Let’s visit Contemporary Istanbul

Let’s visit Contemporary Istanbul

This year, the 12th edition of the Contemporary Istanbul art fair has been opened to visitors. At the opening, I personally witnessed the immense interest of art lovers in the fair.

Held at the Istanbul Congress Center and the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center, Contemporary Istanbul is a good chance to assess the state of contemporary art. Who produces what? What are art lovers interested in? In what direction is the sense of art evolving?

This year, 73 local and international galleries are presented at the fair.

If you ask to me, you should take a catalogue before you visit the fair, read it, and organize your visit route according to it. 

Contemporary Istanbul brings together Turkish painting with the artists from all over the world in the same space.

Buyers of paintings are able to see a rich list of selection, while also meeting the artists in person.

Many painters have prepared fresh works especially for this event. These works are thus on display together with the older ones.

As I walked around the fair, a number of questions were prompted in my mind.

Do Turkish painting lovers buy the art of foreign painters?

Do foreign gallery owners require paintings from us?

What is the sales percentage of our painters?

I certainly hope that the high ratio of visitors has a positive impact on the sales.

In the preface of the catalogue, Contemporary Istanbul Chairman Ali Güreli writes about the process of the past 12 years and what it tells us about the present day.

“Art is purifying and uplifting and compelling to the human soul. We, as humans, are transcended in front of art, just like we do with religion in every sense of the word,” Güreli writes.

“We are all aware that the essence of contemporary art is profoundly political. It is not completely malleable to the impacts of social, historical and political formations, but also embodies, transforms and reproduces them. It utilizes all of its critical capacity in this direction. Even so, this quality of contemporary art does not make it anything beyond art. Contemporary art is an artistic answer to everyday realities that surrounds us. Although it incorporates it all, it still exists in its authentic, individualistic ways. This is what makes contemporary art so powerful. It moves beyond the matters of daily life, and opens the doors of a peaceful and tolerant world through its critical narrative. This is why we need contemporary art more than ever now. We have developed the 12th edition of CI with these ideals and beliefs. We wanted the fair to be an answer to the chaos that surrounds our world,” he adds. 

Any increase in the number of visitors perhaps reflects an increase in the level of aesthetic interest in our country. So we must support all those who contribute.