23 March: Remembering Abidin Dino on Birthday

OV Digital Desk
4 Min Read
Abidin Dino

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Abidin Dino (23 March 1913 – 7 December 1993) was a prominent Turkish painter and writer, known for his unique artistic style that blended elements of surrealism and social realism. He was also a leading figure in the Turkish modern art movement of the 1940s and 1950s.

Life and Career

Dino was born in Istanbul, Turkey on 23 March 1913. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul and later at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was greatly influenced by the works of French surrealists such as André Breton and Max Ernst, as well as the social realist movements in Mexico and the United States.

At 20, Dino co-founded D Grubu (or Group D), Turkey’s first avant-garde movement, alongside five other innovators. While working in Paris, he was introduced to famed figures like Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein before returning to Istanbul in 1939. He participated in the historic “Harbor Exhibition,” a show featuring realistic portraits of dockworkers and fishermen, and was later recruited to design the Turkish Pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Dino’s political cartoons during World War II resulted in a forced exile, during which he created some of his most resonant work. In 1952, he returned to France with his wife, Güzin.

The couple played host to fellow Turkish artists, scholars, and students for many years, connecting worlds and worldviews. Dino exhibited along with other progressive artists at the Salon de Mai in Paris every spring from 1954 to 1962.

In 1979, Dino was elected honorary chairman of the French National Union of the Visual Arts (UNAP). His drawings of hands and flowers—which inspired today’s Doodle—were collected into a small book dedicated to his wife, titled Güzin’s Abidins, a testament to the heartfelt inspiration behind his vision.

He died on 7 December 1993 in ParisFrance at an age of 80.

Despite the challenges he faced, Dino continued to produce influential works of art throughout his life, earning critical acclaim both in Turkey and internationally. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the most important Turkish artists of the 20th century.

Award and Legacy

Abidin Dino’s contributions to Turkish art and literature have been recognized with numerous awards and honors. In 1960, he won the Grand Prize at the Ankara State Painting and Sculpture Exhibition, and in 1981, he was awarded the Turkish Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Prize. He was also named an honorary member of the Paris Academy of Arts and Letters in 1989.

Dino’s legacy continues to inspire artists and writers in Turkey and beyond. His unique blend of surrealism and social realism, as well as his political activism, have had a significant impact on Turkish art and literature. Many of his paintings and writings are housed in museums and collections around the world, and his work continues to be exhibited and studied.

In addition to his artistic achievements, Dino is also remembered for his commitment to social justice and political activism. He used his art and writing to speak out against oppression and inequality, and his work continues to inspire others to do the same.

On 23 March 2019, Google celebrated Abidin Dino’s 106th Birthday with a doodle.

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