All the best exhibitions at Istanbul Art
The event is back for its first post-pandemic installations, a stone’s throw away from our Turkish outpost. Here are the must-see exhibitions
Wednesday 21 September 2022 By Osman Can Yerebakan
Istanbul Art Week started this week on Monday September 19. The annual event marks the start of the first post-pandemic Istanbul Biennial, running until November 20th, hosted in a new seaside venue right by Soho House Istanbul.
Curators, writers, collectors, and art aficionados have been gathering in the city throughout the week, enjoying everything from parties by the water to conversations in coffee houses around the historic Pera district, while exploring the exhibitions on display.
Here, we’ve curated a list of the installations worth visiting…
The 17th edition of Contemporary Istanbul is positioned at its new home Tersane, an Ottoman-era armory perched by the water dotted with boats of various sizes and Bosphorus breeze. Art by sixty-five local and international galleries, as well as collectives, are joined by an outdoor installation of large-scale works presented inside.
This exhibition is on displayed until October 22.
Canan Tolon exhibition at Dirimart Gallery
A short walk from our Turkish outpost – where members stopped off to wind down and debrief between exhibitions - Dirimart gallery hosted an installation of paintings by local artist Canan Tolon, who captures the post-pandemic unpredictability and isolation with abstract illustrations of urban angst,
This exhibition is on displayed until October 16.
Your Body Is A Battle Ground by Agah Uğur
At a pop-up venue next door to the Dirimat Gallery, you’ll find group exhibition, Your Body Is A Battle Ground, featuring works selected from the private collection of Turkish art collector Agah Uğur. The show’s title references American conceptual artist Barbara Kruger’s iconic text-based work, yet includes a who’s who of Turkish contemporary art with pieces by the likes of Banu Cennetoğlu, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Ahmet Öğüt, and Gülsün Karamustafa.
This exhibition is on displayed until October 31.
Gülsün Karamustafa at Pera Museum
A few steps away is another piece by Karamustafa—in this case an alarming sonic installation— at the Pera Museum, where three floors of the historic ornate building are reserved for the 17th Istanbul Biennial. A row of black and white dividers stands in the middle of a darkened room where two videos on opposite ends run footage of glass insistently being broken.
This exhibition is on displayed until November 20.
Sergen Şehitoğlu at Sanatorium Gallery
The Sanatorium gallery exhibits a selection from its varied roster, including a piece made of a larger-than-life stack of colorful wooden cubes by Sergen Şehitoğlu.
This exhibition is on displayed until November 12.
Martin Creed at Öktem Aykut Gallery
Elsewhere, Öktem Aykut gallery showcases two massive paintings by Renee Levi, raised towards the sky with a wooden structure. As you indulge in views of the sunset, make sure to catch British artist Martin Creed’s floating neon text sculpture which fittingly reads “Water” while traveling back-and-forth above the fair.
This exhibition is on displayed until November 5.
Above all, the return of the international art week reminds Istanbul’s key positioning on the global scene as a cultural destination and a bridge between different hubs that weaves together stories from afar and near – not to mention the endless charm of the city, which on its own warrants a visit.