Born in Turkey, 1959
Studied at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University at the atelier of Ozdemir Altan. Graduated in 1983 with BA and MA degrees in Painting.
Launched her own business during her studies, making stained-glass designs.
Continued her work from her own atelier after her studies.
Later, engaged in designing jewelry, objects and making sculptures, all adding new dimensions to her artistic expression.
Lastly, exhibited her interpretation of Istanbul in form of bronze reliefs.
1990 Frankfurt, Germany (Jewelry)
1995 Paris Premier Class, Paris, France (Jewelry and design)
2005-2006 JA New York, US (Design)
2007 Dideh Art Gallery, Marbella, Spain
2009 Dem-Art Gallery in Istanbul with her solo exhibit "New Reflections" consisting of silver and bronze sculptures.
2010 Held the first exhibition in Topkapi Palace hosted by historian Ilber Ortayli, honoring Istanbul as the European Capital of Culture of 2010.
2011 SOFA - Sculpture, Object and Functional Art Expositions, New York, NY
2011 SOHO- Nasse Galeri, " The Armoire " solo exhibit, New York, NY
2012 Artisan Gallery
2012 Art Bosphorus , Kent Gallery
Currently owns Arkaik Art Jewelry and a design showroom in Istanbul, Turkey.
Semra Ecer : Finding Beauty Within the Balance
Suzie Walshe on The Art and Designs of Semra Ecer
The first thing one notices about Ecer’s works is the richness of their material, and the second, the wealth of styles and aesthetics; specifically the blurring of Abstract and Figurative influences. In the case of “Dynamism” it is the peculiarly archaic character of her dynamic figures. Ecer utilizes her talent as a sculptor and experience as a painter to create a new perspective on the classic portrait as a vehicle to explore form, and shape. Ecer’s work ranges from very basic items with well-defined functions such as spoons and bookmarks to recurring sculptures in both figurative and abstract forms. Ecer has become renowned in the modern art and design world for her groundbreaking fusion of minimalist, romantic, and poetic jewelry comprised of precious metals. Her more recent work represents a new phase of artistic expression within this medium, as she explores themes of identity, movement, form and biography.
Each of her new sculpture is in one way or another autobiographical, addressing the issue of self through symbolism to express her own ideology, this is an ideology closely related to her native Turkey. Bronze reliefs of Istanbul also find a home in this body of work, highlighting the fact Istanbul is her main source of inspiration. Her extensive artistic background is clearly an influence on her abilities “Studying painting has given me a certain confidence of trying to create new forms of art, especially forms in three-dimension which I have always found to be more inspiring than mere drawing” says the artist and designer. Ecer studied under Ozdemir Altan at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, launching her own business during her studies, producing unique stained-glass designs. “Prof painter Ozdemir Altan has given me certain confidence and guidance in arts. He used to teach about polyphonic classical music and the importance of rhythm, dynamism and color. I find this intersection very interesting and try to introduce rhythm into my work” the artists has says of her time spent under his tuition. Inspired by artists such as the great Italian futurist Giacomo Balla, Ecer has engaged in designing jewelry and objects, and making sculptures, each adding new dimensions to her artistic expression. Recently, she exhibited her interpretation of Istanbul in the form of bronze reliefs while maintaining her owns Arkaik Art Jewelry and a design showroom in Istanbul.
Ecer’s explains focus and interest in both the fine arts and decorative arts: “Although I have worked with different materials, everything I have given shape to, be it a small piece of jewelry or a statuette, follows a certain sequence giving birth to one another as if they are the images formed by a spherical mirror magnifying a new perspective of the original one every time”. What results are gripping images rife with human emotion; complex human figures are configured in forms of pure expressionism; at times ironic and other times fearlessly exposing the rawest elements of the human experience.
A wide variety of artistic invention greets viewers of Ecer’s work with classic, expressive, and highly stylized sculptures jewels and objects that are fashioned after the spirit and forms found in both humanity and nature. A breadth of emotion from its highest peak to deepest realm is explored in figures and geometric forms that create striking sculptures within the “New Reflections” that speak to temporality, fragility, and the balance between the two. Displayed as a flock of birds, flying harmoniously together; the largest of the bird sculptures “Eternity” transmits an energy toward the viewer evoking a sense of everlasting grace; the middle sized sculpture “freedom” a sense of liberty; the smallest ones “new reflections” are each an accumulation of her mind. Her inspiration is “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” These are eternity and freedom that lie within her mind and that materialize with her energy. In “New Reflections” the dynamic relationship between the forms is emphasized by the intensive outlines and flat unmixed color forms. Bright passages of form are formed in seemingly spontaneous directions. However in actuality Ecer plans her compositions very deliberately according to formal principles, the work creates a type of visual sound through patches of lines and form—the work is made to listen to. Even in her more abstract works the figure is not amorphous or formless. The images are just fragments extracted from their figurative context. Ecer uses line, not so much as a means of representation, but in a more abstract way, to express feelings and moods; retaining the notion that the artist role is to suggest, not define. The process of sculpture is an intensive almost performative act for the artist.
The sharp lines and angles of the metal add to this tension, the cleanliness of the medium muddied only by the fleeting nature of perspective. While shapes are distinctive and defined up close, when viewed at a distance, the mood is softened as marked lines change to curves and the overall effect becomes blurred. This speaks to greater truths involving the myth of stability, the persistence of transition, and the ever present metamorphoses we as humans undergo in every moment. In this way, Ecer’s work centers on the phenomenon of how people and raw emotion are intertwined in everyday life. Pushing past surface expressionist influences, the artist/designer arrives at a virtuoso moment, impulsive yet wise, untamed yet controlled. Like nature’s force itself, her skill and instinct resonate with the power and subtlety of the unexplainable.
Semra Ecer’s series “Flock” will be on display at SOFA NYC in April 13-17.