After his geometrical abstract works in his early years, Mübin Orhon adopted a smudge-like approach similar to the artists from Ecole des Beaux- Arts in Paris, highlighting textural values by using paint in different densities. His surveys led him to dynamic brushstrokes. Later, he turned to the works that made the paint thinner and let it flow on the canvas. In the 1970’s, he was influenced by Eastern philosophy and made monochrome works. He then carried out a series of works with brush marks and scrapings in horizontal and vertical directions. After 1978, he focused on a vertical line evoking a cleft in his works. As an abstract artist, Mübin Orhon never concerned himself with figurative reality. For this reason, his work is devoid of any “concrete” imagery, underpinnings, or associations. It is instead based entirely on a use of colour from which all form has been purged. Whilst it has been said that his paintings are infused with oriental philosophy, mystic serenity, and Mevlevi spirituality, it is equally true that none of these influences manifest themselves in terms of form. Orhon’s paintings are the natural outcome of the struggle between the artist and his art. Every aspect of a painting, from the choice of paint and colour to issues related to texture, transparency, and minimalism, is dictated by the internal dynamics of the work itself.
Mübin Orhon (1924, Istanbul – 1981, Paris) graduated form Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences. The artist, who moved to Paris in 1948 to complete his doctorate degree, steered towards art and took drawing classes at the Académie de la Grand Chamiere until 1954. Orhon made a name among the modern art society owing to the admission of his paintings in 1953 and 1955. In the second half of the 1950s, his geometric abstract style gave way to a percept where stain-like values came into prominence. Exhibiting his works at Lucien Durand’s gallery in the 1960’s, ensured a break-through in his career: Lisa and Robert Sainsbury began acquiring his works for the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. The artist’s first solo show took place at Butik Melda (1967) in his return to Turkey for his military service. Other solo shows include Couper Gallery (London), Maçka Art Gallery (Istanbul), Galeri Nev İstanbul (1992, 1997, 1998), Yapı Kredi Kazım Taşkent Art Gallery (1996), Milli Reasürans Art Gallery (2001). Orhon left his lyric abstract style behind and commenced with his monochromic works after his first solo shows. The geometrical abstractions he painted from 1975 until his death in 1981 consist the mature period of his art.