Arkas Art Center Hosts Two Master Artists: Nejad Devrim & Mübin Orhon: Deux voyageurs d’images

Arkas Art Center is spotlighting two master artists, Nejad Devrim and Mübin Orhon, with its latest exhibition that opened on September 22, 2023, under the direction of Müjde Unustası and curated by Dr. Necmi Sönmez. Titled “Nejad Devrim & Mübin Orhon: Deux voyageurs d’images,” this exhibition delves into the mature period works of these two artists, created during the centenary of their lives, and coinciding with a significant historical moment as the Republic of Türkiye celebrates its 100th anniversary. It offers a unique opportunity to explore how the ideals of the Republic influenced their art and education, as well as the pinnacle of their independent artistic expressions. The exhibition brings together the paintings of these two artists, which have received international acclaim and found their place in the collections of some of the world’s leading modern art museums, as visual results of the civilization level aimed by the Republic.

The exhibition “Nejad Devrim & Mübin Orhon: Deux voyageurs d’images” sheds light on the extraordinary life journeys and artistic experiments of Nejad Devrim and Mübin Orhon, who opened a new chapter in Modern Turkish Art with their unconventional approaches, originality, distinctiveness, and courage. Born in Istanbul, both artists achieved remarkable success after working in Paris in the post-1945 period, bridging Turkish and European art through their unique interpretations. This exhibition takes a closer look at their artworks, emphasizing the bold decisions behind their creations and the cultural exchange that shaped their colors, forms, and images—a first-time exploration of the concept of “intercultural interaction” in the context of their art.

Nejad Devrim and Mübin Orhon, educated during the Republican reforms and influenced by them due to their birthdates, hold a special place in art history as the first generation, whose artworks were shaped under the light of these reforms. This generation, which underwent all their education with the new Turkish alphabet, occupies a unique position in the realm of Art History, as they introduced the first distinct interpretations of the Modernization movement.

Lucien Arkas, Chairman of Arkas Holding, remarked, “Our 26th exhibition at the Arkas Art Center focuses on the extraordinary life stories and artistic journeys of two pioneering artists in Modern Turkish Art, namely Nejad Devrim and Mübin Orhon. Bringing their artworks together, this exhibition provides a fitting opportunity to celebrate their lives, which coincide with the founding of the Turkish Republic as we mark its 100th anniversary.”

Müjde Unustası, Director of Arkas Art Center, added, “When we gaze upon these paintings and consider the struggles behind them, we encounter the captivating colors and forms of Nejad Devrim’s idea of ‘witnessing beauty,’ as expressed in one of his letters. This exhibition, comprising mainly works exhibited for the first time in Türkiye, introduces Nejad Devrim and Mübin Orhon to younger generations. We firmly believe that their works, shaped by the ideals of the Republic, will serve as a guiding light for the century ahead.” Unustası shared details regarding the inclusion of artworks from diverse collections in the exhibition, stating, “For this exhibition, we’ve assembled over 90 works from six different collections, including the Arkas Collection. By bringing together pieces from various collections, we’ve created a more comprehensive exhibition that offers a deeper insight into the artists’ creations. I’d like to extend my gratitude to all the collectors who generously contributed their artworks to this exhibition.”

The exhibition’s curator, Dr. Necmi Sönmez, stated, “The paintings by these two artists, which have garnered international acclaim and found their place in the collections of some of the world’s leading modern art museums, can be considered visual results of the level of civilization aimed for by the Republic. Another distinctive aspect that sets them apart is that they were among the first Turkish artists to showcase their presence on the international stage by continuing their artistic careers abroad. In 1947, Devrim and in 1956, Orhon successfully opened their first solo exhibitions in Paris, with no support behind them. This not only affirmed their own existence but also represented a significant achievement for Turkish Art. When we evaluate the works in the exhibition in conjunction with the artists’ life stories, it becomes evident how they developed unique interpretations through challenging life circumstances.”

The “Nejad Devrim & Mübin Orhon: Deux voyageurs d’images ” exhibition brings together over 90 works from six collections, with many being exhibited for the first time. The exhibition presents Nejad Devrim’s journey, starting with figurative and Byzantine art-influenced works from the early 1940s and extending to abstract and figurative art between the 1960s and 1995. It also showcases Mübin Orhon’s artistic evolution, commencing with geometric and abstract works between the late 1940s and 1960s, progressing to Abstract Expressionism in the second half of the 1960s, and to the Monochrome period from 1968 to 1981.

The exhibition is open to the public until February 18, 2024, offering an opportunity for art enthusiasts to gain a deeper understanding of the two master artists and their works.

Arkas Art Center also offers a discussion session led by Director Müjde Unustası and an exhibition tour guided by Curator Dr. Necmi Sönmez…

As part of the “Nejad Devrim & Mübin Orhon: Deux voyageurs d’images” exhibition that opened on September 22, 2023, a guided exhibition tour led by curator Dr. Necmi Sönmez took place on the same day. Following this tour, a discussion session open to visitors, featuring Müjde Unustası, Director of Arkas Art Center, was held.

Special Activities for Children…

Within the scope of the exhibition, children are discovering the joy of free creativity through the “Saturday Children’s Workshops” organized by Arkas Art Center for various age groups. After a 30-minute tour of the exhibition, the 30-minute workshop allows children to explore their talents and creativity. Participation in these free and limited-capacity activities can be reserved via the “Children’s Workshops” section on

The exhibition is free for all to visit at the Arkas Art Center.

Arkas Art Center Visiting Days:

Every day of the week except Monday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

1380 Sokak No:1 Alsancak, Izmir

+90 (232) 464 66 00