Up Close: Ahmet Doğu İpek
By HG Masters
Events in the world change how we look at art. Ahmet Doğu İpek’s exhibition at Arter in Istanbul, “A Halo of Blackness Upon Our Heads,” featured artworks produced in the last three years, bringing viewers into encounters with materials whose associations resonate with the urgencies of our time. The two video installations of black ink slowly swirling in water, Zephyr I and II (both 2021), are mesmerizingly powerful evocations of fluid dynamics, recalling tornadoes, sandstorms, and elemental forces while elevating them with a mythological aura. The artist’s five watercolors of rocks produced at more than two meters in height, Figures: Stone I–V (2021–22), and the pair of giant boulders crushing large pieces of foam, Subjected: 75 kPa / 1490 kg and Subjected: 75 kPa / 1130 kg (both 2022), look much different now—more presciently tragic—when recalling the series of devastating earthquakes that brought down the weight of countless buildings onto millions of people across southeastern Turkey and northwestern Syria.