Canan Tolon's paintings at first appear as purely abstract, but with time, the eye discovers familiar urban landscapes in the rhythmic painted streaks. She explores the visualization of space by creating an illusion of depth and engages the view in the game of seeking recognizable imagery and inventing a visual narrative.
Tolon was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1955 and was educated in Germany, England, and at the University of California at Berkeley where she trained in architecture and design. She has exhibited internationally for nearly three decades, generating a devoted following abroad, particularly in her native Turkey. In 2011, she was named one of Art + Auction's "50 Next Most Collectible Artists," and an extensive monograph on her work was published in 2011.
Tolon's paintings have been exhibited by numerous museums, including the Istanbul Modern Museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is the subject of a 2014 retrospective at the Parasol Unit in London. An illustrated catalogue was published in conjunction with this exhibition. The Istanbul Modern includes her paintings in their collection and, in the fall of 2013, the British Museum purchased a suite of thirty-three works on mylar.
Tolon lives and works in Emeryville, California.
Text by Cathy Lang Ho
Von Lintel Gallery, New York