The most comprehensive Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu Retrospective Exhibition held in Turkey to date opens at the Folkart Gallery on January 13.

The most comprehensive Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu Retrospective Exhibition held in Turkey to date opens at the Folkart Gallery on January 13. Chairman Mesut Sancak emphasizing how important this exhibition is to Folkart and extended an invitation to the art lovers of Izmir. The event will feature never-before-exhibited pieces by Eyüboğlu.

"Loving is a Fine Occupation, Chief" is a retrospective of Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, prolific painter, poet and writer who has works in various field of art. The exhibition will put on display works from different eras of Eyüboğlu’s life and runs between January 13 and March 12. The exhibition is free of charge.


Folkart Gallery General Coordinator Fahri Özdemir is the Project Director, and Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu’s students İbrahim Örs and Hanefi Yeter are the curators of the exhibition. The exhibition features letters and envelopes, photos, private articles and personal effects, as well as works in different fields of art, providing us a window into Eyüboğlu’s life. Nearly 200 pieces of art are presented, including his painting of Mari Gerekmezyan, for whom he wrote the poem, “Karadut” (Black Mulberry). Furthermore, one of the most striking pieces of the exhibition is a bust of Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu made by Armenian sculptor Mari Gerekmezyan. There will also be an 18-minute documentary featured at the exhibition.


Emphasizing how important this exhibition is to Folkart, Chairman Chairman Mesut Sancak said that they have prepared for it meticulously, and added,

“We are honored to be hosting at the Folkart Gallery the works of Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, 'Master of Masters,' who to date has contributed greatly to cultivating numerous artists. Our exhibition will also put on display never-before-exhibited pieces by Eyüboğlu, who created works in various art branches as a painter, writer and poet. A lot of effort has been put into exhibiting the works, some of which will be seen for the first time. Therefore, I would like to thank our country's most acclaimed collectors for their contributions. Our exhibition is even more special with their support.”


Sancak asserted the importance and significance of each work of art, which Eyüboğlu forged from a diverse range of materials, ranging from wood to stone, and mosaic to paint. He highlighted the artist's many exclusive pieces that can be seen at the exhibition. He told the story behind the name, “Loving is a Fine Occupation, Chief,” set for the exhibition.

“Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu used to call his close friends and acquaintance as ‘chief.’ That was his thing. And, in return, others called him ‘chief’ as well. So, we combined Eyüboğlu's very special verses with the expression, ‘chief.’ You can find the details of the expression ‘chief’ in the exhibition album we put together. The exhibition album also feature renditions of Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu by prominent personalities including Doğan Hızlan, Hıfzı Topuz, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Ara Güler, Aziz Nesin, İlhan Berk, Mehmet Pesen, Turan Erol, Yaşar Kemal, and Ferit Edgü. Developed for the exhibition, the album will become an essential piece for your library.”


Folkart opened Folkart Gallery at the beginning of 2015 with aspirations to appreciate art and value artists with a 'corporate social responsibility' approach.

Turkey's biggest art gallery, Folkart Gallery, has put on display six different exhibitions to date. These exclusive Folkart Gallery projects included; “Magic of Hands,” “Song for Independence,” “Workers,” “Black African Art,” “White Sound of Blood,” and “Blood Red.”

Exhibition Description

Exhibition               : “Loving is a Fine Occupation, Chief” - Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu Retrospective Exhibition

Dates             : January 13 − March 12, 2017

Proje Director: Fahri Özdemir

Curators       : İbrahim Örs and Hanefi Yeter


Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu: Painter, Poet, and Writer...

1911 Is born in Görele, Giresun, where his father serves as the district governor. He spent his childhood in various Anatolian towns and cities due to his father's work.

1929 Encouraged by his painting teacher Zeki Kocamemi, he drops out of middle school in Trabzon to study at the Istanbul Fine Arts Academy. Works at the studios of both Nazmi Ziya and İbrahim Çallı.

1931 On the suggestion of his tutor İbrahim Çallı, he goes to France on a shared scholarship with his elder brother, Sabahattin Eyüboğlu. He works in Dijon and Lyon with aspirations to improve his French. He paints copies of Paul Gauguin’s works during this time. For the first time, his two works, “Trabzon’dan” and “Deniz,” are exhibited at the 8th edition of the Ankara Painting Exhibition of the Fine Arts Association.

1932 On his first trip to Paris, he meets Ernestine Letoni, a Romanian woman and Cemal Tollu's workshop friend. Works at André Lhote’s workshop for about one month in Paris.

1933 An avid admirer of Iznik tiles, the painter takes part in an exhibition at the Tuileries Palace in Paris with his works, portraying Anatolian motifs and figures named Yavuz, Gülcemal, and Gülnihal. Returns to Istanbul.

1934 Participates in the exhibit with the paintings he provides for the fourth exhibition of The Group D, making him a member of the group until his last exhibition. Begins writing and drawing for “Yeni Adam” magazine.

1935 Opens his first exhibition in Brussels with the efforts of Ernestine, his girlfriend of two years.

1936 Marries Ernestine in Istanbul. Ernestine takes the name “Eren.” Gets employed as a window dresser by the General Directorate of Monopolies. Designs the “Koşan Mızraklı Atlar” (Riding Lancing Horses) figure on the Sipahi Ocağı cigarette. Participates in the “Contemporary Turkish Art Exhibition.” Places first in the Fine Arts Academy's diploma competition with his work, “Hamam,” and became assistant to Léopold Lévy, who has taken over the Academy's management.

1937 His first book, Nazmi Ziya monograph, is published.

1938 Goes to Edirne with Arif Kaptan as part of the “Yurt Gezileri” (Country Tours) organized by the Republican People's Party through Halkevleri (People's Houses).

1939 Gets drafted as a Reserve Officer for his compulsory military service. His son Mehmet Hamdi Eyüboğlu is born. Receives the third prize in the First State Painting Exhibition with his work, “Figür” (Figure).

1941 Is sent to Çorum as part of the Country Tours organized by the Republican People's Party through People's Houses. His first poetry book “Yaradana Mektuplar” (Letters to the Creator) is published.

1942 Receives the second prize in the Fourth State Painting Exhibition with his work, “Hamam” (Hammam).

1943 Paints his first murals for the Ortaköy Lido Swimming Pool. Has a love affair with Mari Gerekmezyan, a student studying at the sculpture department. Portrays her in his poems and paintings with the name “Karadut” (Black Mulberry).

1946 Takes part in the “Turkish Painting Exhibition” at the Musée Cernuschi in Paris. Completes his second mural, a fresco depicting “Kız Kaçırma” (Abduction of Girl), at the entrance of the Ankara State Theater (Opera House).

1947 Leads the foundation of the “10’lar Grubu” (Group of 10), made up of young artists, mainly his students.

1948 His second poetry book “Karadut” (Black Mulberry) is published.

1950 Opens a “retrospective,” consisting of 150 paintings at the Ankara Faculty of Languages, History, and Geography. Begins focusing on mosaic works. Having been inspired by the “Musée de l'Homme” in Paris, develops the thesis, “Beauty must be useful,” and introduced a new interpretation to the “block printing” tradition.

1951 Opens his first block printing exhibition at the Maya Art Gallery in Istanbul. Begins writing for the Yeni Sabah, a newspaper. Becomes a regular contributor to Cumhuriyet, a daily broadsheet, beginning in January 1952 until 1958.

1952 yılının Ocak ayından başlayarak 1958 yılına kadar düzenli olarak “Cumhuriyet” gazetesinde yazdı.

1952 “Tuz” (Salt), his third poetry book, is published. Goes to Sivas to make a film for Âşık Veysel. The film would be censored in the following years.

1953 His block prints and original prints are put on display at the Philadelphia Print Club. Time magazine features his work on two color pages on its September 14 issue.

1954 His motif, “Türk Tepsisi” (Turkish Tray) wins a competition organized by Steuben Glass Works, an American art glass manufacturer. The motif is exhibited after being carved into crystal. Serves as president of the jury created for the purpose of decorating the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. He plays an instrumental role in sending 100 artists to Anatolia through the Province Paintings Program to ensure paintings are received from every city.

1956 Province Paintings Program ends in disappointment as the 208-painting exhibition was shut down on the same day it opens at the Ankara Sergievi. Varlık Publications publishes all of his poems in “Dördü Birden” and his essays in “Canım Anadolu.” Receives an honorary award at the São Paulo Art Biennial.

1957 Takes part in the Original Print Biennial in Tokyo.

1958 Receives a gold medal for the 272-square-meter mosaic panel he has built for Expo 58, also known as the Brussels World’s Fair.

1959 Builds the 50-square-meter mosaic panel, still in Brussels today, for the NATO building in Paris.

1960 Goes to the USA by invitation of the University of California. Gives lectures and opens exhibitions with the slogan, “Yaşasın Renk” (Long Live Colors).

1962 New York's The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) acquires his painting, “Zincir” (Chain).

1969 His poetry book, “Karadut 69” (Black Mulberry 69), is published.

1970 Builds a concrete stained-glass at the Turkish Embassy in Bonn, West Germany.

1972 Receives the first prize at the 33rd State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition with his work, “Sarı Saz” (Yellow Saz). His home in Kalamış burns down, causing great damage to his paintings and writings.

1975 On September 21, he passes away at the Cerrahpaşa Hospital, where he has been hospitalized for sometime.


My black mulberry, my forked darky, my Gypsy

My grain of pomegranate, my grain of light, my only one;

I am a tree, my limbs, a porch hanging with grapes

I am a hive, you are my honey, my bitter honey,

My sin, my plague.

Tongue of coral, teeth of coral, thighs of oyster,

I sacrifice my life for you, my wife,

Found you so unexpectedly,

My black mulberry, my forked darky, my gypsy,

What more will you be to me, my odd one, strange one?

My smiling quince, my weeping pomegranate,

My baby, my mare, my wife.