Pregnant Haliç II,

Elif Uras

Elif Uras is a painter and ceramist whose work questions the role of women in society and engages with the material and cultural past of Turkey, stretching from Antiquity to Ottoman times. She focuses on what she describes as "shifting notions of gender and class within the context of the struggle between modernity and tradition". Her imagery merges traditional nonfigurative Anatolian art with the figurative tradition, while also exploring the representation of the female body across cultures. Since 2007 she has become particularly interested in ceramics from Iznik (originally Nicaea), an ancient town in the Northwestern Anatolia region of Turkey, celebrated for its tile and ceramic production during the Ottoman Empire, where Uras is working alongside artisans trained in the Ottoman style at the Iznik Foundation in Turkey. During Ottoman times, these tasks were exclusively performed by men; now at the Iznik Foundation female workers, artisans, and entrepreneurs populate and manage these industries. In response, Uras’s sensuous vessels, which sometimes allude to the pregnant belly, such as "Pregnant Haliç II", are an homage to these authoritative modern women in Iznik, placing the female figure at the center. "Pregnant Haliç II" is inspired by a specific group of Iznik ceramic, "Haliç Ware" ("Haliç is the Turkish name of Golden Horn a neighborhood in Istanbul, where bowls, plates and other objects from the early 16th century were excavated), both in the work’s title and the floral spiral decoration in a blue-and-white color palette.

Not on view

Public Domain

Object Details

Artist: Elif Uras (Turkish, born Ankara, 1972)

Object Name: Sculpture

Date: 2015

Geography: Made in Turkey, Iznik

Medium: Stonepaste; underglaze painted

Dimensions: H: 24 in (61 cm) x W: 12.5 in (31.8 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Gift of Öner Kocabeyoğlu, 2016

Accession Number: 2016.76

Rights and Reproduction: © Elif Uras

In possession of the artist, Elif Uras, Istanbul and New York (2015–16); Öner Kocabeyoğlu, Istanbul (2016; gifted to MMA)
Ridgefield, CT. Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. "Nicaea," May 3, 2015–October 25, 2015, no catalogue.