Lütfi Kırdar ICEC Rumeli Hall
and Istanbul Congress Center
Istanbul, Turkey
14 – 17  September 2017


Contemporary Istanbul (CI) is pleased to announce its final exhibitors list for the upcoming 12th edition of the fair which is supported by Akbank. New for 2017 is a revised fair design by the award-winning architects Tabanlıoğlu Architects who will create a city-park. The fair will also feature a new sculpture exhibition The Fifth Element at the neighbouring Sanatçılar Park, curated by Prof. Hasan Bülent Kahraman. A place to discover and rediscover significant artists, CI will spread over the 13,600 m2 spaces of Lütfi Kırdar ICEC Rumeli Hall and Istanbul Congress Center with the support of Akbank and associate sponsor Ferko.

CI brings together leading contemporary galleries, artists and collectors from Turkey and around the world, giving a regional and international focus. Reflecting the role of Istanbul as a centre point between East and West, CI is an international art platform at the heart of Turkey’s thriving contemporary art scene. CI strongly believes in the critical role of art as a catalyst for dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

‘We are thrilled to announce the list of participating galleries for Contemporary Istanbul which is stronger than ever. We will be welcoming over 20 new galleries and over 40 returning exhibitors ranging from the emerging to the established. Istanbul is an important global arts hub that has championed both regional and international art. I am looking forward to this year’s edition which will involve the fair’s complete redesign, a new sculpture park and the publication of a Collector’s Stories book following the fantastic reception received by the project last year. It is set to be one of the most culturally exciting moments for Istanbul yet.’  Kamiar Maleki, CI Fair Director

Exhibitors list 

New participating galleries:

Anna Laudel, Istanbul / AB-ANBAR, Tehran / Andakulova Gallery, Dubai / AUREUS Contemporary, Wakefield / ARCHEUS/POST-MODERN, London / Bernheimer Contemporary, Berlin / Dix 9, Paris / EASTWARDS PROSPECTUS, Bucharest / Flowers Gallery, London, New York / Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Habana / Gallery 1957, Accra / Heavenly Made Art Gallery, Izmir / Inda Galéria, Budapest / Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London / Leila Heller, Dubai, New York / Magic Beans, Berlin / Maximillian William, London / N2 Galería, Barcelona / Nicodim Gallery, Bucharest, Los Angeles / NK Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium / Parasite, Tel Aviv / Plan B, Cluj-Nopaco / Shirin Gallery, Tehran, New York / SMAC Gallery, Cape Town / Sophia Contemporary, London / Triangle Gallery, Tel Aviv / Victoria Miro, London / Vigo Gallery, London.

Returning participating galleries:

ALAN Istanbul, Istanbul / 55Bellechasse, Paris / AB Gallery, Seoul / ACAF, Shanghai / Aria Art Gallery, Florence / Art On, Istanbul / Bozlu Art Project, Istanbul / C.A.M. Galeri, Istanbul / C24 Gallery, New York / Cep Gallery, Istanbul/ Dastan’s Basement, Tehran / Dirimart, Istanbul / Gaia Gallery, Istanbul / Galeri 77, Istanbul / Galeri Baraz, Istanbul/ Galeri Binyıl, Istanbul/ Galeri Miz, Istanbul / Galeri Nev, Istanbul / Galeria Joan Gaspar, Barcelona / Galerist, Istanbul / Gama Gallery, Istanbul / Galeri Baraz, Istanbul / Gazelli Art House, London, Baku / Isabel Croxatto, Santiago / Karavil Contemporary, London / Krank Art Gallery, Istanbul / LICHT FELD, Basel / Liquid Art System, Capri, Istanbul / Mark Hachem Gallery, Paris / Marlborough Gallery, New York / MERKUR Gallery, Istanbul / Mixer, Istanbul / Olcay Art, Istanbul / Öktem&Aykut, Istanbul / PG ART Gallery, Istanbul / Pi Artworks, Istanbul, London / Piramid Sanat, Istanbul / Project Art Beat, Tbilisi / Red Art, Istanbul / SANATORIUM, Istanbul / Siyah Beyaz, Ankara / Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo, Barcelona / Villa Del Arte Galleries, Barcelona / X-İst, Istanbul / Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul-Berlin.

‘We are not for yesterday, nor today – but for tomorrow. Over the past decade, Istanbul’s contemporary art scene has grown to become globally recognised, acting as a focal point for the region. The city has an established art infrastructure that incorporates museums, galleries, foundations, biennials, festivals and fairs, in a unique location with a rich cultural heritage and a strong market attracting international attention. It is important to note that the numerous private museums and galleries that have opened in recent years also continue to enrich Istanbul and Turkey. CI is proud to have played a major role in this extraordinary time. During the second week of September 2017, various arts events will take place across Istanbul including the opening of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, Contemporary Istanbul, as well as exhibitions at leading cultural institutions such as the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Istanbul Modern, Pera Museum, Borusan Contemporary, Elgiz Museum, Akbank Sanat and Arter amongst others, forming a unique visual art scene within the city. The most recent major cultural project of the Vehbi Koç Foundation is the establishment of a new contemporary art museum executed by Grimshaw Architects and scheduled to open in autumn 2018 in Istanbul. Just as cities shape art, art shapes cities.’ Ali Güreli, CI’s Chairman

Returning to the fair are the sections: Galleries & Emerging Galleries, the former presenting galleries founded before 2010, the latter founded in the past six years; Solo Shows, booths by a single artist or artist group; and the fair’s programme of talks CI Dialogues. Dedicated to showcasing new media artworks, Plugin features galleries and architecture and design studios with a focus in this area. New to the fair this year will be The Fifth Element Exhibition, an outdoor sculpture park.

Additional information on fair sections and special projects

Plugin: in its fifth year, this section is dedicated to new media art at the intersection of science, technology, politics and art. Curated by Ceren and Irmak Arkman for the third time, Plugin is a future-friendly extension of CI under the sponsorship of Siemens Household Appliances.

CI Dialogues: brings together more than 50 international influential artists, architects, designers, scholars, theorists, collectors, writers, curators and thinkers who will discuss the importance of contemporary art on a regional and international stage. The central theme for CI Dialogues this year is “movement” considered from an artistic perspective and discussed alongside current everyday issues surrounding technology, architecture, space and design. Topics will include: ‘Movement in Space’, ‘The Interconnected Art of Taste’, and ‘Human Aesthetics in Future Technologies’.

Collectors’ Stories Book: following the popularity of the 2016 Collectors’ Stories exhibition, which displayed 120 pieces from 60 leading private collections in Turkey, CI will publish its Collectors’ Stories Book, CI Publications’ inaugural project with the support of Barbaros Reserve Bodrum Project. Similarly to the exhibition, the book explores the dynamics of contemporary art tastes, building collections and the trends, strategy and motivations behind art acquisition. It provides a unique perspective into the idiosyncratic stories behind collections and artworks, as told by collectors. The publication will be distributed internationally to leading art institutions and organisations.

Architectural Concept: CI’s 12th edition will see both its interior and exterior architecture majorly redesigned. Award-winning company Tabanlıoğlu Architects will create a unique city-park with particular emphasis on public spaces and open air areas. The aim is to transform the exhibition space of galleries into a “design topography” to interact conceptually with the neighbouring The Fifth Element outdoor sculpture park at Sanatçılar Parkı. Following the fair the materials used for the design will be donated to nearby schools. Tabanlıoğlu Architects is currently engaged in major assignments worldwide, from Doha to Dakar, Kazakhstan, Ukraine etc., with offices in Ankara, Dubai, Doha and London.

The Fifth Element: is Istanbul’s first ever outdoor contemporary sculpture exhibition in a public park organised by Contemporary Istanbul. This will be held in Sanatçılar Park adjacent to the fair. Using as its point of departure Tabanlıoğlu Architects’ concept, The Fifth Element is curated by Prof. Hasan Bülent Kahraman and is conducted in collaboration with the Şişli Municipality. Participating artists include: Erdağ Aksel, Fabian Marcaccio, Genco Gülan, Günnür Özsoy, Jan Fabre, Jannis Kounellis, Johan Tahon, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Osman Dinç, Tony Cragg, Wim Delovoye and Yaşam Şaşmazer.

‘The Fifth Element is a confrontation with the adventure that befalls earth, air, water, fire, and man over the ages, surpassing time and matter. It is a reckoning! And above all, it is matter and imagination’. Prof. Hasan Bülent Kahraman

Hospitality partner: CI is partnering for the first time with Istanbul based d.ream group to showcase the city’s gastronomic delights. Unique within Turkey’s food and beverage sector owing to the broad spectrum of businesses they operate, d.ream are the internationally well-respected masterminds behind Coya (London), Roka (London/ Hong Kong) and Zuma (Istanbul) amongst others and will offer a variety of high quality refreshment options to visitors of the fair’s new VIP hall and cafeterias.

Contemporary Istanbul is supported by main sponsor Akbank for the 11th consecutive year. Besides supporting economic growth, Akbank embraces the progress of society in arts and culture as its foremost concern. Akbank contributes to Turkey’s social and economic progress through corporate social responsibility projects. With the belief that free and original ideas will inspire progress in every field, Akbank has been supporting CI, Turkey’s most comprehensive international contemporary art exhibition, since 2007.

Associate sponsor Ferko, whose owners are Turkey’s leading collectors, are known for their innovative and pioneering architectural and development projects. They will provide additional support to Contemporary Istanbul in its 12th year.

This year, Borusan Otomotiv, distributor of BMW cars in Turkey, will be co-sponsoring Contemporary Istanbul for the first time and will provide VIP guests a special experience with BMW luxury segment cars.

As the official airline sponsor of Contemporary Istanbul, Turkish Airlines (THY) will provide support to the event for the 7th consecutive year. Turkish Airlines offers special prices for VIP guests and participating galleries.

The fair will also be joining forces with its new solution partner Asya International Movers.

Thank you – Contemporary Istanbul is immensely grateful for the support of all its sponsors.

A week full of art in September: programme announcement

The second week of September 2017 will include the preview and opening dates of CI which coincide with the opening of the 15th Istanbul Biennial curated by Elmgreen & Dragset, and brings together leading cultural institutions including the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Istanbul Modern, Pera Museum, Borusan Contemporary, Elgiz Museum, Akbank Sanat and Arter Gallery amongst others.

Based on the significance of Istanbul as a global cultural hub, this combined effort makes it an even more compelling date in the art world calendar. It is a major step in ensuring that the Turkish contemporary art scene continues to receive the international recognition it deserves.

Programme highlights:

Sakıp Sabancı Museum will present a large exhibition by Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, occupying both the internal and external spaces of the museum. Sabancı University’s Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM) is located in Emirgan, at one of Istanbul’s oldest settlements on the Bosphorus. In 1998, together with its collection and furnishings, the mansion was bequeathed to Sabancı University by the Sabancı family to be transformed into a museum.

Arter will present a solo show of works by Turkish artist CANAN featuring new and existing works produced since the late 1990s up until today. CANAN’s works often involve the use of her own body to underlie the ways in which the personal meets the political, as well as taking the form of complex spatial installations that celebrate the freedom of suppressed individuals and novel ways of expression. This survey exhibition will offer a large overview of the artist’s practice that covers a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, performance, photography, print, video, textual and spatial installations as well as traditional forms of expression such as miniature and embroidery. An initiative of the Vehbi Koç Foundation (VKF), Arter opened in 2010 to offer a sustainable infrastructure for producing and exhibiting contemporary art. www.arter.org

Borusan Contemporary will present a solo exhibition by Diana Thater, an American artist, curator, writer and educator. She has been a pioneering creator of film, video and installation art since the early 1990s. Borusan Contemporary will host an exhibition displaying the artworks from its permanent collection throughout the office spaces of Perili Köşk. Borusan Contemporary is a museum which has a multi-platform programme of exhibitions, events, educational activities, new commissions and site specific installations rooted in Borusan Contemporary Art Collection. www.borusancontemporary.com

Elgiz Museum will host a temporary exhibition with highlights from the Elgiz collection that have never been exhibited before, as well as other contemporary artworks ranging from prominent local artists to renowned international artists including Chiararu Shiota, Erwin Wurm and Thomas Houseago amongst others. During this week, the ninth terrace exhibition, which runs from June until October 2017, will be on view at the Elgiz Museum, featuring a selection of artists who have shown in the Elgiz terrace exhibitions since 2012. The Elgiz Museum was founded by collectors Sevda and Can Elgiz as the first contemporary art museum in Turkey in 2001. www.elgizmuseum.org

Istanbul Contemporary Art Galleries – significant contemporary art galleries from Istanbul will be presenting exhibitions of both Turkish and international artists, as well as other programmes. The openings at those participating galleries will be held on the 11th and 12th September 2017.

Istanbul Modern will be one of the main venues of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, entitled A good neighbour. Istanbul Modern’s collection exhibition Artists in Their Time will also be on show. The first private museum in Turkey to hold modern and contemporary art exhibitions, Istanbul Modern was founded in 2004 in an area covering 8,000 square meters on the shore of the Bosphorus. www.istanbulmodern.org

Akbank Sanat will host an exhibition featuring international artists as part of its celebrations for its 24th year anniversary. Akbank Sanat (Akbank Art Center) was established in 1993 by Akbank, aiming to support the development of Contemporary Art in Turkey. www.akbanksanat.com

Pera Museum will be one of the main venues of the 15th Istanbul Biennial. Inaugurated on 8 June 2005, Pera Museum is a private museum founded by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation. www.peramuseum.org