press release

Melike Kara. Emine's Garden July 8 – September 24, 2023

Melike Kara (*1985, lives and works in Cologne) develops her painterly work alongside the writing of poetry and the production of sculptures, videos and other media. The experimental use of surfaces is a characteristic of her paintings, which are treated with thick oil pastels, for example, or the use of foreign materials such as textiles. In her first institutional solo exhibition in Switzerland, Kara continues her exploration of Kurdish traditions and questions of historicisation, tradition and community. She will realise site-specific works in a large-scale installation that will transform the spaces of the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen into her own visual archive.

Distinctive for the painting of Melike Kara is the experimental approach to surfaces, which are treated, for example, with thick oil pastels or the use of foreign materials such as textiles. The work of the artist draws from the writing of poems as well as sculptures, videos and other media, always in search of a multilayeredness on a formal as well as conceptual level. In «Emine’s Garden» – a reference to her grandmothers garden– Kara continues her exploration of Kurdish traditions and questions of historicization and community. Here, photographic images, canvases, and ornamental plaster reliefs are combined to create an expansive installation that transforms the rooms of the Kunst Halle into a proliferating visual archive.

Melike Kara, Emine's Garden, 2023, Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, St. Gallen, installation view Kara's work has been exhibited internationally including the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen; the Kunsthalle Zürich; the Kunstverein Düsseldorf; the Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle; the Philara Foundation, Düsseldorf; the Frac des pays de la Loire, Nantes; the Mead Gallery | Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry; the Neue Galerie Gladbeck; the Ludwig Forum Aachen; the Kölnischer Kunstverein; the Wiels Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels; the Kunstverein Göttingen; the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; the Yuz Museum, Shanghai and the Dortmunder Kunstverein in Dortmund. She participated in the 58th Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, curated by Sohrab Mohebbi.