Garanti Bank’s project SALT opens a branch in Ankara

on Thursday, 28 March 2013. Posted in Art News, March, ---2013---

Past and Future at Istanbul Modern

After opening two branches in Istanbul in 2011 (SALT Beyoglu & SALT Galata), Garanti Bank has opened another branch in Ankara called „SALT Ulus“ in early April 2013. When it comes to Turkey’s art scene during the last years, Ankara has been very much in the shadow of Istanbul, where most of the contemporary cultural activity is happening. SALT, which has grown to be a major initiator of large scale exhibitions, projects and cultural events in Istanbul within the last years, is trying to give new impulses in the field of contemporary art and culture and related research to Ankara as Turkey’s capital.

At SALT’s new location in Ankara, two spaces are reserved for the use of young researchers for periods of four months at a time. While SALT Research at SALT Galata exists as the main open platform for such investigation, selected publications and information from SALT Research are available at SALT Ulus, with many more materials accessible on request

For the begginning phase of the project, the program at SALT Ulus involves already composed projects that have taken place in İstanbul, but include Ankara in their scope. However, on the long term SALT plans to prioritize locally developed programmes and then reversing the current trend these projects may then travel on to İstanbul.

The building of SALT Ulus is the annex of the former Ottoman Bank on Atatürk Bulvarı across one of the Republic’s main landscape projects Gençlik Parkı. Designed by Guilo Mongeri and constructed in 1926, the main building is currently used as Garanti Bank. The annex housing SALT Ulus was a later addition, also commissioned to Mongeri, to provide lodging for traveling bank inspectors. Unused since 2002, this building was repurposed after the establishment of SALT, and opened as SALT Ulus.

SALT Ulus officially opened on 3 April 2013 with its first exhibition named „It was a time of conversation,“ an archive and research project, that calls for a reevaluation of three exhibitions that took place in the early ‘90s in Turkey – Number Fifty/Memory/Recollection II (1993, İstanbul); Globalization-State, Misery, Violence (1995, İstanbul) and GAR [Railway Station] (1995, Ankara) – based on original documents from the period.

The exhibition, first opened in the Open Archive at SALT Galata in February 2012, will be accompanied by parallel programs organized at SALT Ulus. A link to the original project can be found here.

Salt Ulus Building
SALT Ulus, Ankara, Photo: Cemil Batur Gökçeer

Salt Ulus Building
SALT Ulus, Ankara, Photo: Cemil Batur Gökçeer

Salt Ulus, Ankara, Exhibition View:
SALT Ulus, Ankara, Exhibition View "It was a time of conversation", Photo: Cemil Batur Gökçeer

Nejad Melih Devrim painting highlights Beyaz Art’s March Sale

on Monday, 18 March 2013. Posted in Art News, March, ---2013---

Contemporary Art Museum auctions off its Collection

On 17 March 2013 Beyaz Müzayede Auction House offered 264 works of Turkish and international contemporary art in its 23rd auction at the Sofa Hotel, including 10 pieces by Burhan Doğançay, 4 of them from the „Ribbons Series,“ as well as 4 works by Nejad Melih Devrim, 2 of them from his 1950 period. Other artists represented in the sale were Alaettin Aksoy, Mehmet Güleryüz, Ömer Uluç, Komet and Taner Ceylan.

Devrim’s “Abstract Composition” was the highlight of the sale, fetching TRL 1,100,000. Doğançay’s work “Untitled” was sold for TRL 190,000, while Uluç’s “Woman on all fours and Men tottering” went for TRL 450,000. Nejad Melih Devrim’s famous painting of his wife ‘Maria A Chantres’ from 1947, which is part of every book about the artist, sold for TRL 250,000.

Komet’s “The Vessel of Effigy” fetched TRL 200,000 , Alaettin Aksoy’s “A Bayram Morning in Sulukule,” went for TRL 100,000, Mehmet Güleryüz’s “The Homosexual and the Sailor,”for TRL210,000. Ömer Uluç’s “Magician and Lovers” was sold for TRL 425,000.

Komet, The Vessel of Effigy
Komet, The Vessel of Effigy, 1992, oil on canvas, 98 x 195 cm. Sold for TRL 200,000 (Estimate: TRL 140,000-180,000) Photo: Beyaz Art

Nejad Melih Devrim, Abstract Composition and Maria A Chantres
Left: Nejad Melih Devrim, Abstract Composition, 1955, oil on canvas, 197 x 96 cm. Sold for TRL 1,100,000 (Estimate: TRL 500,000-700,000) Photo: Beyaz Art
Right: Nejad Melih Devrim, Maria A Chantres, 1947, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 65 cm. Sold for TRL 250,000 (Estimate: TRL 80,000-110,000) Photo: Beyaz Art

Burhan Dogancay, Untitled
Burhan Dogancay, Untitled, 1977, acrylic on canvas, 122,5 x 121,9 cm. Sold for TRL 190,000 (Estimate: TRL 170,000-220,000) Photo: Beyaz Art

Ömer Uluc, Woman on all fours and Men tottering
Ömer Uluc, Woman on all fours and Men tottering, 1987, acrylic on canvas, 144 x 210 cm. Sold for TRL 450,000 (Estimate: TRL 350,000-450,000) Photo: Beyaz Art

Aksoy and Guleryuz
Left: Alaettin Aksoy, A Bayram Morning in Sulukule, 1988, oil on canvas ,114 x 146 cm. Sold for TRL 100,000 (Estimate: TRL 80,000-110,000) Photo: Beyaz Art
Right: Mehmet Güleryüz, The Homosexual and the Sailor, 1987, oil on canvas, 190 x 130 cm. Sold for TRL 210,000 (Estimate: TRL 180,000-240,000) Photo: Beyaz Art

Past and Future at Istanbul Modern

on Thursday, 21 March 2013. Posted in March, ---2013---

Garanti Bank's Project SALT opens a Branch in Ankara

On 20 March 2013 Istanbul Modern opened its long awaited new permanent collection exhibition „Past and Future“ showing 180 works by 136 Turkish and international artists from the museum’s extensive collection. 91 of these works are new acquisitions, which have never been exhibited before. The show features 22 artists whose works have recently been added to the collection for the first time, among them Handan Börüteçene, Orhan Cem Çetin, Canan Dağdelen, Nilbar Güreş, Ali Kazma, Burcu Perçin and Seçkin Pirim.

„Past and Future“ was developed after a reorganization of the museum’s collection into a new exhibition model, now using a chronological format to address the transformations of modern and contemporary art in Turkey from its beginnings to the present day with art media ranging from painting, sculpture, photography, drawing and installation to video.

While the previous exhibitions of the permanent collection have been organized into corridor-like galleries, „Past and Future“ opens spaces that interact with each other, thus visually linking artists of various periods and styles. Wall texts accompanying the works informing about the social, cultural, economic, and political dynamics of the relevant time periods are also a new feature in this exhibition.

Another interesting aspect of „Past and Future“ worth mentioning is that it displays Turkish contemporary artists alongside with international acclaimed artists such as Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Richard Wentworth, Mark Bradford, Julian Opie, Thomas Ruff, Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Saraceno, and Sterling Ruby. This concept enables visitors to compare themes in the artists’ work.

Istanbul Modern has definitely a big part in the transformation currently taking place in the Turkish visual arts scene. As Levent Çalıkoğlu, Chief Curator of Istanbul Modern and the curator of the exhibition puts it: “Istanbul Modern is still the first and only institution to have retraced the history of art in Turkey from the end of the 1800s to the present using a chronological approach to the display of modern and contemporary artworks.“

Exhibition View „Past and Future
Exhibition View „Past and Future“ at Istanbul Modern Museum, Photo: Istanbul Modern

Selected examples of the new acquisitions:

Canan’s Exemplary is a video about a girl in southeastern Anatolia, a girl who is “not permitted to be herself even in her dreams.” Through the story’s main character, the video investigates the mechanisms of discipline and control imposed socially on the female body, which is caught between secular and conservative debates.

The title of Taner Ceylan’s painting 1553, inspired by Süleyman the Magnificent’s wife Hürrem Sultan, is a reference to the year in which Süleyman had his son Prince Mustafa killed. The blood spread on the painting’s surface reminds us of the tension between power, force, and violence.

Canan and Taner Ceylan
Left: Canan, Exemplary, 2009, Video, 27’30”, loop, Photo: Istanbul Modern
Right: Taner Ceylan, 1553, 2012, oil on canvas, 215 x 140 cm. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery.

Nilbar Güreş’s video Undressing is a performance showing the artist wearing a costume that consistts of different kinds of headscarves. Slowly she starts to undress the headscarves one by one while mentioning the names of women that lives across Europe that she personally knows.

Nilbar Güreş, Undressing
Nilbar Güreş, Undressing, 2006, Video, 06’ 19’’, Photo: Istanbul Modern

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