Critics’ Picks

Leyla Gediz, Autopsy I, 2009, graphite on paper, 27 1/2 x 19 1/2".

Leyla Gediz, Autopsy I, 2009, graphite on paper, 27 1/2 x 19 1/2".


Leyla Gediz

Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:67 1st Floor
January 21–February 20, 2010

A massive plaster sculpture that depicts a balled-up gym sock is all that can be seen at the entrance to “Subject: Free,” Leyla Gediz’s exhibition of installations, graphite drawings, oil paintings, and epoxy sculptures. The sock that Gediz selected as her subject is beyond banal, almost unpleasant. Yet its size and lifelike detail make it a compelling object, especially in Istanbul, where much of the work in galleries now tends toward monumental subjects such as love and the potential meaning of life itself.

Gediz’s conceptual art draws comparisons to that of Tom Friedman, as her careful attention to boring objects gives them new value. For this show, the artist assigned herself the art school task of dutifully depicting common objects in different media. She presents drawings of desk lamps and drafting material, as well as a sculpture of a silver chain, which recalls cheaper models used to lock up bikes. But instead of securing or roping off something, Gediz’s giant work is attached to one wall and continues behind a freestanding wall on the other side of the room, where it fits through a hole in the window and dangles down the gallery building, as if a ladder to bring everyday objects from the outside world into the gallery and thereby make them into art.