An exhibition by Turkey’s celebrated late photographer Ara Güler on the western province of İzmir will be greeting its online audience with “merhaba,” which means “hello” in Turkish and was one of his favorite words that he used throughout his life.
The Arkas Art Center in İzmir, which opened Ara Güler’s exhibition titled “Hello İzmir” on Feb. 22, but temporarily closed to visitors soon later due to the COVID-109 outbreak, opened the exhibition once again on May 1 on its website.
At the exhibition, prepared by Arkas Art Center in collaboration with Ara Güler Archive and Research Center and Ara Güler Museum, presents Güler’s never-before-seen photographs of İzmir and its surrounding regions. Visitors can enjoy 700 pieces of artworks including iconic photos of Istanbul by the artist as well as portraits of prominent domestic and international figures from the world of arts and culture. Also on display are his cameras and personal items.
This selection is accompanied by his photographs of Aphrodisias, Nemrut Mountain and the Noah’s Ark, which he introduced to the attention of international cultural scene.
The photographs of İzmir, where he visited as a photojournalist various times, are being exhibited for the first time. Featuring İzmir from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s, original black and white darkroom photographs, the exhibition shows the transformation of ancient cities such as Ephesus, İzmir Agora, Bergama and Allianoi see the light of day for the first time.
Güler also has one hundred portraits of prominent literary figures like Nazım Hikmet, Yaşar Kemal and Oğuz Atay are also displayed in the exhibition. Other portraits include Bertrand Russel, Tennessee Williams, Louis Aragon, William Saroyan, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso from Güler’s “Seven Marks on Earth” series.
Several personal items Güler used throughout his career, like press cards, stamps and stamp pads, contact prints, book models created designed by him, help shed light on his work methods and various aspects of his life as a photographer.
Born in 1928, Güler died in 2018 Istanbul at the age of 90 after suffering from a heart attack.