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Abidin DİNO
 
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ABIDIN DINO
(Istanbul, 3 March 1913 - Paris, 7 Dec. 1993)

After living with his family for a time in Switzerland Dino came back to Turkey in 1925. He dropped out of Robert College to take up a career in art and cartooning, and his first cartoons and drawings appeared in the magazines Yarin (1930) and Artist (1931- He did the cover and illustrations for two Nazim Hikmet books, Sesi Kaybeden Sehir (The City That Lost its Voice, 1931) and Bir Olu Evi (House of the Dead, 1932).

In 1933 Dino became a founding member of Group D, and in 1934 his drawings attracted the attention of the Russian cinema director Sergei Yutkevich, author of the film "Ankara, the Heart of Turkey." Dino went to Russia with Yutkevich to study film set design, and stayed therefor three years (1934-37), helping to shoot a film called "Miners" in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev and Odessa. In 1937 Dino went to London and Paris, being introduced in the latter city to Gertrude Stein, Triztan Tzara and Pablo Picasso. In 1939 Dino organized the Turkish Section at the New York Exposition, and was sent that same year to Balıkesir as part of a Republican People's Party program to acquaint artists with their homeland. In 1941 he left Group d to hold a 'Harbor Exhibition' with the Group of New Artists, and in 1942 first began to do sculpture. In 1952 he moved to Paris, and starting in 1954 displayed works at the Paris Salon de Mai for eight years running.

In 1979 he was elected honorary chairman of the French National Union of Visual Arts (UNAP). Dino held exhibitions in various cities of Europe, as well as Algeria, New York, California and Turkey. In 1993 a monument based on Dino's series of drawings, "Hands," was erected in Macka 's Democray Park in Istanbul. When he died in Paris, Dino was buried according to his wishes in Istanbul's Asiyan Cemetery. During his lifetime Dino's writings and drawings appeared in the magazines Yarin, Artist, Ses, Yeni Ses, Yeni Edebiyat, Serveti Funun and Yeni Adam, while his books include El (The Hand, 1984), Yiizler (Faces, 1985), £ok Ya§ayan Oliiler (The Long-Lived Dead, 1985), Bu Dunya (This World, 1986), Aciyi Cizmek (Depicting Pain, 1989), Cicekleme (1990), Ak La Ka Ra (1993), Bicimden Ote (Beyond Form, 1993), Iskence Desenleri (Scenes of Torture, 1994), and Bennu Gerede-Ferit Edgu (1994).

Dino's series of 'Hands' began in 1928-29 and was taken up again in many guises over the years. Drawings he executed in 1930 were characterized as surrealistic, while during the 1940s his art was enriched by the arabesque, musical rhythms of calligraphy, by motifs, such as the flower, found in traditional Turkish an, by the paraphernalia of Anatolian folk culture (e.g. the ewer), and by elements of the social dynamic (dock workers, peasants, crowds, war, politics, torture, the atom). He took a stance in

Turkish an against the perpetuation of the standard repertory of subjects associated with still lifes, landscapes and portraits, and of using western techniques of painting to embody these
subjects without having internalized them. In contrast Dino maintained that novelty should be sought in the essence of a work. Although in the late 1940s Dino said that he did not wish to be a social realist, he pursued a line that could be called lyrical realism, delineating his subjects not via realistic illusion but through the prism of his imagination. Folk artists who had developed in the reality of their society exhibited line, output, color and form which was at odds with Dino's rhythm of line and the dream-like affect that emanates from his work. At the same time he saw as an obstacle to contemporaneity the repetition of selected motifs. His source of inspiration and judgement was Istanbul, as he used the unique power of his line to render St. Sophia, Beyazit Square, the Galata Tower, the streets of the city, and Pera.