Nancy Atakan opened solo exhibitions at Lebriz Gallery in Nisantaşı, Artizan Gallery in Ortakoy, and MD Gallery in Taksim in the 1980s and 90s. In 1995, she received her doctoral degree from Mimar Sinan University. She has participated in exhibitions in Toronto, Canada; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Taos, New Mexico, Germany, Egypt, UK and Greece. Her latest exhibition “A Community of Lines” is realized at Pi Artworks this year.
In the 1980s and 1990s Nancy Atakan made watercolours, acrylic paintings, 3-dimensional wood collages (using gold leaf, small objects, and photocopy), and serigraphy. Between 1980 and 1990, and applying these techniques, she opened three solo exhibitions, namely at Lebriz Gallery in Nisantaşı; Artizan Gallery in Ortakoy, and MD Gallery in Taksim. After receiving her doctoral degree from Mimar Sinan University in 1995, Atakan’s art practice has transformed. In 1998, she started working in Süleyman Saim Tekcan’s serigraphy studio. The serigraphy prints that Atakan made in this studio were based on the designs of her watercolours. While Atakan’s present art practice appears to be far removed from these early works, based on her statements and critique from that period, some traces of these early practices can still be found. In a press release from the 1980s Atakan said, “For me the themes of the work are secondary to the process of making, but of course, the works do have names.” In her present practice, Atakan still emphasizes process and concept over the aesthetic qualities of the finished product. In the last few years, Atakan has returned to do in depth research on Turkish embroidery and needlework.