Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Canan Şenol

Canan Şenol

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Canan Şenol (b. 1970) was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, where she lives and works today. She studied painting at Marmara University, Istanbul, from 1994 to 1998. In 2006, she completed a residency at The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has had solo exhibitions at Rahmi M KoƧ Museum, Istanbul; Tabela, Istanbul; Laden No:5, Germany; KBH Kunsthal, Copenhagen, and Festival De Rode Loper, Amsterdam. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Passage de Retz, Paris; Centrum Beeldende Kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands; Istanbul Technical University; Gallery 291, London; Gian Carla Zanutti Gallery, Milan; Istanbul Bilgi University; Proje 4L, Istanbul; Parc de la Villette, Paris; Skironio Centrum Kiffissia, Athens; Gallery Berkelkraftwerk, Vreden, Germany; Emser Salon, Germany; Apartman Project, Istanbul; Maribor Art Gallery, Slovenia; and Radikal Art, Istanbul. She also was invited to participate in the Bienal de Valencia, Spain, in 2001, and the İstanbul Biennial in 2005.

Şenol is a featured artist in Global Feminisms at the Brooklyn Museum, curated by Maura Reilly and Linda Nochlin.

I describe my work with the feminist slogan that is still pertinent today: “Personal is political.” I start from the point of view that the ideological system is following the path to “body restriction” by spying on and normalizing us by means of controlling our personal lives. I am questioning the governing power of such institutions as religion, government, society and family on our private lives.

I focus my work on the concepts that are glorified, that are transformed into taboos, that are not talked about, and that have a continuum without being questioned. Daily life has been the biggest influence on my work. From this point of view the artwork becomes provocative, aggressive, erotic, risky and violent. Artwork, then, has the act of meeting the private with public space.

View Canan Şenol's CV (PDF)

UntitledSee No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No EvilPink DreamsKybeleFinally you are in me!Nisai (Pertaining to Women)Odalisque

Strange Creature (Acaibul Mahlukat)fountain

Istanbul, Avcilar


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