A New Address for Art: Istanbul

Istanbul in early December means a taste of winter... and the latest developments in art.

Istanbul has been a key stop on the world contemporary art itinerary for some time. If a contemporary art lover passes by without stopping in Istanbul, he’ll miss a lot. Not only Turkish contemporary but world art as well... For besides the energy it derives from the country’s young artists, Istanbul in recent years has hosted a number of international events. And one of them, perhaps the coolest of all, is ‘Contemporary Istanbul’.
This event, which opens its doors to art lovers for the fourth time at the Lütfî Kırdar Conference and Exhibition Center December 3-6, is once again turning all eyes on the city of seven hills.

With hundreds of works from upwards of seventy galleries in Turkey and abroad, Contemporary Istanbul is all a-tizzy to turn Istanbul into a capital of contemporary art. Its concept, new lighting and green apples aside, four years ago I spent considerable time at Lütfî Kırdar caught up in the spell of the art on display. Right off the bat, Contemporary Istanbul succeeded in earning top kudos from Turkey’s contemporary art community, who are notoriously not always of one mind. Last year works valued at a total of 12.5 million dollars were exhibited at this fast rising event.

In light of sales figures and ratios at national and international auctions of Turkish contemporary art, we can expect an even higher figure this year. Not only that, but most of these artists’ works are being shown for the first time. So be prepared for the absolute latest in painting, sculpture and photography as well as installation, video and digital art.