13 March 2021

Continuing to support the art market in Turkey, Contemporary Istanbul’s 15th edition, sponsored by Akbank, brings together leading galleries at the Lütfi Kırdar Convention and Exhibition Center with 2 days of VIP previews on both May 4 to 5 followed by general admission from May 6 to 9, 2021.

Contemporary Istanbul, which addresses the healing power and enticing effect of contemporary art from a novel perspective, is opening its doors with the 15th edition so as to continue to support the works of artists who are the inner voice of society, by focusing the creativity of Turkey’s art industry. Sponsored by Akbank, with two days of VIP preview scheduled for May 4-5 and general admission for May 6-9, Contemporary Istanbul, aims at cooperating with art institutions and galleries to deliver a sustainable art environment. Therefore, in this edition it only aims to attract visitors to a special configuration dedicated to galleries from Turkey.

The changing face of the reshaped art environment that has been altered due to the pandemic, Contemporary Istanbul, following the Virtual version in December, will welcome collectors, artists and art enthusiasts in its 15th fair. For this, Contemporary Istanbul designed the 15th edition so as to host leading art galleries. On May 4-5, “Artist Day” will be celebrated with the staging of contemporary art performances, solo exhibitions and that of all artists whose works are exhibited by the galleries. In its 8th year, the digital and new media art Plug-in Istanbul section will address the contemporary approaches to technology, science and art through the theme of “post-”.

As a result of the meetings with the participant galleries and contemporary Istanbul Advisory Board members during the pandemic period, Contemporary Istanbul has structured the new edition to jumpstart the art market with its programs, performances and Plug-in İstanbul Section where it showcases new art.

Ali Güreli, the Chairman of Contemporary Istanbul commented on the focus of the 15th edition as follows:

Despite all the difficulties, Contemporary Istanbul continues on its way creating new opportunities. In 2020, we launched Virtual Contemporary Istanbul, whilst our foundation, CIF, presented light art and digital art works for the first time in Istanbul with the support of IBB (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality). In May, we will fulfill our responsibility to Istanbul and to the art market. The enthusiastic art environment that begins in May will be uniting, exciting and rejoiceful. We invite our artists, art galleries, academics, collectors and art enthusiasts to the 15th Contemporary Istanbul. 


Plug-in Artists

Sponsored by Siemens Home Turkey curated by Esra Özkan, the Plug-in section, dedicated to digital and new media art will take place this year with the participation of Ahmet Rüstem, Bevoid, Can Büyükberber, Ece Gözen, Enes Özenbaş & Ethem Cem, Hakan Sorar, Sofia Crespo H.o, Mert Kızılay& Hakan Gündüz, Maxim Zhestkov, Mario Klingemann, Nye Thompson, Onur Sönmez, Philipp Schmitt & Steffen weiß, Selin Balcı, Yonca Karakaş.


15th Contemporary Istanbul Program:

4-5 May               VIP Preview

6-9 May               General Admission

6-9 May               Between 11:00 – 13:00 every day, the fair will be open to visit for VIP cardholders.


Please visit for more information on Contemporary Istanbul with Akbank as main sponsor and other sponsors Siemens Home Turkey, leading automobile manufacturer Audi and the largest airline company in the World by number of passenger destinations Turkish Airlines


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About Akbank

Akbank, has been supporting Contemporary Istanbul, which for over 15 years has contributed greatly to the development of art in our country. Akbank has been carrying out many important projects in the field of arts and culture throughout the years. Akbank has been promoting projects that add value to society and prioritizes development, change and innovation in all fields og human endeavor. With these projects, Akbank aims to preserve local and universal heritage and transfer it to future generations, for it to reach thousands of art lovers. Contemporary Istanbul, which introduces contemporary art to wider constituencies and occupies a primary position in the culture and art agenda has become, thanks to the main sponsorship of Akbank, a contemporary art event of global resonance. Akbank will continue to support Contemporary Istanbul, which is closely followed by art circles.


Info and Contact

Corporate Communication

Bike Çetinel

[email protected]