November 28, 2011
62,000 Art Lovers Visited 6th Contemporary Istanbul
Contemporary İstanbul, the premier art fair of the region supported by its main sponsor Akbank Private Banking and its associate sponsor Zorlu Centre, opened its doors to art lovers on November, 24th and was open until the 27th. This edition brings together 90 contemporary art galleries from 20 countries, half of them international, featuring art initiatives, projects and publications along with art institutions in addition to the exhibitions.
A great number of art lovers, collectors and members of foreign and domestic press visited Contemporary İstanbul in its sixth edition, the only international contemporary art fair in Turkey. Inaugurated on November 23, the fair was visited by 62,000 art lovers and 2,100 collectors throughout the 5 days. This year the fair area was doubled as Istanbul Congress Centre was also included in the fair area which led to an increase of 20% in the number of visitors compared to the last year. The total value of the works exhibited reached 80 million TL, and 75% of the works on display were reached their new owners.
Amongst the foreign galleries Mario Mauroner, Krampf, and Edge Of Arabia were the most predominant ones. Contemporary art and artists from Korea and the Gulf Area who were hosted in the “New Horizons” section received a great deal of interest. Rampa, Galerist, Nev, Pilot, Artist, Mana, Elipsis, Dirimart, and x-ist were the most predominant Turkish galleries in the fair.
“If it is not them, it is another – Esrarengiz” exhibition organized to honor the 70th birthday of Komet received a lot of attention by visitors.
Lectures by Sotheby's Institute of Art, Head of London Art Management Program Dr. Iain Robertson, Contemporary Istanbul Advisory Board Member and Head of Mimar Sinan University Fine Arts Sociology Department Prof. Dr. Ali Akay, Akbank Art Director Derya Bigalı, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts’ (IKSV) Director Görgün Taner, Arkas Collection’s Art Consultant Karoly Aliotti, Curator Başak Şenova, the Founder of Proje 4L and collector Can Elgiz, Erste Group Art Collection’s Consultant and curator Walter Seidl, Art Consultant and curator Hans Irrek and Contemporary Istanbul’s General Coordinator Prof. Dr. Hasan Bülent Kahraman in the CI Dialogues Conference Series attracted great interest. In these lectures, topics relating to art management, the future of art institutions, contemporary art market, art collections and the Gulf area were discussed.
Art and entertainment on the same stage
Abiding by its tradition Contemporary Istanbul’s opening event as well as the closing party was packed with guests. This year’s slogan was “The Art Destination” and the fair participants as well as Istanbulian art lovers took part in the 6th Contemporary Istanbul closing party, “The Night Destination” organized in The Hall Urban Style in cooperation with FG 93.7.
Art that involves daily life
This year, Contemporary Istanbul went beyond the borders of Istanbul Congress Centre and Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre. For the first time this year, works are also being exhibited in public places in Nişantaşı. Colorful installation called “Es Pain” by Spanish artist Carlos Aires (Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art, Vienna) can be seen in the façade of The Sofa Hotel. An installation called “Flag/Eye” by Azade Köker became one of the symbols in the Rumeli entrance of Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Outcomes of the fair
As well as being the scene of a cultural and artistic transformation process that Istanbul has been going through in recent years, Contemporary Istanbul has also documented this process.
While Istanbul Biennale turned Istanbul into an aesthetic center of the world, Contemporary Istanbul positions Istanbul in a world that focuses on an aesthetically preferential capital.
Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Beirut Art Fair managers and directors also observed Contemporary Istanbul. While Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Beirut Art Fair directors proposed cooperation with Contemporary Istanbul without being aware of each other’s intentions, they also stated that Contemporary Istanbul is the “locomotive” as well as being the center of the area.
The CEO of the Seoul Art Centre, which participated in Contemporary Istanbul for the first time this year, Mr. Yong Chul SHIN, expressed his admiration to the level and the quality of Turkish contemporary art. He also added that he and his team were very much impressed by quality of the art, market and collector relationship they witnessed in Istanbul and he was sure that the Turkish contemporary art exhibition which will be held in Seoul next year would receive a great deal of interest.
Participating Turkish galleries expressed their excitement about the growth of the market and economic performance created as well as of the artistic improvement promoted by Contemporary Istanbul.
International participants underlined that they found the timing of the fair to be very significant and beneficial.
The Contemporary Istanbul management has decided to organize, in 2012, Turkish contemporary art exhibitions in two countries with the participation of 20 artists featuring 100 works. The first exhibition will be held in Seoul in South Korea in May and the second one will be opened in September in London, England. The success of these two exhibitions is already being discussed. Members of the Korean press indicated that they were already very excited about the exhibition that will be held in May and the participant Turkish artists stated that they were confident that the event would attract lots of interest.
1,000 press members from written, visual and digital media from Turkey and approximately 100 press members from Gulf Countries, Korea, China Singapore as well as European countries such as Germany, England, USA, Spain, France and Italy covered Contemporary Istanbul this year.
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