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Canan Tolon: Sidesteps15 January - 16 March 2014

Canan Tolon Glitch

Canan Tolon, ‘Glitch II’, 2007. Oil on canvas, 140 x 180 cm. Tim and Nancy Howes, private collection. Photo: Eli Ridgway.

Canan Tolon Mylar

Canan Tolon, ‘Untitled’, 1999. Black oil paint on Mylar, Sheet size 36 x 28 cm (14 x 11 in). Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Benjamin Blackwell

Canan Tolon Untitled

Canan Tolon, ‘Untitled (polyptych)’, 2001. Rust and pigment on canvas, 267 x 274 cm (105 x 108 in). Collection Pınar and Hakan Ertaç. Photo: Hakan Aydoğan


Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is delighted to present a solo exhibition of works by Turkish-born artist Canan Tolon. This, her first major exhibition in a London institution, provides in-depth insight into her works from 1986 to the present day. It includes Futur imparfait, 1986–1999, a series of 33 ink-wash and crayon figurative drawings that were recently acquired by the British Museum. At Parasol unit they will be on show all together for the first time in the UK.

Canan Tolon was born in Istanbul and grew up in various European countries. After earning her baccalauréat from the École Française d’Istanbul in Turkey, in 1975, she studied design in Edinburgh and London. In 1980, she received a BA from Middlesex Polytechnic / Architectural Association, London, and that same year moved to the Bay Area of San Francisco to study for a Masters in Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating in 1983 she worked for about ten years in several architecture offices while continuing her work in the visual arts. Her paintings and installations have been exhibited internationally. She has works in a number of major public collections, including the British Museum, London; Istanbul Modern; IKSV (Istanbul Foundation for Culture and the Arts); the Nesrin Esirtgen Collection, Istanbul, Turkey; and the di Rosa Collection, Napa, USA.

Canan Tolon lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA and in Istanbul, Turkey.

This exhibition is curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder/Director of Parasol unit.

Canan Tolon: Sidesteps is accompanied by a comprehensive book, including an artist interview by Ziba Ardalan and essays by Bill Berkson and John Yau, published by Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art. A related programme of educational events at the gallery will include lectures, poetry readings, animation and storytelling workshops.

Read the full press release.

Parasol unit is grateful for the generous support of Berna and Tolga Tuglular, Mehves-Dalinc Ariburnu, Isik Kececi Asur, Mine - H.Cem Bahadir, Aylin Benardete Sarihan, Şeli Elvaşvili, Nesrin Esirtgen, Öner Kocabeyoglu, Caroline Landin, Derin Mermerci, Ebru Ozdemir, Aysegul - Ömer Özyürek, Yosun Reza, Edwina Sponza, Billur-Atilla Tacir, the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and those who wish to remain anonymous.

Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism