Yeşim Akdeniz (b. 1978, Izmir) grew up in Izmir and Ankara. She moved to Germany to study at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1996. She studied in the class of Prof. Dieter Krieg until her graduation in 2002. The same year, she was invited to the residency programme at deAteliers in Amsterdam. Her first solo exhibition in Turkey titled ‘Atlas Shrugged’ was held at Galerist in 2005. She became a professor for painting at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2017.
Akdeniz currently continues her professorship at Kunstakademie, living and working between Düsseldorf and Brussels.
The works of Yeşim Akdeniz are symbolic narratives that make use of recognisable and existing forms of cultural production often emerging from or associated with exponents of modernism and the politics attached to it. She composes fantastical and dreamlike tableaus that incorporate modernist architecture, safari animals, or household items - sometimes all at once. In her works, Akdeniz often involves well-known pieces of ‘design’, such as buildings, paintings, or furniture, through which she wonders about and responds to how the original idealogical intentions of these designs have changed over time. In her latest works, Akdeniz focuses on orientalism, gender studies and cultural appropriation.