''fixed gaze'' 
[06.03.2008 - 05.04.2008]
In the exhibition called “Curtain/Perde” (2005), Yücel Kale uses a transparent material that entirely encompasses the exhibition’s conceptual originating point, namely glass. This exhibition and the date bear significance in Kale’s artistic proceeding since he has long placed wood as the basic material at the center of his artistic work. That is to say, as an artist who has established his artistic style on wood, Kale attempts to go beyond his limits with the use of glass in this exhibition which comprises the questions of “seeing”, “disguise” and “view”. His venture into the use of a new material not only reveals his open-minded, innovative, and curious side but it also reflects his mastery to create such harmonious work of art combining these two different materials.
In terms of the artist’s interest in creating figurative works, portraiture takes precedence.. In 2005, Kale’s work called “Format” emerged from crystal chandelier pieces; then in the same year, with his second individual exhibition “Woodglass”, Yücel Kale places glass at the core of his artistic work. This time in his third individual exhibition “Fixed Gaze”, the artist shows us the vast boundaries of his adventure with glass. In his open dialogue with glass, we notice that Kale draws portraits on glass or forms portraits directly out of the glass itself. In some of his works, he composes theatrical portraits carving the glass like a sculpture; and in the others, he draws portraits on the round or rectangular-shaped plates of glass. Apart from these, Kale uses broken pieces of glass for the first time and arranges them in frames, introducing a new artistic presentation. These works transform into portraits by combining glass pieces recalling the piling structure of Byzantine mosaics. Requiring different distances of viewing from the spectators, each of these voluminous and highly transparent portraits represents an almost damaged, broken and transparent personality. After all, this is a poetical effect emerging out of the quality of the material used.
Using excess shards and waste blocks from a local glass factory, Yücel Kale developes a strong communication with the material; also by making use of such waste material, he points out the problematic theme of regenerating. This might be considered the artists’ secret contract with nature. However, there is another aspect that Kale emphasizes in “Fixed Gaze”: transparency. Activating our consciousness related to “seeing”, transparency refers to such contrary actions as exposure and disclosure. Light, the natural and hidden source of these glass works, plays an important role in exposing the concealed figures within the glass. While looking at the glass portraits, spectators not only confront with the portrait but also they experience another deeper world hidden in the transparency of the glass. However, these works are not mirrors reflecting the current reality, but glass, which is a more profound and sophisticated means of exposure and seeing through.

Seda Yörüker   (translation : Canay Candan)