ISTANBUL: Here we present the most notable events and artists from 2022 and the events worth expecting in 2023 in Türkiye and beyond
After the COVID-19 restrictions started to lift, 2022 saw exciting contemporary art events where visitors participated face to face and were fully engaged. Here are the most outstanding art exhibitions, artists, museums and galleries of 2022 and information relating to upcoming events for your 2023 calendar.
Arter, pioneering art museum
Having a multidisciplinary agenda, Arter continues its pioneering role in the contemporary art arena in Istanbul. The museum hosted seven large exhibitions last year. However, Arter is essential not only for its exhibitions but also for its “Learning Program.” The museum organizes several learning events, including interpretation events, workshops for adults and children, guided school tours and art seminars.
Gallery Dirimart in international art fairs
Founded by Hazer Özil in 2002, Dirimart became one of the most significant art galleries in Istanbul. The gallery participates in local and international art fairs with leading Turkish artists. In addition to its events agenda, Dirimart Publications provide valuable content, including exhibition catalogs and artist biographies for art lovers. Dirimart participated in two international events in November 2022: the Abu Dhabi Art Fair and Art Cologne. Among 80 galleries from 28 countries, Dirimart gained attention with nine Turkish artists at Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2022. Similarly, Dirimart represented Türkiye with four artists at Art Cologne, the oldest art fair in the world.
Alev Ebuzziya’s works
After winning the 2021 Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Award, Alev Ebuzziya Siesbye was honored with the 26th Aydın Doğan Awards this year. The famous ceramic artist is known for her minimalist style, unique colors and iconic forms that play with gravity. You can find her ceramics in 34 museums worldwide. If you are interested in her works, you can watch the NTV documentary “Benim Sanatım,” which translates to “My Art,” released in 2022.
The events we suggest you mark on your 2023 calendar:
3 galleries in Art Basel and Art SG
Since 1970, Art Basel has brought together several galleries, collectors and artists worldwide. While first initiated as an art fair for galleries to sell their artwork, it became a global brand for art spectators. It is not wrong to state that it is the leading global platform for contemporary art. In 2022, Art Basel organized the Art Basel Paris+ for the first time as the fourth event of its portfolio, and the event gained enormous attention. It is an honorable fact that three galleries from Türkiye were announced on the gallery list for the 2023 Art Basel in Hong Kong scheduled for June 12-15. The fair will be hosting approximately 4,000 artists’ works in Hong Kong.
Art SG is Southeast Asia’s most prominent art fair; however, its importance is not limited to Asian boundaries. Art SG creates a platform where buyers and galleries meet in Singapore’s rich cultural atmosphere. The event will provide artworks from different disciplines, such as painting, sculpture, photography, blockchain art and cinema. This year, the artists from Pi Art Works, Dirimart and Zilberman will represent Türkiye’s contemporary art.
2 exhibitions from Pera
“The Story of Stories” provides an overview of Paula Rego’s artwork from different periods of her life. Rego completed her education and lived in the U.K. for the rest of her life. However, she was inspired by her Portuguese roots in forming her artistic understanding relating to both the content and style of her artwork. In the exhibition, you can quickly notice the bright colors and the symbolic figures narrating stories in her paintings dating back to the 1980s. You can visit the exhibition until April 30, 2023.
On the other hand, “Istanbuls Today” offers a perspective on the current life in Istanbul by bringing the works of 11 photographers together. Curated by Refik Akyüz and Serdar Darendeliler, the exhibition provides a variety of interpretations of Istanbul, as the exhibition’s name also implies. These interpretations sometimes overlap and sometimes differ. All of them have different focuses and arouse distinct feelings. If you would like to discover the most convenient understanding of Istanbul as per your interpretation, you can visit the exhibition on April 30, 2023.
’90s on Stage’ at Salt
Having started in 2022, the “90s on Stage” exhibition remains high on the agenda for the art world in 2023. The exhibition focuses on the performance events of Türkiye during 1988-1999. It includes multidisciplinary content such as photographs, video recordings, posters and brochures. In that sense, the exhibition provides an overview of the art and entertainment culture of that period of Türkiye. For instance, the exhibition includes photographs of a performance by Bedri Baykam and Adnan Tönel in Fatih in 1992. You may be surprised to see Türkiye had performance art events in 1992, an early date for performances to have been popular. If you are interested in the exhibition, you can visit the Salt Galata and Beyoğlu buildings for free until Feb. 12, 2023, except on Mondays.