Nejat Sati, Nelumbo Nucifera, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 14 1⁄8 × 10 5⁄8".

Nejat Sati, Nelumbo Nucifera, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 14 1⁄8 × 10 5⁄8".

Nejat Sati

Pi Artworks | Istanbul

Since his debut exhibition at Istanbul’s Apartment Project a decade ago, Nejat Sati has become a rarity in Turkey’s installation- and video-dominated art world, thanks to his devotion to canvas and paint. Out of all the forty-two works in his earlier shows—“Hypoglottis,” 2010, and “State of Mind,” 2012—only two were mixed media: Tongue, 2010, a sculpture made from colorful pills, and Totem, 2012, an installation comprising one hundred paint cans lined up end to end to form what looked like a pipe. Acrylic abstractions with a metallic sheen made up the bulk of his early shows. Energetic in their dance of colors, those works were introspective; only a handful, such as Melancholy VI, 2012, which mimics a broken ATM display screen, hinted at an interest in social concerns.

In the summer of 2013, after the Turkish government crushed an uprising in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, Sati fled the city, settled

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