can be in absolute intellectuality or can exist in nature devoid of holism and the elements isolated from nature are in the way of intellectual intangible existence. Both of these states can connect with each other intellectually." (2)

The certainty – uncertainty stages still continue in the paintings of H. Avni Oztopcu. This is the state of the individual or individuals and their feeling areas. While individuals remain on their own, at the same time it can be seen that they try to make a distant collaboration with the other individuals. They also aim touching a unique person further and it is perceivable that there is a desire for a journey to reach universal time through its own area. (3)

1 - Oztopcu, H.Avni: Light-Space-Object, Istanbul 1986, Mimar Sinan University Social Sciences Institute, Art Painting Department Masters Report.
2 - Oztopcu, H.Avni: Fictional Space, Istanbul 1989, Mimar Sinan University Social Sciences Institute, Art Painting Department Proficiency in Art report.
3 - Sumer Biber, Pinar: 2015-2016 H. Avni Öztopçu interview notes at the studio.


Avni Öztopcu's 'Road of Place'
Muammer Öner; Sanat Cevresi. Issue no.121 November 1988 Istanbul

H. Avni Öztopcu's "Road of Place" 
In his early works (1985), he used black which he defined as "darkness" and white which he defined as "light" as his basic tools.

1985 Büyük Oylum

We see that he tried to reinforce the geometric speculative integrity of the stratified contrasts created by lighted crystal brightness of the mechanical objects which he places inside the dark spaces with their grayish-white gradations, together with diagonal planes including amorphous motives with elements of connections, motion, repetition and texture. In his later works (1986), 

1986 Meţale

while contrast created by motion in the earlier stages where being replaced by perpendicular and horizantal forms in conrast, rythmic elements making the geometric planes of mechanical objects took the place of contrast forms (Amorphous-Crystal). Grades of grayish-white transformed into grades of colour. The rythmic elements of repetition prevail their mechical structure while in search of their appropriate place and function. It is not difficult to see that the reason for this change in H. Avni Oztopcu's paintings is connected with his orientation towards 

1986 Yapraklar

"colour" and "motives" which gained significance in his works. In fact in his later works (1987) these two elements constitute the fundamental structure upon which he builts his drawings. The function of the black and white contrast in his early works are now transformed into the function of colour contrasts. His passion for black and white contrast has been transformed into grayish spaces and passages which he used in his drawings. 

1987 Tütün Çiçeđi

While mechanical decorations take the form of organic textures, "Planimetric" structure has been adopted with respect to space as a result of this approach.

   1988 -1989, sütunlar 


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