Zeki Faik İzer was born in Istanbul in 1905. He entered the Academy of Fine Arts in 1923, studying under İbrahim Çallı. In 1928 he went to Paris, where he attended the studios of Andre Lhote (1885-1962) and Othon Friesz (1879-1949). In 1932 he returned from Paris and was appointed as art teacher at Ankara Gazi Teacher Training College. In 1933 he became one of the founding members of the D Group in Istanbul. In 1934 he returned to Paris, where he remained for two years. In 1937, after returning to Turkey he established a photographic studio at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1951 he took part in the establishment of the Turkish Art History Institute. He won first prizes at the State Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture in 1942 and the 18th exhibition in 1957. He participated in the Guggenheim International Exhibition in 1961, and then returned to Paris in 1970. He died in Istanbul.
The D Group was founded in 1933 by six friends, five of them painters and one a sculptor (Nurullah Cemal Berk, Zeki Faik İzer, Elif Naci, Cemal Tollu, Abidin Dino and Zühtü Müridoğlu). Subsequently the group was joined by Turgut Zaim, Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, Eren Eyüboğlu, Eşref Üren, Arif Kaptan, Halil Dikmen, Sabri Berkel, Salih Urallı, Hakkı Anlı, Fahrünnisa Zeid, Nusret Suman and Zeki Kocamemi. The group remained active until 1951, representing the generation of young artists of the period and played an influential role in the visual arts. The name D Group was chosen because the letter 'd' is the fourth letter in the Latin alphabet and this was the fourth group of artists to be established in Turkey. Most of the group's members had studied in Paris and were influenced by the artists under whom they worked there. Upon their return home they opposed the impressionist style of the 1914 Generation, instead adopting a cubist, structuralist style, fragmenting the elements of their paintings to create more solid and sharply defined forms. This group argued that the art of a westernizing country had to be 'new'.