For the first time in Turkey, an exhibition consisting only of the works of the painter Şevket Dağ was opened at the Folkart Gallery. There were 60 works in the exhibition. In the exhibition “A Painter in the Magic of Time and Space: Şevket Dağ”, in which 42 different collectors and owner institutions presented their works, the work “Interior of Hagia Sophia”, which was shown as Şevket Dağ's masterpiece, was presented to art lovers. Fahri Özdemir was the project director of the exhibition and Özdemir Erdem was the curator. In addition to 60 works of art, the exhibition also included personal belongings of the painter Şevket Dağ such as sketchbooks, his palette, easel, paint box, photographs, and many correspondences. A 320-page album in Turkish and English, titled “A Painter in the Magic of Time and Space: Şevket Dağ”, was prepared for the exhibition. The album featured the works of Sinan Genim, Fahri Özdemir, Evrim Altuğ, Malik Aksel, Cemal Tollu and Şeref Akdik, as well as their works and documents and objects related to him.
'It was very difficult, we put a lot of effort'
Folkart Chairman of the Board Mesut Sancak said, “Şevket Dağ is one of the most important artists of Turkish painting. He has a total of 250 works known during his lifetime. About 100 of them are missing. Its whereabouts are unknown. We were able to bring together 60 of 150 for this exhibition. It was very difficult, we put a lot of effort. Thank you to the collectors who gave permission for the works to be exhibited. When I saw the works closely, I felt that it was really worth our effort. An exhibition not to be missed. To give an example, the work "Interior of Hagia Sophia" has been standing on the same wall since 1943. It is exhibited here for the first time today. Many works have a similar story. It is the largest Şevket Dağ exhibition held in this context. We will carry it to Ankara or Istanbul," he said.
'The most important figure in painting organizations in Turkey'
Folkart Gallery Coordinator Fahri Özdemir said that they have been working for the exhibition for a long time, and that there is a preparation period of 3.5 - 4 years. Özdemir said, “We collected works from many institutions, organizations and private collectors. We can say that Şevket Dağ's first solo exhibition in the history of Türkiye. He is the most important figure in painting organizations in Turkey. In the exhibition you will see a process up to 1944. You will see how the architecture has changed. I recommend art lovers not to miss it," he said.
“Folkart succeeded the hard way”
Boğaziçi University Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Zafer Toprak said:
“Folkart performs a very important function. Folkart fills an important gap in İzmir's cultural life, in the field of art, with this gallery. Fahri Bey's selection is a very neat selection. It emerges as a result of combining some hard-to-reach materials. Working on Şevket Dağ is an extremely difficult field. We found almost nothing at first. Folkart overcame the challenge and gifted us a valuable exhibition. Şevket Dağ's painting opens up many new horizons for us. Religious places have a special place in Şevket Dağ. Coloring of these spaces is very rare. In this context, Şevket Dağ opens a wide horizon for us.”
“A very valuable record in history”
Dean of Marmara University Atatürk Faculty of Education, who gave permission for 5 works to be included in the exhibition. Dr. Seyfi Kenan, on the other hand, said, “Some of the works that are currently in the dean's office of our Atatürk Education Faculty are exhibited here. I find this exhibition very valuable and meaningful. We see the last period of an empire, the first years of the Republic, the current appearance of historical artifacts from the brush of Şevket Dağ. A very valuable record falls into history. I would like to thank Folkart for this beautiful and meaningful exhibition.”
“We are grateful to Folkart”
Visiting the exhibition, Mimar Sinan Genim said, “We are grateful to Folkart. Sevket Dag was a very important painter. In addition to painting, education was very important. He's very hardworking. He transferred painting outside of the workshop to his students. He takes important roles in the Ottoman Painters' Association and the post-Republic Turkish Painters' Association in order for painting to gain value in Turkish society. This is his first collective painting exhibition. Şevket Dağ, who opened his exhibition with 5 works in a pudding shop for the first time in 1902, later participated in various exhibitions with his works until 1944. After his death, his works are included in different group exhibitions. However, until now, no exhibition has been held where only Şevket Dağ works are exhibited.