Museum Ritter
Alfred-Ritter-Straße 27
71111 Waldenbuch

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Şakir Gökçebağ
Twists & Turns

16 October 2022 to 16 April 2023


Şakir Gökçebağ has come up with a refreshingly original version of minimalism in his art. His works consist of simple items of everyday use – all mass produced and preferably from hardware centres, clothes shops or general household stores. Taking simple everyday objects like coat hangers, umbrellas, or toilet rolls, he arranges them in subtle compositions that operate at the interface of abstraction and figuration.

Even if sometimes the source material chosen for a work only reveals itself at second glance, it is important to Gökçebağ that it remains recognizable and its identity is not erased. In fact, it is an essential part of his concept that these everyday objects are known and found the world over. In this way, his art speaks a global language and remains true to life. By embedding banal quotidian things in an art context, they receive a new, unsuspected attention, and moreover undergo an elevating change in meaning while still keeping their feet firmly on the ground.


Gökçebağ achieves this transformation by carefully chosen strategies of defamiliarisation, as for instance accumulation, serial arrangement, and processes of decomposition such as dividing up, breaking apart, and cutting into pieces.

By these means he arrives at works marked by striking visual effects where movement may be simulated, or filigree structures emerge with a noticeably calligraphic character. Gökçebağ almost always strives to create a systematic order, for which he is particularly fond of employing repetitive patterns. Consequently, many of his works have a distinctly ornamental quality, which at times evokes the abstract imagery of the Orient and thus references a cultural sphere that the Turkish-born artist is very familiar with.

Despite their precise execution and the structural rigour of their construction, Gökçebağ's works are certainly not deadly serious. Indeed, the twenty or so works in the exhibition are proof that his art has always a dash of humour, which comes from his resourceful metamorphosis of the quotidian.



1965 born in Denizli (TR)
1983─1994 studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Marmara University, Istanbul (B.A. / M.A. / PhD)
1991 Scholarship from the Austrian Federal Government, International Summer Academy of Fine Arts Salzburg
1991 State Painting and Sculpture Prize, Ankara
1995 / 96 DAAD Deutschlandstipendium, Düsseldorf Art Academy
1996 Markus Lüpertz Prize, Düsseldorf Academy
2012 George Maciunas Prize, Wiesbaden
2015 Work scholarship, Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn
2016 Leo Breuer Prize, Landschaftsverband Rheinland, Bonn
2020 Stipend of the artists' residence Chretzeturm, Windler Foundation, Stein am Rhein (CH)
The artist has lived and worked in Hamburg since 2001.