Kristin Saleri (1915-2006)

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A prominent 20th century Turkish artist of Armenian descent, Kristin Saleri was recognized as a child prodigy at an early age. She received her initial art training from Prof. DeMille and Feyhaman Duran Studio at the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts and later under the tutelage of artist André Lhote in Paris. (In this rare archival footage from 1953, we get a glimpse of André Lhote's studio ››)
A prolific artist, she has produced over 3,000 (the exact number being unknown) pieces of art during her long career in Istanbul. Oil paintings made up her predominant art medium while ceramics, glass, and charcoal providing alternative, albeit equally creative channels of artistic expression.
Most notable recognitions:
• Silver Medal, Paris L'art Moderne, Club International Feminine Exhibition (1964)
• Gold Medal, Athens Club International Feminine Exhibition (1967)
• First Honorable Mention, International Monaco Exhibition (1967)
• Jury Prize - Vichy U.F.A.C.S.I International Exhibition (1978)
• Recognition Plaque - The Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism (1987)

 

She held 40 plus private shows (first in 1956, last in 1997 both in Istanbul) and contributed to 600 group exhibitions around the globe including Ankara, London, Paris, Brussels, Athens, Frankfurt and Washington D.C. Her works have been acquired by Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum, Ankara State Museum, Paris Centre Pompidou: Musée National d'Art Moderne, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon, and numerous private collectors worldwide.
She was apolitical, yet, undeterred by the huge hurdles of being a female minority artist in a period of social and ethnic strain in post World War II Turkey. Saleri became a leading force in the Turkish art community- co-founder of International Turkish Female Artists Association (1965), co-chair of Turkish Painters Association and used her art to convey a message of modern feminism.
Kristin Saleri's art represented an inexplicably harmonious blend of Eastern mysticism with Western impressionism fused through a variety of themes-music, whirling dervishes, folklore, trees of love, Anatolian women, children -- which in her words "...were nothing but metaphors for life in different shapes."

 

"Discovering Kristin Saleri" is a project initiated in 2010 by her three children to capture and memorialize her immense,
albeit not yet fully recognized, contributions to 20th century art.