Neş’e Erdok, the Winner of the Aydın Doğan Award

Created 11 May 2017

Painter Neş’e Erdok was deemed worthy of Aydın Doğan Award, given by the Aydın Doğan Foundation to reward the works of culture, arts, literature, and sciences, in the person of their creators.

The Aydın Doğan Award, given every year since 1996 by the Aydın Doğan Foundation, to award individuals and institutions that have earned praise in various fields such as culture, arts, literature, and sciences in national and international platforms, is given this year to Neş'e Erdok, one of the pioneers of Turkish contemporary art with her figurative narrative.

The award was given to Neş’e Erdok with a ceremony held at the Istanbul Hilton Hotel on May 9, 2017, Tuesday.

Hanzade Doğan Boyner: “Neş'e Erdok is an artist strengthening the reserve of women painters, and we cannot write the history of paintings without her.”

Hanzade Doğan Boyner, the Chairwoman of the Aydın Doğan Foundation delivered the opening address at the award ceremony, and said, "As the Aydın Doğan Foundation, we wished to bring the art of painting to the forefront, to make creativity visible and to encourage future generations when deciding on the theme of this year's award. Neş’e Erdok, as a person, and as a personality is a role model for us. We are honored and happy to present her the 21st award of the Aydın Doğan Foundation.”

Stressing that Neş'e Erdok strengthens the post-Republic era women painters genre, carries the core and the content thereof to a contemporary and modern level, and that the history of art just cannot be written without her, Hanzade Doğan Boyner said: “Not only has she left her mark in the history of art in our country with her paintings, Neş’e Erdok is also an instructor who has shed light on the youth with her works in theory as well as practice. Societies can flourish as long as they embrace cultural values, and pave the path for the development of arts. Art is the most important conduit allowing the individual to express oneself freely, and to think freely. If we wish the youth to pursue their dreams, we have no choice but to liberate arts.”

Neş’e Erdok: “This is a wonderful and profound award that I was found worthy of in my golden years”

Receiving her award from Aydın Doğan, the Honorary President of the Aydın Doğan Foundation, Neş’e Erdok delivered a speech, and said “Painters are not that used to talking, our art is a silent art... To hear the painters' voice, you can look at the paintings at the museums, exhibitions, or those at the houses of lovers of art. This is a wonderful and profound award that I was found worthy of in my golden years. I would like to thank the Aydın Doğan Foundation and the Jury, I am honored,” in expressing her feelings.

During the award ceremony, the audience enjoyed the performance of young and talented violinist Gamze Erengönül, who started her soloist career at the age of 11 by playing with the State Symphony Orchestra, and is renown with her concerts with famous maestros. Gamze Erengönül was accompanied by Melin Molla, a distinguished pianist and academician at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul State Conservatory.

Prof. Neş’e Erdok

Born in Üsküdar, Istanbul, Neş’e Erdok graduated from Neşet Günal Atelier at Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Painting in 1963. Erdok then took part in State Painting and Sculpture Exhibits by the Ministry of National Education from 1964 through 1966. She carried out studies on the Spanish Language, Literature, Civilization and Art History at Escuela Central de Idiomas in Madrid during 1965-66. Having won a contest held for receiving “Painting Instruction in Foreign Countries” in 1967, she left for France. Erdok appeared at the Atelier Chaplain Midy exhibit held at Paris Cinema Studio 28 in 1969, followed by Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Ateliers d’Arts Plastiques, Galerie d’Orly, Aeroport Paris exhibits in 1970. She was appointed as assistant candidate during the same year at Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts and was assigned to Neşet Günal Atelier. After returning to Istanbul in 1972, Erdok participated in the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts “90th Anniversary Faculty Members Exhibit” in 1973. She opened her first personal exhibit in 1974 at Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts with pieces she painted in Paris. She commenced initial work with private galleries in 1975, and her works were on display abroad for the first time in 1978. Erdok received the Achievement Award at the “New Trends Exhibit” held at Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts in 1979. She also received a special mention award at the XIVth  DYO Painting Exhibit as well as the Grand Prize at a “Peace at Home, Peace around the World” painting contest held by Vakko. Erdok was appointed at the Painting Ateliers Chair as “Active Associate Professor” in 1980 and as a Professor at Mimar Sinan University later in 1990, where she worked as a Faculty Member at the Painting Atelier at the Department of Painting between 1990 and 2008. Erdok participated at an all-female Turkish artist exhibit held at the Ankara Painting and Sculpture Museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of awarding of the right to vote and be elected for Turkish women as well as “Female Artists Throughout the Declaration of the Republic to Today”, an exhibit in a series titled “Women in Anatolia Through the Ages”. She translated the book “Technique de la Painture” by Jean Rudel into Turkish, with the title “Resim Tekniği” (Painting Technics). In 2006, during the XVIth Tüyap Art Convention, she received the “Honorary Artist Award”. In 2011, she took part in the exhibition “Dreams and Reality” held at the İstanbul Museum of Modern Arts.

The artist, who has paintings in various museums and private collections in Turkey and overseas, including the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, Istanbul State Museum of Paintings and Sculptures, İstanbul Museum of Modern Arts, and Norton Simon Museum, has taken part over 100 mixed exhibitions until the present.

Aydın Doğan Award through the years

A number of individuals as well as institutions were deemed worthy of the Aydın Doğan Award so far in Turkey, for the purposes of rewarding works of art, culture, literature and science through the persons who created such works, and attracting attention to the efforts and sacrifices made in various platforms. Aydın Doğan Award aims to continue rewarding those who are found worthy of praise on a national and international platform in a manner that is congruent to their respective success they have achieved since the very day they have started their careers all the way to the present time.

Aydın Doğan Award 1997: Novel - Adalet Ağaoğlu
Aydın Doğan Award 1998: Social and Human Sciences - Prof. Dr. Doğan Kuban and Prof. Dr. Emre Kongar
Aydın Doğan Award 1999: Visual Arts - Ara Güler
Aydın Doğan Award 2000: Poetry - Melih Cevdet Anday
Aydın Doğan Award 2001: History - Prof. Dr. İlber Ortaylı
Aydın Doğan Award 2002: Classical Western Music - Ankara State Conservatory
Aydın Doğan Award 2003: Archeology - Distinguished Professor Dr. Sedat Alp and Prof. Dr. Altan Çilingiroğlu and Service Award: Turkish Institution of Ancient Sciences and Suna-İnan Kıraç Mediterranean Civilizations Research Institute
Aydın Doğan Award 2004: Turkish Folk Music - Yücel Paşmakçı and Service Award: İstanbul Technical University State Conservatory of Turkish Music and Folk Dancing Institute 
Aydın Doğan Award 2005: Urban Architecture, Urban Fabric - Konak Square Rearrangement Project in Izmir and Historic City Improvement Project in Kastamonu
Aydın Doğan Award 2006: Painting - Adnan Varınca
Aydın Doğan Award 2007: Fashion Design - Özlem Süer and Ümit Ünal
Aydın Doğan Award 2008: Sculpture - Seyhun Topuz
Aydın Doğan Award 2009: Theater - Genco Erkal
Aydın Doğan Award 2010: Cinema - Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Aydın Doğan Award 2011: Turkish Folk Music - Mehmet Özbek and Service Award: Aegean University State Conservatory of Turkish Music
Aydın Doğan Award 2012: Story Writing - Selim İleri
Aydın Doğan Award 2013: Turkish Music - Prof. Dr. Nevzad Atlığ and Turkish Music Foundation
Aydın Doğan Award 2014: Photography - Ozan Sağdıç and Service Award: Mimar Sinan Academy of Fine Arts Photography Department 
Aydın Doğan Award 2015: Novel - Orhan Pamuk
Aydın Doğan Award 2016: Republic of Turkey Prime Ministerial Office of Disaster and Emergency Management (AFAD)