In her research-driven practice, Çavuşoğlu (b. 1982, Istanbul, Turkey) takes up questions of history and belief by examining objects, images, and cultural symbols that have endured over time. National identity and the mechanisms through which political projects are constructed are recurring concerns. Many of her works address narratives of the past and suppositions of the present through oral histories, archives, artifacts, and raw materials, such as those used for color pigments.
At the installation of the New Museum’s lobby Aslı Çavuşoğlu explores the centuries-long trade in lapis lazuli, once a key ingredient for mixing blue pigment before the advent of chemical dyes. The stone was extensively used for fresco painting, a medium revived here in a multi-panel composition, limned in hues ranging from cerulean to Prussian blue. Examining the color as both a commodity and as a key ingredient in painting, Çavuşoğlu traces the story of blue from its mineral origins to its role in art history.
Lead support for Aslı Çavuşoğlu’s residency and exhibition is provided by SAHA Association.