Exhibition - Suzanne Kanatsiz / Jake Gilson

Short biography:

My father is Turkish, from Istanbul and my mother is American. After marrying in Turkey, they immigrated to the U.S. and I was born in Detroit, Michigan. I was raised in southern California. I received my BA in painting at San Diego State University, and an MFA in sculpture at San Jose State University in the U.S. I was a professor in the visual arts at University of Nevada, Reno for four years, and currently I am a professor at Weber State University in Utah, U.S.

The work in the FASS Gallery what I have made during the time I have been at Sabanci as a visiting professor.


Experimental and conceptual in nature, I work in the medium of sculpture and installation. The materials used are diverse, and often include combinations of the organic mixed with the machined or manufactured. Much of the work has primitive features, such as fabrication by slow, laborious processes. Materials are often left raw with intuitive markings.


Subtraction of materials is emphasized in my work. Interpretations are multi-layered with many possibilities. Essentially, the conversation created by the work poses questions of an inner world beyond appearances. References to cycles and memory are suggested, seeking to engage the viewer in a contemplative atmosphere.

Concentric rings, circles, spheres are prominent in my visual vocabulary combined with text, transparency and repetition. Arabic text has long been part of my work due to my Turkish heritage. At times, there are verses used from the Qur’an. The text is chosen intuitively and therefore, it is open to multiple readings. The use of it is intended as a visual art experience, touching on human archetypes and universality, not to promote any religion or secular viewpoint. The calligraphic text seeks to engage the viewer visually rather than literally.

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