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We will send regular newsletters to our members who have signed up for receiving it during the registration. In 'mymerhaba' newsletter, our editorial staff provides updates, with regard to any information related to places worth visiting, viewing, or otherwise worth knowing, for those who care to know more....

Fikret Mualla - Painter

 Untitled Document

A Turkish painter who has gained worldwide recognition
Fikret Mualla Saygı was born in Istanbul in 1903. He was a disable as the result of an accident he had when he was a child. His father's marriage following the death of his mother gave this 15-year old boy a difficult and neurotic character. After receiving education at Saint Joseph French School, he attended Galatasaray High School. Then he was sent to Germany to study engineering before graduating.

He traveled in Germany, Switzerland and Italy and visited many museums in those places. After discovering his artistic ability, Fikret Mualla gained a strong knowledge of design in a very short time. He made successful paintings, fashion drawings and engravings. His designs were accepted by the most famous German magazines. As the result of his father's financial problems, he stayed in Germany, where an Egyptian Prince supported him, until he was twenty-five.

Mualla was treated in hospital for alcohol problems for a short period in 1929. Later on, he moved to France and lived in the artistic districts of Paris. He returned to Turkey and began work as a painting teacher in Ayvalık Secondary School in 1934, but he resigned and went to Istanbul. He designed costumes for operettas such as Lüküs Hayat, Deli Dolu, Saz Caz and illustrated magazines and Nazım Hikmet's book "Varan 3".

He left Turkey for Paris in 1939 with his share of his father's inheritance. He painted approximately 30 pictures of Istanbul for the Turkish pavilion at the "International New York Fair 1939."

Fikret Mualla lived in France for over 26 years. Due to his long years of financial difficulties, his severe addiction to alcohol, and his continual phobia of police, he experienced increasing anxiety. He was sent again to hospital for treatment. During his two-month stay in hospital, he was under the protection of Dina Vierny, for whom he painted pictures. His first exhibition in November 1954 was composed of those paintings.

Fikret Mualla was hospitalized once more at a mental institution following his second exhibition. After he was discharged, he met Madame Anglés, who was a regular purchaser of his paintings. She took him under her protection and put him in a hospital, when he had a stroke in 1962, and took care of him until he died in 1967. Mualla's body was brought back to Turkey in 1974 under the initiative of President Fahri Korutürk, whose wife was also an artist.

An exhibition was organized in Ankara in 1976 in his name with 118 of his paintings donated by friends, relatives and various collectors. Today, most of his works are in private collections.

Fikret Mualla selected his themes from among the details of Parisian life, such as cafés, taverns, circuses and the streets. His favorite colors were red, orange, blue and lilac. Painting was a way of life for Mualla. He produced works uniting the stylistic features of Expressionism and Fauvism. He translated the facts of life into colors and form and painted the members of the Bohemian group among whom he lived. He mostly used gouache technique and worked very fast on it. However, he was as professional and skilled with oil paintings as he was with watercolor and gouache. He was not interested in theoretical painting problems, he kept himself distant from external influences, and he did not join in contemporary movements. He painted as he felt, subjectively and full of enthusiastic lyricism.

SELECTED WORKS:
Oturan Adamlar (Sitting Men), 1937 (Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture), Sevişenler (People Making Love), 1952; Masada (On the Table),1953; Nature-Morte, 1954; Sokak (Street), 1955; Kafe (Café), 1955, Marsilya'da Fransız İşçileri bir Kahvede (French Workers at a Café in Marseille); Haliç ve Süleymaniye (The Golden Horn and Süleymaniye Mosque); Paris'te bir Sokak (A Street in Paris); Amerikan Bar (American Bar); Baloncu (Balloon-Seller); Peysaj (Landscape); Balıkçı (Fisherman); Mor Zemin Üstünde Figürler (Figures on Purple Background);




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Latest comments about this article

 By mordikus  1.2.2008

Excuse-me I wanted to mean a great exhibition in PARIS !!!!!!!

 By mordikus  1.2.2008

I really do hope that one day we´ll have a great exhibition about Fikret Mualla.

 By pkrajovic  8.2.2005

great article - but I´m puzzled as to why there´s no mention of the upcoming exhibit -

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