Istanbul based artist Ahmet Doğu İpek’s practice can be described as diligent and painstaking. In his own meditative work style, he uses traditional material such as watercolour and pencil on paper but his techniques remain innovative. Although the contextual inspiration comes from the postmodern society idea, the notion of ‘mass’ and a number of thinkers’ theories such as Negri & Hardt, Canetti, Harvey and Calvino; the outcome reminds more late the 18th and early 19th century masters’ work such as Piranesi and Gustave Doré.
In his series which lasts approximately two or three years, we see the endless reproduction of one form or pattern, and the horizontal and/or vertical expansion of his -far from classical- ‘landscapes’. The first series “Second Harvest”, where he depicted intracate, entangling, infolding forms, share a common ground with the last two series: multilayeredness, complexity and, blackness. In his perplexing second series, “Construction Regime – Building Porn” made with watercolor, Ipek intertwines highrise buildings into a repetitive sea of facade with no ground and no sky, making an other-worldly but recognizable pattern. His most recent work, “Water Records” series include abstract landscapes patiently made by layering black watercolor.
For Dubai Art Fair, the artist will be presenting six intricately thoughtful and present works in total; two from each of the aforementioned series he has been working on since 2009. The works made with black watercolor and charcoal pencil, will be reflecting three different states of black: Organic, mechanical and lyrical.
The booth is structured as a solo show, with a title, “Black Records”. Having different sizes, the works from each series will be hung respectively on three walls of the booth. The whole setup represents a kind of summary of artist’s evolution as well as a show with new works that are connected to each other and produced especially for Art Dubai.
Ipek’s works have very strong ties with Istanbul and Dubai, both temporally and spatially. Extending from microcosmos to macrocosmos, the patterns and repetitions in his former and new series, describe different levels of entanglement within masses and constructions of all sizes.
All of his works point to the impossibility of anything remaining static, it points to the loss of memory, both personal and public, cultural and otherwise, and the futility of vying against time.