Nejad Devrim 1923-1995

Nejad Devrim, lived in Berlin with his mother Fahrelnisa Zeid and his sister Şirin between 1936 and 1938. In 1939, still a student at the Lycée de Galatasaray, his paintings reflected the influence of Matisse and Bonnard.

In 1941, he entered the National Academy of Fine Arts, Istanbul; initially a student of Léopold Lévy, he later became his assistant. Whilst he was a student at the Academy, he began to take interest in the Byzantine mosaics, the Ottoman art of calligraphy and in abstract Islamic art, which had an impact on his art in years to come.

He was among the founding members of the “Yeniler Group”. In 1946, he settled in Paris and soon became one of the young artists invited to the “salons” organized by Gertrude Stein.

For many consecutive years he participated in Salon de Mai and Salon de Réalités Nouvelles exhibitions.

His first solo exhibition was opened in 1950, at Galerie Lydia Conti in Paris, which also exhibited works by prominent artists like Hartung, Soulages and de Staël.

That same year, Nejad was among the “École de Paris” painters, whose works were selected by Leo Castelli to be exhibited in New York. Later, his works were displayed on an annual basis at the Galerie Charpentier, within the framework of the “École de Paris” exhibitions.

In 1952, he took part in the foundation of Salon d’Octobre, of which he also became the chairman and the spokesman. In 1955, he illustrated poetry books written by Tristan Tzara and Paul Eluard. Meantime, he traveled to Central Asia; to Britain, Italy, Spain; to the Netherlands, the USA, and the Soviet Union. In 1985, he ended his artistic travels and retired into seclusion in the southern Polish city of Nowy-Sacz. Nejad Devrim died in Nowy-Sacz in 1995.

In 2001, Gallery Nev organized a Nejad retrospective in Istanbul, which was repeated in Ankara the following year wheeras in 2006, it was the Istanbul Modern Arts Museum who organized a comprehensive show where the works of Nejad Devrim were brought together with the works of his mother Fahrelnisa Zeid.

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