Contemporary Istanbul, 11th edition, 3 - 6 November 2016

Contemporary Istanbul
Aug 15, 2016 6:34PM

Courtesy of Contemporary Istanbul.

After being encouraged by its exhibitors, collectors and curators, Contemporary Istanbul, the region’s leading art fair’s 11th edition is still planned to take place from 3 - 6 November 2016 with a Preview Day on 2 November.  Continuing on its past critical acclaim, the fair showcases art from the region alongside works from around the world, lending the fair its distinct character as a place to discover and rediscover artists. Particularly in light of recent circumstances facing Turkey, Contemporary Istanbul (CI) believes it is increasingly important to continue to reflect Istanbul’s place as a vibrant cultural centre in today’s world.

Ali Güreli, CI’s Chairman comments:

"CI is an Istanbul-based fair and we want to continue to provide a platform to showcase not only contemporary Turkish art but also art from the wider region in an international context. Historically, culture has lent Istanbul its unique edge and now more so than ever, we must not forget the role art plays as a force for dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation. People here are dedicated and passionate about supporting and collecting contemporary art; they understand its ability to reflect the society of our time. The scene here is full of energy, with over 40 commercial galleries as well as established private collections, an infrastructure of institutions and the Biennale. The best art markets are those where there is a strong regional context; we are fortunate that Istanbul is a very attractive regional hub.” 

The 11th edition of the fair includes artworks from both established and emerging galleries, bringing a regional and international focus to the dynamic contemporary art scene that has developed in Istanbul in recent decades. Notable for its unique position both geographically and culturally, CI prides itself on bringing together galleries, artists and collectors from Turkey, the Caucasus, the Black Sea, Russia and the Middle East, as well as from Europe, America and Asia.

In 2016, CI includes a special project Collectors’ Stories, an exhibition of 120 artworks, personally selected by 60 Turkish collectors from their private collections. The exhibition is curated by the fair’s Artistic Advisor and Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, Marc-Olivier Wahler and coordinated by Program Director Dr. Marcus Graf. 

Presented for the first time at the fair is CI Design, a new section focusing on international and Turkish design directed by Susan McMurrain. Returning to the fair are the sections: Galleries, presenting galleries founded before 2010; Emerging Galleries, with galleries founded in the past six years; Solo Shows, a curated section of single artist or artist group presentations; and the fair’s programme of talks CI Dialogues. Dedicated to showcasing new media artworks, Plugin will also gather galleries, architecture and design studios focusing on new media related initiatives with Sabine Himmelsbach acting as its advisor this year.

Contemporary Istanbul is supported by main sponsor Akbank for the 10th consecutive year, continuing a shared vision for supporting the arts and delivering artistic excellence and diversity, as international and regional interest in the art fair continues to grow. 

CI Artistic Advisor Marc-Olivier Wahler adds:

"CI introduced contemporary art to a large majority of people in Turkey and provides an opportunity to gather freely and conveniently through contemporary art.”

Fair Sections and Special Projects 

1.     Collectors’ Stories

Collectors’ Stories provides insight into collecting in Turkey through exhibiting highlights from private collections across the country. The exhibition aims to facilitate an understanding into the dynamics of contemporary art tastes, the building of a collection and the trends, strategy and motivations behind art acquisition. It provides a unique look into the idiosyncratic stories behind collections and artworks, at told by collectors. Bringing together diverse attitudes, preferences and collections, the exhibition hopes to cultivate a shared curatorial spirit while drawing a roadmap for a new generation of collectors. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book published by CI Publications, a new initiative from Contemporary Istanbul.

Contributing collectors and collections include:

Leyla Alaton, Ahmet Aral, Mehmet Armağan, Mine & Cem Bahadır, Mehmet Ali Bakanay, Berrak & Nezih Barut, Hanzade & Osman Boyner, Dr. Şükrü Bozluolçay Koleksiyonu, Büyük Efes Art Collection, Büyükkuşoğlu Family Collection, Bilge & Haro Cümbüşyan, Banu & Hakan Çarmıklı, Demet & Cengiz Çetindoğan, Suzan Sabancı & Haluk Dinçer, Ali Dinçkök, Ayşe & Saruhan Doğan, Gülin & Emre Dökmeci, Elif Dürüst, Oya & Bülent Eczacıbaşı, SAHA, Tansa & Can Ekşioğlu, Sevda & Can Elgiz, Nesrin Esirtgen, Özlem & Naim Gençoğlu, Zeynep & Fırat Gönenç, Emine & Sinan Gülçelik, Cem Hakko, Can Has, Emin & Çiğdem Hitay, Hüma Kabakçı, Ayşegül & Doğan Karadeniz, Ferit & Hatice Meriçten, Ari Meşulam, Fazlı Özcan, Önder Öztarhan, Murat Özyeğin, Ayşegül & Ömer Özyürek, Leyla Pekin, Ömer & Arzu Sabancı, Sevil Sabancı, Vuslat Sabancı, Hakan Salargil, Ali Selçuk, Rana & Erol Tabanca, Türkan & Ziya Tacir, Mustafa & Lüset Taviloğlu, Agah & Tüten Uğur, Ayşe Umur, Freda & İzak Uziyel, Murat Ülker, Şebnem & Mahmut Ünlü, Erdinç Varlıbaş, Ergin Varlıbaş, Selim Varol, Tony Ventura, Şirin & Neşet Yalçın, Arzuhan & Mehmet Ali Yalçındağ, Zafer Yıldırım and Cem Yılmaz.

2.     CI Design

CI Design is a new section focusing on functional art and unique design pieces, organised to coincide with the Istanbul Design Biennial (22 October to 4 December 2016) as well as other international design initiatives during the fall of 2016 in Istanbul. CI Design will investigate the crossover of art and design through exhibiting galleries, designers and creative organisations, all with international recognition in the field of design. 

3.     Plugin

Plugin is dedicated to multimedia and digital art and is open to galleries, artists, design and architectural studios and creative organisations specialized in the digital field, with Sabine Himmelsbach acting as its advisor this year.

4.     CI Dialogues

Curated by Dr. Marcus Graf, CI’s Program Director, CI Dialogues brings together more than 50 international influential artists, writers, curators and thinkers. The program aims to generate conversation, dialogue and new perspectives across a range of topics to critically reflect on art and its context, and to propel its understanding, research and mediation. As Dr. Graf comments:

An art fair means much more than being a place for the promotion and sale of artworks. Today, it functions as an international platform for art’s communication, mediation, and education. That is why Contemporary Istanbul has organized CI Dialogues since the fair’s inception 11 years ago“


CI SPONSORS: Thank you. Contemporary Istanbul is immensely grateful for the support of all its sponsors.

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         2 November 2016 / Preview (by invitation only)

         3 - 6 November 2015 / Open to public


         Thursday 3 – Saturday 5 November 2016, 11am - 8pm

         Sunday, 6 November 2016, 11am - 7pm


         ICC, Istanbul Congress Centre: Darulbedai Cad. No: 3 Sisli Istanbul

         ICEC, Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre: Gümüş Cad. No: 4 34367, Harbiye, Istanbul 

1 ICEC / Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre - Pedestrian Entrance; 2 ICEC / Carpark entrance inside the tunnel; 3 ICC / Istanbul Congress Centre Pedestrian Entrance.


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TWITTER: @Contemporaryist

INSTAGRAM: @ContemporaryIstanbul #istanbuliscontemporary #ContemporaryIstanbul #CI16  




About Contemporary Istanbul:

Considered the leading international art fair in Turkey, Contemporary Istanbul (CI) brings both regional and international focus to the dynamic art scene in Turkey's vibrant metropolis every year. A creative hub of activity throughout history, Istanbul is unique and different to any other major world capital. Like the city that inspires it, CI aims to be equally incomparable. Thanks to the art created and exhibited in this spectacular city, Istanbul is renowned for its contemporary art scene. 

For the last 10 years, CI has been a showcase for art from across the globe. Paying undivided attention to Turkish contemporary art, which is incorporated in Istanbul's spirit, CI hosts the contemporary art of the entire region, by positioning Istanbul as its hub. CI gathers contemporary artwork from the Middle East, Black Sea countries, Russia, the Balkans, Israel, Iran and Egypt which earns the fair a distinct character and a unique identity, while offering a unique taste of art for visitors and locals. 


CI Executives:

Ali Güreli Founder and Chairman

Ali Güreli graduated from the Faculty of Business Administration at METU (Middle East Technical University) in Turkey. Preceding Contemporary Istanbul, Güreli was the chairman and founder of the first contemporary art fair in Turkey “Art Istanbul” from 2001-2005. Güreli was the founding partner of Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC) and served as its Vice-Chairman from 1993-2002, where he played a key role in its management board. One of the founders of TÜROB (Hotel Association of Turkey), Güreli served as the president of the association from 1994-2001 and was a Board Member of The Marmara Hotels group from 1989-2002. Currently the Chairman of the Board of The Sofa Hotels & Resorts, Güreli is also the Founder and Chairman of IKON Events Inc., a company specialising in the organization of events and conventions since its inception in 1991. Güreli is committed to enhancing Istanbul’s position as a cultural and intellectual hub where multiple dynamics embracing the Middle East and Europe converge.


Marc-Olivier Wahler, Artistic Advisor

Marc-Olivier Wahler was appointed Artistic Advisor of the 10th edition of the fair in 2015. He was appointed director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in 2016. An international curator, art critic, and historian, he co-founded the CAN Centre d’art Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 1995 and stood as its director until 2000. Wahler was the director of the Swiss Institute in New York (2000-2006) and the director of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2006-2012). He writes on contemporary art for numerous international magazines, academic books and exhibition catalogues. In 2011 he was decorated as a Chevalier in the French Republic's Order of Arts and Letters and was awarded the Meret Oppenheim Prize in 2013.


Rabia Bakıcı Güreli, Vice Chairman

Rabia Bakıcı Güreli graduated in 1994 from Istanbul University's Department of Economics. She has worked in several companies and organizations from 1992-2002 and held the positions of Project Coordinator or Partner, where she carried out the planning and execution of large scale national and international congresses, special events and projects. She was assigned as the Vice Chairperson of IKON Tourism and IKON Fair Organization in 2002 and is a member of KADER (The Association to Support and Educate Women Candidates). 


Hasan Bülent Kahraman, Executive Committee Member

Hasan Bülent Kahraman was educated in both Turkey and the United States and is an academic, author and art critic. He has worked as a professor and founding member at universities including Bilkent, Sabancı, Michigan and Columbia and as the Ahmet Ertegün Professor at Princeton University. He is presently the Vice Rector and Head of Department of Communication Design at Kadir Has University. Kahraman is the Executive Committee Member of Contemporary Istanbul, on the Advisory Board of Akbank Sanat, a member of the Board of Trustees at Sabancı Museum and was also a member of the Istanbul Biennial Advisory Board for a number of years. He has worked as a consultant to the Ministry of Culture, as an independent critic, a newspaper columnist and a curator. 

Contemporary Istanbul