Art FocusContemporary Istanbul Announces Return with 16th Edition of Art Fair

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Turkey’s leading art fair, Contemporary Istanbul has announced the 56 galleries and non-profit organisations taking part in the 16th edition of the art fair.

The fair will occur at a new location – Tersane Istanbul – from 7th-10th October and will introduce contemporary art to one of the most significant heritage sites in Istanbul. This is after a major regeneration project to breathe new life into the historic Halic Shipyard and the Golden Horn District.

Kicking off the city’s autumn art season, Contemporary Istanbul will unite some of the best exhibitors from Istanbul and across the world. It will showcase the dynamic contemporary art scene that has risen out of Istanbul in the past few decades.

Exhibitors involved

Listed below are many of the different exhibitors taking part in Contemporary Istanbul:

  • AB Gallery (Seoul)
  • Bermen Gallery (Johannesburg)
  • Claudia Schmidt (Zurich)
  • C24 (New York)
  • JD MALAT GALLERY (London)
  • Marlborough Gallery (New York)
  • Mohsen Gallery (Tehran)
  • Anna Laudel (Istanbul / Düsseldorf)
  • Dirimart (Istanbul)
  • Galeri Nev (Istanbul)
  • Galerist (Istanbul)
  • Oktem Aykut (Istanbul)
  • Pi Artworks (Istanbul / London)
  • Pilevneli (Istanbul) & KÖNIG GALERI (Berlin)
  • Zilberman (Istanbul / Berlin).
Marion Fink, They Themselves Had Shaped the Character of Their Shared Experience

Galleries Participating

Listed below are many of the galleries that are taking part in Contemporary Istanbul for the first time:

  • Bavan Gallery, (Tehran)
  • HOTEL MOND FINE ART (Berlin)
  • Iranshahr Art Gallery, (Tehran)
  • Mariana Custodio, (Lisbon)
  • Mironova Gallery, (Kiev) and Szena Gallery (Moscow).

The artists on display will be predominantly contemporary living artists with some drawing examples of 20th century art icons such as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miropresented by Galeria Joan Gaspar, (Barcelona).

Pablo Picasso, Tete d’Histrion

Curated Exhibitions

Contemporary Istanbul also reflects contemporary art practice, themes and trends through its curated exhibitions. The exhibition ‘Akrasia’, curated by the Contemporary Istanbul Foundation, unveils the work of ten contemporary women artists from the country. The revenue of the exhibition will be donated to a foundation focusing on environmental issues. The Contemporary Sculpture Exhibitioncentres on the theme of upcycling with contemporary sculptural pieces made from metal. Meanwhile ‘70s Bodrum’, curated by Bihter Sabanoglu, presents Sitki Kosemen’s black and white photographs of the seaside resort of Bodrum.

Tersane Istanbul

The world’s oldest shipyard and an icon of Istanbul’s coastline for many centuries, the Tersane Istanbul, will be the location for the 16th edition of Contemporary Istanbul. The art fair will occur across an area of 9500 m2 within the buildings of the shipyard with an additional 10,000 m2 outdoor space out on the waterfront.

Halic Shipyard, Tersane Istanbul

Visitors to the fair will be some of the first people to step foot inside the much-anticipating Tersane Istanbul development by distinguished Turkish architects Tabanlioglu Architects. The development is planned to house the Vehbi Koç Foundation’s new Sadberk Hanim Museum (2024) by Grimshaw Architects and the Women’s Museum (2023), reclaiming the Golden Horn’s prestigious past to become a healthy extension of the city once again.

The city is currently experiencing something of a renaissance, with significant cultural investment across the city aiming to boost tourism and maintain its position as a world leading capital of culture. Alongside Tersane İstanbul, Galataport, opening in September 2021, will host the best examples of art and architecture in Turkey, with the Istanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum by Emre Arolat Architects and the new Istanbul Modern Museum by the master of museum design, Renzo Piano. Together with the Ataturk Cultural Centre, they will form a new route coined as ‘Beyoğlu Culture Road’ that will connect many of the city’s key cultural sites.

The event would not be made possible without the generous support of Akbank, Turkey’s leading private bank and the main sponsor of Contemporary Istanbul for 16 years.

The Contemporary Istanbul Foundation

The Contemporary Istanbul Foundation was established in 2018 to help contribute to the progression and development of contemporary art, support artists from various backgrounds and ensure that contemporary works of art can reach bigger audiences. The non-profit foundation supports the contemporary art ecosystem through presenting exhibitions, educational programmes and other event with Turkey and elsewhere. CIF has launched Cocoon, a dedicated art space in the restored Fişekhane building, located in a 19th-century Ottoman industrial complex in Istanbul.

COVID-19 Measures

The fair will follow COVID safety guidelines for an event of this scale. Visitors will require a vaccine card or will have to take a PCR test with a negative result to gain entry to the Fair. Visitors will also need to have their temperature taken as they enter the fair and there will be hand sanitizer available at various points on-site. The setup of the fair has been designed to ensure there is space for social distancing and the building will be well ventilated throughout the event.

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