In the later 1960s, Erbil introduced cityscapes—especially of Istanbul and the Bosporus—as a major theme. In Istanbul, seen here, he portrays an area of the city, possibly the Seraglio Point (Sarayburnu), from an aerial perspective—using strong, abrupt brushstrokes and mostly red and blue tones to delineate the landscape and the sea. Later he introduced perspective, often emphasizing the sky to create a dynamic, rhythmic compositional structure.
Between 1955 and 1959, Erbil studied in the Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts, Istanbul. In 1962 he became a teaching assistant at the academy, and the following year he co-founded two artists’ groups: Seven Abstractionists (Soyutçu 7’ler), in 1959, and the Blue Group (Mavi Grup). He was appointed professor in 1981. From 1979 to 1982, he served as director of the Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture, and he continued to work in various universities in Istanbul until his retirement in 2004. Erbil received the honorary title of State Artist in 1991. He currently lives and works in Istanbul.