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Sara Bilge Caglar

View Sara Bilge Caglar's Gallery

Sara Bilge Caglar


Born in Istanbul, Turkey, received her Masters of Art Degree at the State University of New York. Her paintings are in private collections in U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Turkey and in Europe. She resides in Toronto, Canada since 1986.
In his 1821 book entitled "The Pleasures of Painting", William Hazlitt observed: "One is never tired of painting, because you have to set down, not what you already knew, but what you have just discovered." The paintings of Sara Bilge Caglar exhibit the wondrous discoveries that Hazlitt considered essential to avoid the ennui of the genre. Canvas after canvas, her art gives us new excitements in color, in form, in texture, in theme. She possesses the assurance of "what she already knows", which is part of her aesthetic wisdom. Secure in her technique, she ventures into innovation and discovery with a verve that is nothing short of audacity. The result is often evocative of the ancient maxim that Horace made his own two millennia ago: "Painters and poets alike have always had licence to dare anything." "Ut pictura poesis." In a real sense, Sara Bilge Caglar's art is poetic. Each painting is composed as a courageous poem. The fascinating technique that she has used for many years - painting without a brush - is an apt metaphor for what John Ruskin might have identified as "a noble and expressive language." Hers is a direct, striking creative experience. Sensuously she shapes her enchanting panoramas and her dramatic personae in vivid lines and effusive colors. She hides no figure or object behind any artifice or gewgaw. Her eyes are transfixed on essence; her hands revel in the truth of color, in the honesty of paint.
Few artists have Caglar's untrammelled joy and melismatic sadness. Her birds, trees, mosques, vessels, shadow theater characters, dancers, flowers celebrates nature and life with an exuberance one rarely finds elsewhere in contemporary art. Yet, many of these vibrant objects and figures seem to stand not only in dignity but also in some quiet grief. There is no gloom in sight, nor even any chiaroscuro. The viewer hears in the crescendoes of color some whispers of sorrow. Caglar refrains from painting, as Percy Bysshe Shelley evoked in "The Revolt of Islam", "With hue like that when some great painter dips / His pencil in the gloom of earthquake and eclipse." Her canvas is always filled with dramatic action or at least with power in repose. But it has no earthquake or eclipse. The artist has placed her trust in natural forces and human emotions - not in violence. That is why each Caglar painting is unfailingly appealing without falling prey to superficiality. Each one is authentic because it creates the integrity of feeling, form and function in a climate of color.
Sara Bilge Caglar is a universalist, to be sure. But aspects of her Turkish cultural orientation are also visible - often to good advantage. One need not dwell on such obvious analogies as perspectives from Turkish miniature paintings and arrangements of color from Near Eastern rugs. The relationship is more profound - in terms of aesthetic quest, of the Anatolian landscape, of architectural sense, of cultural iconography. It is as if Caglar explores the quintessence of her native country's panoply of images and repertoire of creative values - and then re-casts them into her own art with a special style and spirit, with a strong appeal for a spectrum of tastes. Ultimately her work is unique: it captivates with visual strategies and psy- chological thrusts bearing her imprint.
Whatever her hand touches or her brush spatters seems destined to unfurl pleasure. Caglar's art exudes beauty. There are times when it provides glimpses of an imagined Paradise.
by Talat S. Halman
Professor, New York University
Turkey's former Minister of Culture
Turkey's Ambassador for Cultural Affairs

Recent Exhibitions and Shows

Her Solo Shows
1971- Or-An Gallery,Ankara
1980- Turkish Center, New York
1983 - T.C.A. Art Center, New York
1985 - Gallery Sara, Aspen, Colorado
1986 - Gallery Hittite, Toronto
1987 - Gallery Hittite, Toronto
1988 - Gallery Hittite, Toronto
1989 - Gallery Hittite, Toronto
1990 - Alliance Fran?aise, Toronto
1991 - Gallery Hittite, Toronto
1992 - Gallery Herouet, Paris
1992 - Gallery Levent, Istanbul
1994 - Association Aixoise Des Amis des Arts, Aix En Provence, France
1994- Hotel & Casavone, France Case du SUD
1995 - T?rkiye Is Bankasi, Ankara
1996- Gallery Hittite, Toronto

Other Information

Company Name: Gallery Hittite

Category: Paintings

Media:Oil on Canvas

Note: All images on this site are copyright and cannot be reproduced without the expressed consent of the artist.