Critics’ Picks

Inci Furni, The Single Bed (Diary) - Night Journey, 2012–13, watercolor on paper, 9 x 9”.

Inci Furni, The Single Bed (Diary) - Night Journey, 2012–13, watercolor on paper, 9 x 9”.


Inci Furni

Galerie Krinzinger
Seilerstätte 16
October 9–November 14, 2013

The image-world of the young Turkish artist Inci Furni is strange. In her previous watercolors she presented a single scene on paper or an isolated motif, including flying superwomen, space architecture, birds, and mummified beings with leaves as protective shields. In her exhibitions, Furni has arranged these pages into personal and ultimately cryptic narratives, like visual diaries, often offering the suggestion of a planet that appears to support life. While a definitive deciphering of these images is not possible, their common points of reference seem to be social transformation and gender roles.

Last year Furni completed a residency in Paris during which she began a new series: “Same Thing Everyday.” No longer set in a fictional world, these watercolors portray her small temporary quarters and always feature a single bed (and sometimes a pillow). Not a single allusion to the city is included. The world has been shrunk down to the bed and is rarely interrupted by a leafless tree or a curtain. It is precisely this repetitiveness that makes these drawings enormously expressive: In the spare, matte colors, the uneasy forms, and the reduced composition, lies a blatant sadness. In the wild folds of the blankets, lost dreams and disappointed hopes seem to be hidden; the narrow space appears to leave no space for life. This series is also laid out like a diary, with the dates noted at the bottom right of the page. At times Furni completed several works per day, and sometimes only a few in a week. In the works made toward the end of the residency, the colors become increasingly bleak, the bed ever more desolate. These drawings are enormously intense descriptions of a condition that clearly appears to be extremely private and solitary.

Furni has gathered the pages into groups and presented them close together in long rows, further intensifying the feeling of oppression. Only one image stands alone: The Single Bed (Diary) - Night Journey, 2012–13, a nightmarish scene of monitor-like forms. Here, in startlingly strong, nearly aggressive colors, the gloomy atmosphere is extended further, even into virtual worlds.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.