• Evren Tekinoktay
  • 20.01—17.02.24

The Approach is pleased to present MOTH II by Evren Tekinoktay, her fifth exhibition at the gallery. MOTH II is the second iteration of a two-part exhibition with the first, MOTH, hosted by Collaborations in Copenhagen opening in late 2023. The exhibitions are connected by including works that were made within the same moment, using the same artistic processes.

For Tekinoktay the moth evokes numerous symbolic connotations; as crepuscular creatures, they represent a shift between day and night, endings and beginnings, life and death.

MOTH II connects deeply to Tekinoktay’s memories, some of which remain lucid whilst others grasp to a more intangible feeling. The artist recalls childhood summers spent visiting Turkey, noticing the matrilineal connection to handicrafts and textile practices. She recalls watching silkworms softly crawling, spinning their beautiful thread before it ultimately finds its way woven into a fine scarf or tablecloth. The quilts in MOTH II are inspired from these traditional techniques. In fact, many hands are involved in the process of their making, including Tekinoktay’s mother who helps to complete the meticulous finishing touches. The maternal continues to reverberate in the title of her works, for example, CAPRICE DU FEMME was the name of Tekinoktay’s grandmother’s perfume; and MOTH of course forms the first part mother.

Where Tekinoktay’s quilts begin as drawings, her neons start life as collages, though both series were made within the same period of concentration and are intended to complement one another. Tekinoktay has a distinctive palette which has persisted throughout her artistic career. Working with gentle pastel hues, baby pinks and blues, creams and corals form the base of her colour world. These shades evoke a retro feminine quality, partnered with the use of neon – forever married to the street signage of Red Light Districts – a sense of desire or the erotic emerges from these works. The neons are fabricated by hand in the artist’s studio. The background of the neons is comprised of hand-painted hinterglass, using her intuitive graphic language, Tekinoktay paints geometric forms and lines which require a kind of ‘thinking in reverse’ in order to produce them. The neons emanate a seductive ambient glow, with an almost hypnotising effect, they draw in the viewer – like a moth attracted to a flame.

Evren Tekinoktay (b. 1972, Copenhagen, Denmark) lives and works in Copenhagen. Selected exhibitions include Wintermusic, Collaborations, Copenhagen, DK (2021); Lotus, Pilevneli Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey; Serpentine, The Approach, London, UK; If I was your girlfriend, Belmacz, London (all 2018); Neon: The Charged Line, The Grundy, Blackpool; Background / Foreground, Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm (both 2017); Bermuda, David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen (2016); Ulalume, The Approach, London (2015); MOON SILK LUCID WALK, Den Frie, Copenhagen, Denmark (2015); The Inhabitants, Apart, Hotel Kong Arthur, Copenhagen, Denmark (2012); Purple Head, Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey (2011); U, Imo projects, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011); Lysets Land, Projekt Skagen, GI.Skagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011); Eldorado, Galerist, Istanbul, Turkey (2009); Material, Operation Room Gallery, American Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey (2009); Til Vægs, Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark (2009); A slightly pregnant man, The Approach, London, UK (2008); Rooming In, Patricia Low Gallery, Gstaad, Switzerland (2008); Kunst Giver Liv, Kunstindustrimuseet, Copenhagen, Denmark (2008).