Mehmet Güleryüz

Mehmet Güleryüz was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1938.

He entered The Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts' Department of Painting in 1958, from which he graduated in First Place in 1966. He also trained in acting whilst studying at the academy, taking part in various 'actor's studios' and important amateur theaters. In 1963, he began his professional acting career at the Arena Theater, directed by Asaf Çigiltepe.

Güleryüz opened his first personal art exhibition, featuring drawings, in 1963. Between 1970 and 1975 he received advanced training in painting and lithography during a state scholarship to Paris, creating his first sculptures and performance at the Pont des Arts in 1971.  This period also saw exhibitions at Galerie Thérèse Rouselle, Perpignan (1971), Galerie Luszpinski, Paris (1972), Galerie Philippe Demay, Paris (1974), Galerie Graffiti, Rouen (1974) and Galerie Thérèse Rouselle, Perpignan (1974). The years 1975 -1980 were spent teaching at the Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts' Painting Department; in 1980 he resigned this position and settled in New York, until 1984. Exhibitions during this period included Galerie Shlesinger - Boissanté, New York (1981), Galerie Thérèse Rouselle, Perpignan (1980 & 1984), Galerie 2016, Brussels (1984 & 1987)

Returning to Istanbul in 1985, Güleryüz provided art training at a studio with his own name at Bilsak. This practice continued until 2000.

In 1986 Güleryüz began to publish the art magazine "Kalın" (Thick); in 1988 he opened his 25th anniversary retrospective at the Ataturk Cultural Center, Istanbul, organized by Galeri Nev, Istanbul, and accompanied by a book written by Nan Freeman. This was followed by an exhibition at National Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Ankara, also organized by Galeri Nev, in 1990.

From 1989 to 1992 Güleryüz served as founding president of the International Fine Arts Organization of Turkey, and between 1990 and 1995 he published an interview column entitled "conversations with Güleryüz" in the magazine, Votre Beauté.

In 1991 he realized the monumental 14-painting cycle "Cross-Wind" for permanent installation in the atrium of the Ankara Sheraton Hotel. He then served as a visiting instructor at Bilkent University, Ankara, in 1992 - the same year as he realized a series of seven paintings for the lobby of the Polat Renaissance Hotel in Istanbul.

Güleryüz visited Bosnia in 1995 under the auspices of the 'Humanity for Bosnia' initiative. He revisited his theatrical training between 1998 and 2001, acting the character Pepino in the three-character play, An old clown is Wanted for a small Job at the Istanbul State Theater. The play later toured to Duisburg and Dusseldorf.

Güleryüz was re-elected as the President of the Turkish Fine Arts Association in 2000, in 2001 he was elected as the Eastern European President of the IAA, and upon unification the Vice-president of the unified European Presidency and as a member of the IAA World Administration Board.

In 2003 Güleryüz realized his 40-year drawing retrospective at the Yapı Kredi Kazım Tas?kent Gallery, Istanbul.

He taught the Combined Arts Program at Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul from 2003 - 2005. In addition to the lessons provided at his private art studio since 1999 he also taught the Istanbul Bilgi University Design Culture and Administration certificate program.

In 2005, Güleryüz organized the European General Meeting of the IAA, also participating in the 16th IAA World General Meeting in Beijing and the 2nd Beijing Biennial as a member of the IAA World Administration Board.

In 2007 he realized the retrospective and sculpture exhibition, "From Here to There" at the Yapı Kredi Kazım Tas?kent Gallery, Istanbul; and "Fifty Years of art," at Galeri Nev, Ankara in 2008, which was accompanied by a second book by Nan Freeman. His 50th Year retrospective exhibition took place at Kibele Art Gallery in January 2009, with the contribution of İş Bankası, which was accompanied by a book written by Wendy Shaw. In 2009, he also participated in Mardin Contemporary Art Bienal as well as the 9th International Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair and Contemporary Istanbul '09.

In 2010, he realized 2 exhibitions; "Bile Bile" at Galeri Merkur and "Desen de" at arteIstanbul. The cover of 150 special editions of "Açık Kitap" (Open Book) which was published for Istanbul-based Açık Radio's10th anniversary was hand drawn by Mehmet Güleryüz, with a different design on each cover. In 2011 he participated in international fairs including Dubai, Hong Kong, Basel Scope, Marakesh Art Fair and Contemporary Istanbul. In 2012 he participated in the Viennafair and also took part in Contemporary Istanbul with The Empire Project gallery. A collection of older and brand new drawings on paper and canvas as well as an important sculptural work were featured in the solo show Edge of the line at M1886 Gallery in Ankara. His long awaited solo exhibition "With one's eyes open" containing brand new works took place at the Empire Project in March 2013, followed by a highly successful showing at Contemporary Istanbul in November of the same year.

Güleryüz is the author of two publications: Güldüğüme Bakma (Don't be fooled by my smile) a memoir published by İş bankası Kültür Yayınları in 2004  and Resmi Geçit, a book on art theory (İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları, 2014)

In January 2015 a major retrospective exhibition of his work was realized at The Istanbul Modern Museum. The exhibition received record attendance and was regarded as one of the most important artistic events of 2015 in Turkey.

In 2016  a selection of his drawing were exhibited at the at the gallery of Pulchri Studios The Hauge, Netherlands curated by Anne Woodward in the exhibition 'The Cages of Freedom'.

His most recent solo exhibition "Malgré /  Despite" comprised of brand new drawings was exhibited at The Empire Project in January of 2017.

In 2018, he realized 2 exhibition "On the Road" at  Jehangir Art Gallery and Jamaat in Mumbai.

Consisting recent works by mehmet Güleryüz painted while in Paris, the exhibition "De L'Intérieur" took place at the Gallery Cyril Guernieri in Paris.

In 2019, "The Garden Complaints" exhibition opened in Paris at Galeri Cyril Guernieri.

Güleryüz continues to live and work in Istanbul, Turkey and Paris, France.

Mehmet Güleryüz