Lot 15
  • 15

Canan Tolon

25,000 - 35,000 GBP
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  • Canan Tolon
  • Glitch III (From the Glitch Series)
  • signed, titled and dated 2007 on the reverse

  • oil on canvas


Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in 2008


Haldun Dostoglu, Ed., Canan Tolon, Istanbul 2011, p. 360, illustrated in colour


Condition: This work is in very good condition. Colour: The catalogue illustration is very accurate.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

"We look but we can't see anything. And because we can't see anything, nothing makes any sense. Then we begin to see a shape. That shape begins to clash with another one we see. It becomes impossible to understand and remember everything as a whole. This is the same in today's world. Constant clash of information makes it impossible for us to form opinions or remember things. Things that we see around us today cause a 'glitch' in our brain, a temporary malfunction and breakdown."

Canan Tolon

Trained as an architect, Canan Tolon has secured her place in the long history and tradition of Turkish art. Competing in a male-dominated venture in her field, she is recognised as arguably one of the most important living female contemporary artists. Feeling trapped in the restricted world of architecture, she turned her back on it and moved into art, deciding it would provide a better opportunity to interpret human needs and passions. Developing her inventive style throughout her artistic career, Tolon has worked with different media, using dollar bills and grass at times or choosing to paint directly on the floor. While she experimented with new methods to create each of her series, Tolon's drawing technique and appropriation of the tools she used as an architect became versatile throughout this innovate process.

Glitch III brings her preferred colours in this series to a new dimension. The stark contrast between the whites, blacks, oranges and greens create great depth against the two dimensionality of the canvas, tempting the viewer to look closer to see if there is an architectural monument or a portrait hidden between the layers of lines. As she explains herself, "Anyone who looks at a painting will always see a shape or a form in it. Even if there is no figure, they will imagine that there is one, even if it is an abstract painting. This is perhaps due to our need to associate what we see with forms that we are familiar with."

What Tolon successfully does with the Glitch series is to draw our attention to this complexity in trying to associate news and constant flow of information in today's world with something we can process, understand and digest. This series, from which the present work comes, implies an idea of chance errors or faults in a system; the system of a computer or a system of human brain. The layer upon layer of paint, reminiscent of the innerworkings of a processer, is used by the artist as a metaphor for the overload of information we face in society today. Although recent technological inventions are designed to make our lives better and more efficient, they have also become the source of never-ending information which bombards us constantly.

Dividing her time between San Francisco and Istanbul, Tolon continues to inspire and gain admiration with her paintings and sculptures which tackle deeper issues through abstraction. Glitch III, an extremely strong example from this well-known series, once again proves her outstanding talent and creativity as an artist.