• Issue
  • Mar 01, 2023

Up Close: Ahmet Doğu İpek

Detail of AHMET DOGU IPEK’s From faraway and always, 2020-22, oil paint, linseed oil, and crayon on paper, 142 pieces at 76 × 56 cm each and six pieces at 76 × 108 cm each, at "A Halo of Blackness Upon Our Heads," Arter, Istanbul, 2022-23. Photo by Sena Nur Tastekne. Courtesy Arter.

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.