Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu Biography

Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu




Painter, printmaker, writer, and poet Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu was born in 1911 in Gorele, Giresun, Turkey and was the second child of a family of five. He and his siblings were encouraged too pursue their interests from an early age. His sister became an architect, his brother a writer. Bedri attended Trabzon High School where, in 1927, he began studying under artist Zeki Kocamemi who had been appointed to the school. Eyuboglu attended the Istanbul Academy of Fine Arts, now known as Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, in 1929. He left temporarily in 1931 to study in France with his brother and Andre Lohte, where he met his future wife, Eren. He then completed his studies at the Academy in Turkey, receiving his diploma in 1936, and became an assistant at the Academy for Leopold Levy the following year. He married his wife Eren in 1936. He would remain at the Academy as a professor until his death in 1975.

His first one man show was in Bucharest at the Hasefer Gallery in 1935, an exhibition organized by his future wife, Ernestine Letoni, who he married in 1936. In 1938 the government sent him to Edirne, and in 1942 to Corum and Iskilip, painting frescoes and murals for various city buildings. A second trip to Paris in 1950 ushered in a new medium to the artist's oeuvre, woodcuts, after an excursion to the Musee de l'Homme introduced him to African Art. His prolific career took him to most of Europe, and in 1960, he was invited to the United States on a Rockefeller grant and a Ford Foundation grant. He later taught as a guest professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

His work is in public, private, and corporate collections throughout the worlds, including: French NATO headquarters (1960; moved to Brussels headquarters later); Embassy of Turkey in Bonn, Germany; Ankara Opera House; and various others.

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu died in Istanbul, Turkey on September 21, 1975. After his death in 1976, an exhibition named “The living Bedri” was held at Ankara. That same year he was commemorated in Istanbul with an exhibition held by the State Fine Arts Academy. In 1984, a group exhibition was held in İstanbul called “Bedri Rahmi from all periods.”