Within his unreal experience the opposition between the conscious and subconscious is also surpassed by a new dimension, the dimension of depth, or Deepism. Deepism is accepted as a basic category representative of the new era in which we live.
Yucel Donmez has been continuing his artistic work in Chicago since 1980. He has staged many exhibitions both in Turkey and in the States and was accepted into one of the most influential art encyclopaedias to shape American art history, Who is Who in American Art in 2000. His inclusion in the Biographical Encyclopaedia of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers of the U.S. in 2002, followed by the Devonports Art Reference encyclopaedia, Donmez has secured a permanent place in American art history. Yucel Donmez also appears among the 63 artists from Chicago to have entered the renowned art reference book, Art Diary International, published every year by the famous Flash Art magazine in Italy.
Awards & Exhibitions & Media
2003 Who is Who in American Art prize plaquette. Donmez has been recognised by American art critics (Alan Artner, Chicago Tribune, 1989) as an artist who has shed new light upon the art of painting with his self-developed painting techniques. He obtained The National Medal of Art one of the most important awards in the United States in 1995, for his 11-year-long dedication to bringing art to education working with Urban Gateways.
Other awards Yucel Donmez has been given include the following:
1983 Urban Gateways Award for Painting. 11 of Donmez paintings were given prizes and added to the art collection of 11 schools who have been working with the Organisation for over 25 years.
1993 Outdoor Art Award. Donmez was given the Outdoor Art Award for his snow painting project in todays Millennium Park in Chicago, sponsored by five different organisations. 1987 Chicagos Very Own. Donmez appeared four times on the main news of one of Americas national television channels, WGN. He received the prestigious Chicagos Very Own status in 1987 (other winners of the award in later years included Michael Jordan).
1987 The Art Institute of Chicago. During the 1987 Sultan Suleyman exhibition, Donmez was awarded the chance to display his artwork at the Junior Museum, sponsored by the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the three biggest museums in the US. He was awarded this by the assessment committee of the museum. 1984 Illinois State Ethnic Heritage Commission Award was given to Donmez as the representative of Turkish painting.
Corporate Work: Yucel Donmez 12 square metre-large acrylic painting on metal on show in the Taksim-Kabatas funicular station, is the first work of a transportable contemporary art to be placed in a public space in Turkey. Also in the station is a 7 square metre contemporary painting under glass, which Donmez produced using his own unique techniques, known as the biggest under-glass painting in the world. The artist has also painted a winch measuring 4.5 metres in diameter and forming the pulley system for the funicular wagon in Taksim. Encased in a special glass box, this giant cog is the first time a functioning motor has been turned into a piece of conceptual art. Again in the Taksim-Kabatas station, Donmez has placed a digital interpretation of Istanbul above the entrance of the funicular wagon, measuring five square metres. Yucel Donmez also has 3 pieces of artwork on permanent display in the Golden Hall at the Palace of the Federation of Northern Iraq. Dnmez unique paintings for the palace, designed by a Turkish firm, were selected by a committee of art experts. One of Donmez paintings is also displayed at the Chicago Foreign Media Bureau lounge.
Some of Yucel Donmez most important exhibitions:
1974 - Chicago Art Fair (Navy Pier) individual exhibition
1975 - Chicago Main Public Library art gallery, individual statue exhibition
1975 - Galeri Veb, Istanbul, individual exhibition
1981 - Chiago State University Gallery, individual exhibition
1981 - Truman College, individual exhibition
1987 - The Art Institute of Chicago, individual museum exhibition
1987 - New York Turkish House Gallery, individual exhibition
1987 - Mediterranean Art Festival, U.S -Miami and Bocoraton individual exhibitions (Donmez was sent to the Mediterranean Art Festival by the Turkish Ministry of Culture as a representative of Contemporary Turkish Art)
1988 - Illinois State Fair- Senior Cente, individual exhibition
1989 - Chicago Triangle Gallery, individual exhibition
1990 - Chicago Montana Moon Gallery, individual exhibition
1990 - Dadyados Gallery, Istanbul, individual exhibition
1990 - Istanbul Art Fair, Dadyados Gallery, two individual exhibitions
1990 - Topkap Palace Gallery, individual exhibition (This exhibition was named the first exhibition of contemporary art in the museum, making headlines across the press including in Hrriyet Newspaper
2001 - Berlin International Electronics Fair, digital installation exhibition (sponsored by Vestel; the digital installations were shown on a plasma screen throughout the fair)
1992 - Gallery2000Chicago, individual exhibition
1993 - Gallery2000Chicago, installation exhibition
1994 - Gallery2000Chicago- painting and metal statue exhibition
1998 - Antik Art Gallery, Istanbul, individual exhibition
1999 - Chicago University Digital art exhibition
2000 - Ohio-US Art Festival, individual exhibition
2000 - Tuyap Art Fair, Istanbul - Gallery2000Chicago exhibition
2001 - Gallery2000Chicago, alternative Gallery, individual exhibition
2001 - Zerdust Gallery, Ankara, individual canvas and digital art exhibition
2002 - Art Istanbul, Gallery2000Chicago exhibition
2003 - Gallery2000Chicago, Alternative Gallery Exhibition
2005 - Antik Art Gallery, Istanbul
Collections including Donmez paintings:
Former American Secretary of State, Alexander Haig Collection
Former CBS network Good Morning America presenter, Bill Kurtis, producer on PBS television
James Irwin, Apollo 15 Astronaut, Third American Astronaut to walk on the moon
Former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson
Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar
Former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Ylmaz
Fuji Film Istanbul
Bahesehir University, Istanbul
Vestel Electronics- Manisa
Chicago City Council
Individual Artistic Endeavours
1975 - Yucel Donmez performed an art installation of 11 rock sculptures in the Altparmak Mountains Guartad Valley (this work was reported by Milliyet Newspaper Journalist Zeynep Oral, and is the first artistic endeavour to fit under the title of installation art). Donmez exhibited 11 rock sculptures in harmony in the Guartad Valley, and revealed that he had created an art installation. In this way, it could be said that installation art found its origins in Turkey. However, as a result of lack of interest in art at the time, Dnmez innovative style was overlooked, and it was in the 1990s that installation art came to be known as a Western invention.
1975 Yucel Donmez snow painting in the Turkish mountain Uludag in Bursa was a winter version of installation art. They were reported and broadcast on Neslihan Gences television programme, Sanat Cevresi (Art Circle) on Turkish state television channel, TRT.
1976 Snow painting in the Hns Gorges of Erzurums Palandoken Mountains, Turkey.
1987 Donmez was invited to come to Turkey by the Ministry of Culture and realized another snow painting in Uluda Mountain. The televised report in English by the TRT television network was sold to Eurovision, enabling it to be broadcast across many television channels across Europe. During the same period, the Ministry of Culture acquainted foreign groups with Donmez work through the broadcasting of television interviews with Donmez made in the US, showing Turkeys contribution to contemporary art.
1993 The snow painting in Chicago Grand Park (todays Millennium Park) with the involvement of American CBS was broadcast by the Associated Press.
1996 Sponsored by Fuji Film Istanbul, Donmez realised a 15 thousand square metre snow painting near the summit of Uluda mountain in Turkey.
2000 A 45 square metre painting with primary school children in Middletown city in the US state of Ohio. This endeavour was recognised as the worlds biggest painting to be created by children aged 9-11 at the Ohio Art Festival.
Donmez in the media:
Various newspapers including the Denver Post, Minnesota Pioner Press, Chicago Tribune, The News Sun, Chicagos Monthly Consumer Bulletin, and the Times have published extensive reviews of Yucel Donmez work. Donmez various artistic endeavours have also appeared on the television channels, CNN, CBS,WGN, NBC and ABC.
In addition to this, catalogues of Donmez work have been published.
Comments on Donmez painting:
American critics describe Donmez, with his unique painting technique incorporating traditional Turkish arts such as marbling, Ottoman calligraphy and ornamentation, as Someone who has developed a contemporary painting style from his own culture, and made the contemporary art world accept and cherish this novel style. Donmez latest artistic endeavours have amazed Turkish art critics as well as their American counterparts. Art critic Alan Artner of the Chicago Tribune has said of Donmez art, Just as I cannot see resemblance to another master artists style when I look at Kandinsky and Klees work, I cannot see anothers work or any western influence when I look at Yucel Donmezs paintings. What he has created blending his own culture with the Wests contemporary synthesis is an innovative addition to the world of contemporary fine art. Margaret Sheridan described Donmez style in a report in the Chicago Tribune as, An incredible painting style, also mentioning the installation art he performed in the 1970s.
A first in under-glass paintings
Yucel Donmez original under-glass painting technique, developed from traditional under-glass paintings, is accepted worldwide as a first with its unique style. Putting across a completely contemporary style of painting, Donmez under-glass paintings have, in earning their place in important art collections in the US, enabled yet another form of Turkish art to be exported overseas.
Yucel Donmez is continuing his artistic work between his studios in Chicago and Istanbul. Set on spending at least six months of the year in Turkey, Donmez states that he will also be taking part in projects throughout Europe with his work.