Lot 2
  • 2


bidding is closed


  • Sarkis
  • Interpretation Alvar Aalto Opus 1 (Foyer Etudiant de Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1947-48)
  • signed, titled and dated 2010
  • watercolour on Arche paper and neon tubes in Plexiglas box


Galeri Manâ, Istanbul


Paris, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Opus II, 2011
Delft, Galerie de Zaal, OPUS Series in Delft, 2012

Catalogue Note

Sarkis’s much celebrated series Opus is his personal analysis and visual interpretation of various historically revered architectural structures. The term opus itself is referential to a musical composition, or a large scale art work. Within Opus, Sarkis delivers a combination of the two, visually illustrating architectural plans as if a musical score, these seemingly enlarged aerial views are lyrically fingerprinted by the artist onto the surface plane.

Diverse in geography, culture and era, his exploration contrasts contemporary and historical structures, each plan presented as a coded method of linear representation. Sarkis questions the spatial properties of iconic buildings which he fingerprints using watercolour on paper. His method of execution acts as a scaled measurement of the space which he aims to portray. Sarkis’s sitemaps aim to encompass the unseen atmosphere and energy present in each space; engaging in discourse with the architect and the structure itself. His choice of buildings vary between masterpieces; such as spaces designed by the legendary architect Sinan, the Selimiye Mosque and the Atik Valide Mosque Complex, and distinguished examples of Ottoman architecture such as Haghia Sophia, and Ulu Mosque.

Sarkis also explores works by pivotal pioneers of contemporary architecture; the Cathedral of Le Corbusier in Ronchamp, Daniel Liebeskind’s Jewish Museum in Berlin and the present work, Alvar Aalto's Students' Foyer. These maps are intended to be attached to the surface of a wall, similar to ancient murals found in the interiors of the aforementioned structures; the brown pigment used in this piece alludes to the physical presence of the structure. White neon framing of each work exalts the artist’s surface plane producing an ethereal impression which iconises and further highlights the importance assigned to Modernist architecture.