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Ilhan Koman (Turkey/Sweden 1922-1986)

”Sans nome”

To be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale: Modern & Contemporary 18 – 20 May 2022

Lot 327 Ilhan Koman (Turkey/Sweden 1922‑1986). ”Sans nome”. Signed with monogram IH. Iron, Height 77 cm.

Executed in 1962.


300.000 – 350.000 SEK
€ 29.000 – 34.000


Architect Peer-Ove Skånes (born 1928), acquired directly from the artist in 1965.

In context

Presenting a rare sculpture from 1962 by Ilhan Koman 

“Sans nome”, a sculpture from 1962, is an abstract work of art, structured in two layers, a fragile bottom composed with just thin strips of iron, which are carrying a much heavier load of robust iron blocks. This combination creates a dramatic appearance. Ilhan Koman has reworked the material and created a piece of artwork that interacts with properties of iron. This distinct interplay which is clearly visible in “Sans nome” makes this sculpture an important example of the “iron age” period and is now offered on the market for the first time.

Ilhan Koman named the years of 1956-1965 his “iron age”. Every sculpture from this period started as an iron block, which was broken down just to be built up again. This phenomenon is wonderfully presented in his sculpture “Hommage à Malevich” from 1962. Koman was eager to understand the nature of the material he was working with so he could treat it properly. The aesthetics in working with iron, which is such a hard material and to be able to mold it the way he wanted, was satisfying for him. The outcome was always a revelation, which excited Koman. Through his work, he was able to revitalise the material and give it a new meaning, like he has done with “Sans nome”. 

Ilhan Koman comes originally from Edirne, Turkey, where he was born in 1921. After studying in Paris and working back in Turkey, he decided to move to Sweden in 1959.  While living in Sweden, Koman became acquainted with the architect Ralph Erskine. He started working for him on his boat “Verona”, where the whole office was located all year round. At the beginning Koman made architectural models for him, but later these two became friends and much thanks to Erskine, Koman was able to sell some of his sculptures and receive new commissions. Koman and Erskine even had their boats anchored next to each other at Drottningholm. 

Koman considered “Hulda” to be one of his biggest and most significant sculptures. Hulda was a two-masted schooner, a ship that Koman and his wife Kerstin bought and restored in Sweden. Koman got interested in ships at a very early age, and as a child he dreamed of becoming a shipbuilder. His dream came true when an opportunity to buy Hulda appeared, making it possible for him to live the rest of his life at sea. The Koman family did not only use the boat to cruise around the archipelago of Stockholm during summertime, but they also lived and worked on the boat all year round. It was used as a studio, vehicle, home and a playground.

The architect Peer-Ove Skånes worked for Ralph Erskine (as an employee 1957-1964 and later on as a consultant) and got to know Ilhan Koman through Erskine. Koman and Skånes became lifelong friends and in 1965, Peer-Ove Skånes acquired the present sculpture from Koman. Ilhan Koman was a versatile artist who went through different phases. He used diverse types of materials and designed both organic and mathematical sculptures. Koman himself have said: “I am mortal, but my creations are eternal”.

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Jeanna Ahlin


Modern och samtida konst
Tel: 0734-32 41 45

Sofie Bexhed


Tel: 0705-22 61 62

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