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From the Eczacıbaşı Photographers Series A Lütfi Özkök retrospective for lovers of photography

From the Eczacıbaşı Photographers Series A Lütfi Özkök retrospective for lovers of photography

Bookstores are now offering the latest volume of the Eczacıbaşı Photographers Series.

The Eczacıbaşı Photographers Series, published by the Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Foundation, is part of the Eczacıbaşı Group's half-century tradition of photography publications. Every year, the series features the work of a prominent photographic artist from Turkey in a way that preserves the artistic integrity of their work.



This volume takes a retrospective look at the works and life of the photographer, poet and translator Lütfi Özkök, who dedicated his life to photography and literature. Özkök photographed preeminent artists and writers from Turkey and internationally, among them Nazım Hikmet Ran, Louis Aragon, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Satre, Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, and Özdemir Asaf, bequeathing the world of photography with unforgettable images.
The 11th volume of the Eczacıbaşı Photographers Series on Lütfi Özkök is designed by Bülent Erkmen and edited by Merih Akoğul and features text in Turkish and English.

 “The Beautiful Person of Photography"

Merih Akoğul describes Lütfi Özkök, who differed from other photographers in his pursuit of poetry as well as photography, as follows:

"Photography and poetry are two artistic disciplines that diverge in technical aspects and audiences but converge in their emphasis on the "refined." They speak in brief and essential terms. There are very few artists who masterfully merge these two artistic media. Lütfi Özkök framed words in poetry long before he began photography. Later on, he translated the joy he experienced while composing poems to photographing faces; he integrated both of these structures into his life successfully."

A life story that started in Turkey and continued in Sweden...

Lütfi Özkök was born in the Feriköy neighborhood of Istanbul in 1923. He attended primary school at the Feriköy 12th School and middle school at the Jeanne D’Arc College. In 1943 he went to Vienna to study Germanic studies at the University of Vienna but a year later was forced by the war to return to Turkey, where he took up French Philology.

Five years later he married his Swedish classmate, Anne-Marie Juhlin, while studying French Civilization at the Sorbonne and together they moved to Sweden in 1950. The first photograph that earned Özkök income and launched his career as a professional photographer was his 1957 portrait of the Cuban artist Wifredo Lam, which he shot for his friend, the poet Lasse Söderberg, who was interviewing Lam for a newspaper article. Özkök met up with Nazım Hikmet in 1958, 1959 and 1962 and each time took his photograph.
 
A film about Özkök’s life, photographic art, and poetry titled "Vindarnas Väg" (The Way of the Winds), directed by Elisabeth Márton, won an award at the Montreal Art Film Festival in Canada in 1995. In 2002 Özkök was awarded the Illis Quorum Merit Medallion by the Swedish government, and in 2009 he was named "European of the Year" on Sweden’s Europe Day.

Lütfi Özkök, whose portraits of 35 Nobel Laureates were exhibited at the Nobel Museum in 2010, passed away in Stockholm in 2017. In 2019, Istanbul Modern opened an exhibition of 89 portraits taken by Özkök between the 1950s and 1990s.  Titled " Lütfi Özkök: Portaits", the exhibition included the portraits of 24 Nobel laureates and many of the world's most prominent writers, as well as related text, documents, and objects.

Eczacıbaşı Photographers Series
The Eczacıbaşı Photographers Series, published by the Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı Foundation, is part of the Eczacıbaşı Group's venerable tradition of photography publications that began more than 50 years ago with the annual publication of photography-filled appointment books. In 2010, the Foundation decided to focus on the photography aspect of the series, and so began the annual retrospective of a photographic artist. To date, the Eczacıbaşı Photographers Series has featured Şakir Eczacıbaşı, Ara Güler, Ozan Sağdıç, Sami Güner, Sabit Kalfagil, İzzet Keribar, Ersin Alok, Yıldız Moran, Ergun Çağatay, İbrahim Zaman, and Lütfi Özkök.