13th Edition of Contemporary Istanbul

20-23 September 2018

Press Release 

Contemporary Istanbul (CI), the leading annual art fair in the region, takes place 20 – 23 September 2018 in the Istanbul Congress Center and Convention and Exhibition Centre. Situated at the meeting point of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, in one of the great cities of the world, CI is led by Chairman Ali Güreli and Director Kamiar Maleki, alongside Akbank, CI’s main sponsor.

CI brings together leading international and Turkish contemporary art galleries, offering a platform for the city’s thriving art scene and growing art market. The 13th edition of the fair will feature 83 galleries from 22 countries. CI is pleased that galleries such as Archeus Post Modern, Galleria Continua, Galeria Plan B, Galerie Loevenbruck, Galerie Michael Schultz and Marlborough Gallery have returned to the fair this year, building on their presentations at past editions. For the first time, the fair welcomes participation by new galleries including Almine Rech, Ethan Cohen, Galerie Jerome Poggi, Mohsen Gallery and The Hole.

Continuing to build the fair’s reputation for innovation, the 13th edition will also see the expansion of the Gallery Support Program, which assists galleries with participating in the fair. Launched in 2017 with the support of Bucuresti Mall, the initiative has grown to support galleries in countries including the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Romania and the USA. The 13th edition of Contemporary Istanbul will coincide with several events in the cultural calendar of the city including global photography prize Prix Pictet and the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial.

“In its 13th year, Contemporary Istanbul continues to highlight Istanbul as a world city with a burgeoning contemporary arts scene. Bringing together over 80 leading galleries both from the region and further afield – ranging from galleries who have been with the fair since its beginning to new, great international additions – the fair continues to be a key destination for both local and international collectors. From Prix Pictet to the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, which are both coming to the city in September, there is much to experience, and the city is continuing to flourish as a destination for art and culture.” says Ali Güreli, Chairman, Contemporary Istanbul.

“We are looking forward to welcoming all to the 13th edition of Contemporary Istanbul – from newcomers to returning supporters of the fair from the region and further afield. We are particularly excited about the expansion of our Gallery Support Program which has encouraged a greater number of international galleries to participate in Contemporary Istanbul, as we continue to provide a strong offer for the Turkish art market.” says Kamiar Maleki, Director, Contemporary Istanbul.

Participating Galleries 

44A Sanat Galerisi, Istanbul; 55 Bellechasse, Paris, Miami; AB Gallery, Seoul; Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, Brussels, London, New York; Andakulova Gallery, Dubai; Anemoi Art Gallery, London; Anna Laudel Contemporary, Istanbul; Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, Milan; Archeus / Post- Modern, London;

Art On Istanbul, Istanbul; Artmedy Gallery, Vallauris; Atelier Rose & Gray, Manchester, Bozlu Art Project, Istanbul; C.A.M. Galeri, Istanbul; C24 Gallery, New York; CA Contemporary, Vienna; Dirimart, Istanbul, Eduardo Secci Contemporary, Florence; Efremidis Gallery, Berlin; Ethan Cohen, New York; Faur Zsofi Gallery, Budapest; Galeri 77, Istanbul; Galeri Baraz, Istanbul; Galeria Joan Gaspar, Barcelona; Galeria Plan B, Cluj, Berlin; Galerie Alberta Pane, Paris,Venice; Galerie Allen, Paris; Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris; Galerie Antoine Levi, Paris; Galerie Art Concept, Paris; Galerie Dix9, Paris; Galerie Jerome Poggi, Paris; Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris; Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris; Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris; Galerie Michael Schultz, Berlin; Galerie Odile Ouizeman, Paris; Galerist, Istanbul; Galeri Binyıl, Istanbul; Galeri/Miz, Istanbul; Galeri Nev, Istanbul; Galeri Siyah Beyaz, Ankara; Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Habana; Gallery Tableau, Seoul; Gama Gallery, Istanbul; Gibbons & Nicholas, Dublin; Initio Fine Arts, Budapest, London; Isabel Croxatto Galeria, Santiago; Karavil Contemporary, London; Kranjčar Galerija, Zagreb; Krank Art Gallery, Istanbul; Lamb Arts, London; Liquid Art System, Capri, Istanbul; Mark Hachem, New York, Paris, Beirut; Marlborough Gallery, New York, London, Madrid, Barcelona; Martch Art Project, Istanbul; MFC-Michele Didier, Paris; Mixer, Istanbul; Mohsen Gallery, Tehran; NK Gallery, Antwerp; Nosbaum Reding, Luxembourg; Olcay Art, Istanbul; Öktem&Aykut, Istanbul; Perve Galeria, Lisbon; Pg Art Gallery, Istanbul; Pi Artworks, Istanbul, London; Pilot Galeri, Istanbul; Piramid Sanat, Istanbul; Project ArtBeat, Tbilisi; RED art Istanbul, Istanbul; RH+ Art Project, Istanbul; Sanatorium, Istanbul; Sector 1 Gallery, Bucharest; Sevil Dolmacı Art Gallery, Istanbul; SMAC, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch; The Hole, New York; Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam; Galeria Victor Lope Arte Contemporáneo, Barcelona; Villa del Arte Galleries, Barcelona; X-Ist, Istanbul; X-Pinky, Berlin; Zilberman Gallery, Istanbul, Berlin; Zorzini F Gallery, Bucharest.

Special Presentations

Solo Artist Booths Contemporary Istanbul’s 2018 programme will also feature special presentations, with leading international galleries conceptualizing solo booths by their most significant artists. Solo artist presentations for 2018 include:

Patrick Faure (Anemoi Art Gallery, London); El Gato Chimney (Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, Milan); Stephen Chambers RA (Atelier Rose & Gray, Manchester); Ahmet Oran (CA Contemporary, Vienna); Esmerald Kosmatopoulos (Galerie Dix9, Paris); Ihsan Oturmak (Karavil Contemporary, London); Mattea Perrotta (Lamb Arts, London); Tilo Kaiser (Nosbaum Reding, Luxembourg); Devrim Erbil (Olcay Art Gallery); Johann Louw (SMAC, Cape Town); and Isabella Sedeka (X-Pinky, Berlin).

“Excuse My French”

The 13th edition of Contemporary Istanbul will have a strong French presence with the participation of over 10 galleries from France. These have been specially curated by Marc Olivier-Wahler, titled Excuse My French. Galleries in the section include:

Galerie Alberta Pane, Paris; Galerie Antoine Levi, Paris; Galerie Allen, Paris; Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris; Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris; Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris; Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris; MFC – Michèle Didier, Paris; Galerie Odile Ouizeman, Paris; Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris; and Galerie Art Concept, Paris.


Contemporary Istanbul continues its interest in new media art in its 13th edition, hosting Plug-in for the sixth time in 2018. Plugin explores the ways in which new media can be presented and this year is based on the theme Extra/Ordinary.  Curated by Ceren-Irmak Arkman and sponsored by Siemens Home Appliances, Plug-in will feature artists such as:

Felix Luque Sanchez, Spain; Lia, Austria; Joanie Lemercier, France/ Belgium; Can Büyükberber, Turkey/USA; Paul Myoda, USA; 1024, France; Fernando Velazquez, Uruguay / Brazil; Ursula Berlot, Slovenia; Jonathan Monaghan, USA; Selçuk Artut, Turkey; Mary Sibande, South Africa; Sebastien Lacomblez, Belgium; James Clar , USA; Ali Miharbi, Turkey; Daniel Iregui, Colombia/Canada.

CIF Dialogues

CIF Dialogues, the fair’s talk symposium, has been a key element of the Contemporary Istanbul program, having been held every year for over a decade.  This year’s edition will be the first event hosted by the new Contemporary Istanbul Art, Culture and Education Foundation, as part of its educational outreach, with consultation from Vanessa Arelle and support by Akbank, CIF Dialogues’ main sponsor. Based on the theme of Sensibilities, it will take place ahead of the opening of the fair on 18 September 2018. Sessions will explore topics including Design and Heritage; Tech and Innovation; Art, Architecture and Spaces; Art World, Culture and Dialogue; and Gamechangers. Moderators and guest speakers for CIF Dialogues 2018 include:

Igor Ramirez, Editor, Solar Magazine; Kristina Blahnik, CEO, Manolo Blahnik; William Gilchrist, Stylist, UK; Defne Koz, Co-founder, Koz Susani Design; Bünyamin Aydın, Founder, Creative Director, Les Benjamins; Ismail Hakkı Polat, President, Digital Transformation Association; Nicole Junkermann, Entrepreneur, Investor, Founder of NJF Capital; Güvenç Özel, Architect, Artist, Researcher and Lecturer, UCLA; Tolga Ulutaş, EVP of Direct Banking, Akbank; Prof. Suha Özkan, Architect, Founding President of World Architecture Community; Frida Escobedo, Architect, Designer of Serpentine Pavilion 2018; Melkan Gursel, Architect; Melisa Pezuk, DIFC VP Property Development, Museums Dubai; Anissa Touati, Curator; Alexander Schwarz, Partner, David Chipperfield Architects Berlin; Prof. Hasan Bülent Kahraman, Rector of Netkent Research and Science University; Philippe Van Cauteren, Artistic Director, SMAK; Michael Benson, Director of Prix Pictet, Founding Director of Photo London; Hakan Çarmıklı, Collector, CEO of Çarmıklı Holding; Charlotte Eyerman, Director and Chief Curator, JPMorgan Chase Art Collection at JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Ahu Büyükkuşoglu Serter, Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, Enabler; Nizam Uddin, Senior Head of Mosaic and Community Integration; Prof. Mehmet Toner, Biomedical Engineer, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; Eglantina Zingg; Founder of Proyecto Paz Latino América; Princess Martha Louise of Norway, Author, Founder of Soulspring; and Kim Polman, Founder, Reboot the Future.

CIF Dialogues will be followed by a special presentation of work by Turkish artist Murat Akagündüz as part of a CIF Exhibitions series, hosted by the Contemporary Istanbul Art, Culture and Education Foundation. The presentation, which brings together recent works alongside seminal paintings inspired by the mythological Kaf Mountain, will be held from 18 September – 04 October 2018 at the Sofa Hotel Istanbul, Autograph Collection.

Events Around the City

Prix Pictet, which will be held from 18 September – 17 October 2018 will continue its global tour of the Finalists’ Exhibition for the seventh cycle of the prize at Global Karaköy in Istanbul. Based on the theme of Space, the exhibition offers a wide range of connections to Prix Pictet’s predominant theme of sustainability.

The 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, which runs from 22 September – 4 November 2018 at venues across the city, is a multi-platform biennial that challenges both the space and time of the traditional design biennial and reflects on the importance of design in contemporary Istanbul and beyondTitled A School of Schools.

Salt Galata hosts The Universe Flickers (12 September – 30 December), a group exhibition that showcases works by artists Anna Boghiguian, Rana Hamadeh, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, and Merve Ünsal. Inspired by Cixin Liu’s science fiction novel The Three-Body Problem (2014), The Universe Flickers tackles the idea of reconfiguration of history and future when definitions of subjecthood, sovereignty, gender, kinship, and technology are being recomposed.

Borusan Contemporary presents Universal Everything: Fluid Bodies, a group exhibition curated by Conrad Bodman. This exhibition explores the artists’ fascination with the human form, the characteristics of the individual and its behaviour as part of a larger collective.

The Elgiz Collection presents a summer exhibition in the temporary exhibition area, which showcases a wide range of works by ground-breaking artists. Among the exhibiting artists are Doug Aitken, Erwin Wurm, Rebecca Horn, Richard Prince.

As the first exhibition in its temporary space, Istanbul Modern presents a solo show by Tony Cragg. The exhibition is curated by Levent Çalıkoğlu.

Dirimart presents Fahrelnissa Zeid: Ode to Passion, exhibition brings together works compiled from private collections, some of which were displayed at the retrospective exhibitions held at Tate Modern and Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in 2017.

Galerist presents Inside, Burcu Yağcıoğlu’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. An immersive intervention into the gallery space pulls the viewer into an orifice, where large and small-scale drawings and collages are on display. The exhibition revolves around symbiogenesis, an evolutionary microbiology theory, and the question of agency.

Pi Artworks hosts Fatma Bucak’s first solo exhibition in the UK, Sticks and Stones, curated by Nat Muller. A fortnightly in-gallery performance will accompany the work Black Ink (2016-ongoing).

Sevil Dolmacı Art Gallery presents Love is What you are looking for, a solo exhibition by German artist Ruby Anemic: a multidisciplinary artist, best known for his text-based neon sculptures.

Zilberman Project Space presents a solo show by Heba Y. Amin, A Rectilinear Propagation of Thought. Amin’s practice deals with concepts around urbanism and technology, and questions methods of development and construction within political contexts. Employing different materials, Amin analyses the impact of imposed infrastructures on the human psyche.

13th Edition of Contemporary Istanbul 

Istanbul Congress Center (ICC) and Convention and Exhibition Centre (ICEC)

CIF Dialogues                             Preview day                                General admission

18 September 2018                    19 September 2018                     20 – 23 September 2018

By CI Foundation                        By invitation only


Notes to Editors

About Ali Güreli

Ali Güreli is the Founder and Chairman of Contemporary Istanbul and the Chairman of Contemporary Istanbul Art, Culture and Education Foundation, under whose leadership CI has become the leading annual art fair in the region. He is the Founder/Chairman of the Hotel Association of Turkey (TÜROB) and Founding Partner of ICEC (Istanbul Convention & Exhibition Center). He is currently Vice President of The Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TTYD) and Chairman of the Board of The Sofa Hotels/ Autograph Collection Marriott.

About Kamiar Maleki

Kamiar Maleki is the Director of Contemporary Istanbul. With 15 years of experience in the contemporary art world in collecting and patronage, Kamiar has developed a significant interest in emerging artists. He is a founding member of the ICA’s Young Patrons.

About Contemporary Istanbul Foundation

The Contemporary Istanbul Foundation for Art, Culture and Education was founded in 2018 to support the development to the art environment and relations in Istanbul. With a strong educational remit, the Foundation will hold art events, workshops and artist residencies.

About Akbank

Akbank is one of the leading banks in Turkey with 91bn USD consolidated assets. Incorporated as a privatelyowned commercial bank in Adana in 1948, the bank is 48.9% owned by H.Ö. Sabancı Holding, affiliated institutions and individuals, with a free float of 51.1%.With its dedication to innovation and technology, Akbank continues to provide unrivalled financial solutions to its customers leveraging its robust capital, diversified funding base, strong liquidity, ability to raise foreign financing on favorable terms and superior asset quality together with its non-banking subsidiaries Ak Asset Management, Ak Investment and Ak Lease. Its strong presence in the country and extensive network of 900 branches enable the group to reach all segments of the population and act as a vital pillar of the economy.

Akbank embraces the social development through culture and the arts as a prime responsibility alongside supporting economic growth. This year Akbank celebrates its 70th year and the 25th anniversary of Akbank Sanat. Having supported the arts and artists since its foundation, Akbank has contributed significantly to Turkey’s social and economic development thanks to its long-term corporate social responsibility projects. Akbank remains committed to Contemporary Istanbul in its 13th year.  

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