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Brussels, Belgique

Nil Yalter at La Verrière


1973/2015 is Nil Yalter’s first solo exhibition in Belgium, presented at La Verrière as a three-piece retrospective of the work of this unique artist and dedicated activist, exploring feminism, freedom and migration. 

Fondation d'Entreprise Hermès - Nil Yalter at La Verrière
© Nil Yalter

Nil Yalter’s art is based on the “recycling or reactivation or materials and images”, says exhibition curator Guillaume Désanges, “demonstrating how an intense commitment to ideas is inseparable from a commitment to form.” Part of the gallery’s current Gesture, and thought season, the solo exhibition presents three powerful works from Yalter’s unique oeuvre, highlighting her commitment to social and political activism.

Topak Ev (1973) takes the form of a round tent like those used by the nomads of Anatolia, used by women only. The work preserves the cosmogony of this traditional structure, though metal replaces the wooden frame, and industrial felt replaces the original, artisan-made covering. Yalter’s iconic work is a feminist manifesto and a reflection on contemporary forms of exile and nomadism. The piece exemplifies key aspects of Yalter’s approach. Born in 1938, Yalter is a pioneering, free-thinking Turkish artist whose work is too rarely seen in public.

Also on show at La Verrière, Orient Express (1976) is a panoramic, proteiform work encompassing film, drawings, photographs and texts, recounting Nil Yalter’s journey on the legendary train at a time when its route took it behind the Iron Curtain. The result is a picture of modern nomadism, far from popular, romantic imagery: diverse populations meet and mix, before going their separate ways. A third work created especially for the exhibition engages in a dialogue with the two historic pieces, through photographs and drawings printed on textiles, exploring the families of disappeared people.  

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La Verrière / Fondation d’entreprise Hermès

50, boulevard de Waterloo – 1000  Brussels

From 2 October to 5 December 2015

Free admission Monday to Saturday, from 11 a.m.  to 6 p.m.


Curator: Guillaume Désanges