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Melis Buyruk: HABITAT


January 20 – May 23, 2020

Installation View

Installation View

Press Release: HABITAT

Leila Heller Gallery is pleased to present Melis Buyruk’s debut in the UAE, with the solo show “Habitat,” on view from January 20th to March 12th 2020. The exhibition showcases nine porcelain works by Buyruk, where a ceramic topography of intricate flora and fauna are encased in wooden boxes, and granted their own habitat. In a mastery of porcelain, the traditionally feminized and overlooked art form associated with domestic life is reinterpreted as a medium that points to bio-futurist tensions.


Marking Buyruk’s first exhibition in the broader MENA region, “Habitat” presents the first viewing of the Turkish artist’s large-scale works, which comes as a response to Leila Heller Gallery’s Dubai exhibition space. Allowing for the deeper immersion into Buyruk’s intricate and delicate porcelain world, the larger works creates for a more commanding visual confrontation with Buyruk’s hybrid flower forms.


Buyruk identifies and subtly blends patterns of vegetation and the natural world, creating porcelain flower fields. They are disorienting, as they evoke both artificiality and illusion in a play on logic. While strikingly realistic and incredibly meticulous, the porcelain flowers are unfeasibly monochrome, hybrid, and eerily level, suggesting an alien environment. Lit up, and enclosed in a box, the work is further imbued with notions of the fantastical. Fluctuating between boundaries of reality and surreality, the show reminds the viewer of our fractured and disjointed relationship with nature, and provokes a double consciousness.


Drawn to the poetic fragility of porcelain, and the physical engagement it required, Buyruk became a specialist in the craft at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Selcuk University. Buyruk’s reintroduction of the material in contemporary context, recognizing and manipulating its ability to uncannily mimic organic forms, saw the artist be exhibited across Turkey.



Melis Buyruk is a Turkish artist born in Golcuk in 1984. Her large-scale floral ceramic sculptures depart from contained, categorical forms of pottery, and celebrates the traditionally feminized discipline. Buyruk graduated from the Ceramic Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Selcuk University in 2007, and has exhibited across Turkey.



Since its establishment over three decades ago in New York, Leila Heller Gallery has gained worldwide recognition as a pioneer in promoting a creative dialogue and exchange between Western artists and Middle Eastern, Central and Southeast Asian artists. It has garnered a reputation for identifying and cultivating the careers of artists leaving a lasting impact on contemporary art and culture. Currently representing a diverse roster of Western and Middle Eastern artists, the gallery is also active in the American, European and Middle Eastern secondary art markets. In November 2015, Leila Heller Gallery opened its first international location in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue. At 14,000 square feet, the state of the art gallery features three exhibition spaces, making it the largest gallery in the UAE. Showcasing leading regional and international artists, many of whom will be presenting their work in the Middle East for the first time, the gallery is dedicated to supporting the evolving practice of established artists.


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