Elif Uras (b. 1972, Ankara) attended Brown University and Columbia Law School before receiving a BFA from School of Visual Arts and and MFA from Columbia School of the Arts. She lives in New York and Istanbul. In her paintings and works in ceramic, Uras explores ideas such as the status of women in the context of the East-West conflict paradigm, and the shifting gender and class structures in a globalized neoliberal world where culture is often infused with consumerism. In her narrative-driven canvases reminiscent of giant miniatures, Uras provides acerbic social commentary reflecting our contemporary society with all its visual excess, constructing spaces executed with a syntesis of Surrealist imagery, Expressionistic color and arabesque motifs.
Uras’ ceramic works further address the conflict between modernity and tradition. Working at the Iznik Foundation on location in Iznik (Nicaea), where the most renowned tiles and ceramics of the Ottoman Empire were produced centuries ago, Uras’s sculptures incorporate the non-figurative visual vocabulary of Iznik with the female body. Subverting tradition the intricate geometric and naturalistic patterns are employed to paint and draw on voluptuous vessels whose forms allude to the ideas of femininity in a rapidly modernizing yet traditional society. Notable solo exhibitions include: Déjà Vu (The Box, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, 2017); Hayal Meyal (Galerist, Istanbul, 2016); Nicaea (Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut, 2015); Panorama Arcade (Galerist, Istanbul, 2008); Drawing Disconnect (Kirkhoff, Copenhagen, 2008); The Occidentalist (Smith-Stewart, New York, 2007); Industry (GAVLAK, West Palm Beach, 2006); Private Collection (Kenny Schachter/ROVE, New York, 2004) and What You Want (Galerist, Istanbul, 2004). Her works have also been exhibited at Victoria and Albert Museum, MoMA PS1, Salon 94, New York, 9th Shanghai Biennale, Proje 4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, and Pera Museum. They are included in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ringier Collection, Zurich, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, among others.