Historical building in Istanbul’s Şişli becomes arts center
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
AA PhotosThe historical Mongeri building in Istanbul’s Şişli district has reopened as an art center after two years of work.
The building was built by Giulio Mongeri, a prominent Italian architect in the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the first years of the Turkish Republic.
Bozlu Art Project Galleries and Institute Director Özlem İnay Erten said the restored building, which carries traces of Ottoman architectural style with a domed tower, tile panels and lancet arches, dates back to 1925.
“This building served as the headquarters of Bozlu Holding but we worked for two years to turn it into an arts center,” Erten said.
She added that the center would host the art collection of Dr. Şükrü Bozluolçay, while regular exhibitions would also be presented.
“Bozluolçay’s collection includes works by prominent figures of contemporary and modern Turkish art. Along with regular exhibitions, the most important thing for us is to contribute to the formation of information and document it, as there is an absence of this in Turkey,” Erten said.
“We are establishing a big library including art books published since the Ottoman times. We now have more than 10,000 publications and we want researchers and art lovers to take advantage. We also want to host art talks and events here,” she added.
A unique collection
Bozlu Art Project Director Oğuz Erten said they had already opened artist workshops in the center.
“The artist workshop is a field for Turkey’s most important and best known artists. We want to add more artists to these workshops,” he said, adding that the collection was unique in Turkey and abroad for displaying artists’ materials alongside their work.
“I don’t think such a collection exists in Turkey and abroad. This collection has the brushes and palettes that artists use when working, as well as the pants and aprons they wear,” he said.
On an area of 1,500 square-meters, the center hosts works by artists from various eras such as Adnan Çoker, Abdurrahman Öztoprak, Güngör Taner, Mustafa Ata, Zekai Ormancı, Mehmet Güleryüz, Komet, Utku Varlık, Nur Koçak, Koray Ariş, Halil Akdeniz, Bedri Baykam, Balkan Naci İslimyeli, Bubi, Server Demirtaş, Halil Altındere, Ekrem Yalçındağ, Selma Gürbüz, Serhat Kiraz, Kazım Karakaya, Volkan Diyaroğlu, Semih Zeki, Evren Erol, Ali Alışır and Çağatay Odabaş.