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Contemporary Istanbul (CI), the leading international art fair in the region, is pleased to announce the preliminary exhibitors list for the upcoming 12th edition of the fair. CI brings together leading contemporary art galleries from Turkey and around the world, giving a regional and international focus to the dynamic contemporary art scene that has developed in Istanbul in recent decades. Reflecting the role of Istanbul as a centre point between East and West, CI strongly believes – now more than ever – in the critical role of art as a catalyst for dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

Notable for its unique position both geographically and culturally, CI pays undivided attention to Turkish contemporary art and also prides itself on bringing together galleries, artists and collectors from around the world. CI uniquely engages with artists and collectors from the entire region including the Caucasus, the Black Sea, the former Russian Federation and the Middle East.
Preview day: 13th September 2017
Exhibition dates: 14th – 17th September 2017
Kamiar Maleki, CI Fair Director comments:
‘Istanbul is an important global arts hub that has championed both regional and international art. Being the gateway from Asia and Europe to the Middle East, the city and the country have a unique and strong collector base. Our aim is to exhibit the best art of the region as well as internationally acclaimed and respected artists at CI. In celebration of its 12th edition, CI will be welcoming several new leading galleries and representative countries to the fair alongside the region’s prominent young and established galleries.’

Maude Maris, Attique III, 2016, 190 x 130cm, oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Pi Artworks Gallery.

New participating galleries:
Anna Laudel, Istanbul/ Art Sümer, Istanbul/ Eastwards Prospectus, Bucharest/ Flowers Gallery, London, New York/ Gallery 1957, Accra/ Gallery Tableau, Seoul/ Gazelli Art, London, Baku/ Galerist, Istanbul/ Leila Heller, Dubai, New York/ Maximillian William, London/ N2 Gallery, Barcelona/ Nicodim Gallery, Bucharest, Los Angeles/ Parasite Gallery, Tel Aviv/ Plan B, Cluj-Nopaco, Berlin/ Pilevneli Project, Istanbul/ Sanatorium, Istanbul/ Setareh Gallery, Dusseldorf/ Shirin Gallery, Tehran, New York/ Smac Gallery, Cape Town/ Triangle Gallery, Tel Aviv/ Victoria Miro, London/ Vigo Gallery, London.
Returning participating galleries:
AB Gallery, Seoul/ ACAF Projects, Shanghai/ Aria Art Gallery, Florence/ Art On, Istanbul/ C24 Gallery, New York/ C E P Gallery, Istanbul/ Dastan’s Basement, Tehran/ Dirimart, Istanbul/ Gaia Gallery, Istanbul/ Gallery One, Ramallah/ Galeri 77, Istanbul/ Galeri Nev, Istanbul/ Isabel Croxatto, Santiago/ Galeria Joan Gaspar, Barcelona/ Karavil Contemporary, London/ Krank Art Gallery, Istanbul/ Liquid Art System, Capri, Istanbul/ Galerie Mark Hachem, Paris, Beirut/ Marlborough Gallery, New York/ Mixer, Istanbul/ Galeri Miz, Istanbul/ Öktem&Aykut, Istanbul/ PG ART Gallery, Istanbul/ Pi Artwoks, Istanbul, London/ Project Art Beat, Tbilisi/ Galeria Senda, Barcelona/ Siyah Beyaz Gallery, Ankara/ SODA Gallery, Istanbul/ X-İst, Istanbul/ Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo, Barcelona/ Villa Del Arte Galleries, Barcelona/ Zilberman Gallery, IstanbulBerlin.
The Selection Committee for the 12th edition of the fair are: Kamiar Maleki (CI Fair Director), Marc Oliver Wahler (Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University ), Nathalie Mamane Cohen (Collector), Haldun Dostoğlu (Founder & Director of Galeri Nev Istanbul), Yeşim Turanlı (New member/Founder &F Director of Pi Artworks Istanbul/London), Alexander Heller (New member/Co-founder of Leila Heller Gallery Dubai & Curator) and Kemal Has Cıngıllıoğlu (New member/Collector) and Simon de Pury (New member/Collector and Curator).
Ali Güreli, CI’s Chairman, comments:
‘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 Contemporary Istanbul, as well as special projects at 7 art institutions, 5 museum exhibitions, 35 other exhibitions and the 15th Istanbul Biennial, 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.’

Pierre Vermeulen, Sweat Print #10, 2017, gold leaf imitate on aluminium bond, sweat, 250 x 150 cm. Courtesy of SMAC Gallery and Contemporary Istanbul 2017.

Further announcemts:
  1. Returning to the fair are the sections: Galleries & Emerging Galleries, the former presenting galleries founded before 2010 and the latter showcasing galleries founded in the past six years; Solo Shows, curated by a single artist or artist group; and the fair’s programme of talks CI Dialogues. In collaboration with Moving Image, the fair will present a section on new media, focused on video, film and time-based installation/sculpture.
  2. Fair Design: The interior and exterior of the fair is being designed by Istanbul-based Tabanlıoğlu Architects, an internationally renowned, award winning architecture firm. The practice is currently engaged in major assignments worldwide, from Doha to Dakar, Kazakhstan, Ukraine etc., with offices in Ankara, Dubai, Doha and London.
  3. CI, in collaboration with Tabanlıoğlu Architects, will also introduce City as Gesamtkunstwerk, IstanbulBerlin, a new project and multidisciplinary event curated by Murat Tabanlıoğlu and Johann Nowak, taking place at the old shipyard Haliç Port.
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 responsibilities. 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 Turkey’s most comprehensive International Contemporary Art Exhibition, Contemporary Istanbul, since 2007.
Associate sponsor Ferko, known for their innovative and pioneering architectural and development projects, as well as owners being the leading collectors in Turkey, will provide additional support to Contemporary Istanbul in its 12th year. 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.

Istanbul Modern, photo credit Murat Germen.

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Istanbul Contemporary Art Galleries – 25 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.
  6. 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 5 founded in 2004 in an area covering 8,000 square meters on the shore of the Bosphorus. 
  7. 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. 
  8. 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. 
Contemporary Istanbul, 14 – 17 September 2017.

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