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Guide for art enthusiasts in Istanbul: Must-see exhibitions in July

Guide for art enthusiasts in Istanbul: Must-see exhibitions in July The girl is walking through a gallery. (Adobe Stock Photo)
By Selin Hacialioglu
Jul 8, 2024 1:08 PM

Istanbul’s art scene is buzzing this July with a variety of exhibitions that cater to diverse tastes and interests. Whether you are an expatriate living in the city or a visitor exploring its cultural depths, Istanbul’s galleries offer a vibrant mix of contemporary and traditional art. This guide will help you navigate through some of the most compelling exhibitions on display this month.

The city’s artistic offerings include innovative installations, thought-provoking sculptures, and dynamic photographs that challenge perceptions and inspire creativity. From upcycled art that promotes sustainability to digital works exploring new mythologies, Istanbul’s galleries are brimming with creativity and innovation.

Here are some exhibitions you shouldn’t miss:

As It Seems (‘Gorundugu Gibi’) by Sakir Gokcebag at Arter

Dates: Until November 10, 2024
Location: Arter, Dolapdere
Details: Curator Emre Baykal brings together a unique collection of installations, sculptures and photographs by Sakir Gokcebag. The artist repurposes everyday objects like umbrellas, garden hoses and shirts, transforming them into creative compositions.

“Gokcebag reinterprets mundane objects through playful compositions,” Baykal stated. This exhibition encourages viewers to see the world in new and surprising ways.

Upcycle Istanbul art, design festival at Muze Gazhane

Dates: Until July 28, 2024
Location: Muze Gazhane, Kadikoy
Details: This festival focuses on upcycling, turning discarded materials into valuable art pieces. The exhibition features works by 40 artists, including Genco Gulan and Irfan Onurmen. Curator Erkan Doganay highlights that these are objects “destined for the trash but transformed into art.”

The exhibition promotes sustainability and creativity with various artworks, from repurposed paint tubes to plastic crates, highlighting themes of environmental awareness and resource efficiency.

Imagine You Are Not Here (‘Farz Et Ki Sen Yoksun’) at Arter

Dates: Until December 28, 2024
Location: Arter, Dolapdere
Details: Curator Selen Ansen presents a diverse collection from Omer Koc’s personal collection, spanning nearly 400 works. The exhibition explores themes of absence and presence through a range of artistic mediums, offering a deeply reflective experience. The collection challenges the traditional concept of curation, presenting objects in new contexts.

Digital Mythologies (‘Dijital Mitolojiler’) at Borusan Contemporary

Dates: Until August 18, 2024
Location: Borusan Contemporary, Rumeli Hisari
Details: Curator Dr. Necmi Sonmez explores the intersection of digital imagery and contemporary art. The exhibition features selected works from the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection, tracing the evolution of visual culture in the digital age. The digital era redefines how we perceive art.

Concerning Air (‘Havaya Dair’) at Salt Beyoglu

Dates: Until August 18, 2024
Location: Salt Beyoglu, Beyoglu
Details: This interdisciplinary exhibition, designed by the studio 2050+, addresses the social and ecological dimensions of air pollution. It seeks to make the intangible aspects of air quality tangible and comprehensible. The exhibition uses visual and auditory experiments to highlight air pollution issues.

Accompanied Minors by David Salle at Sevil Dolmaci

Dates: Until July 25, 2024
Location: Sevil Dolmaci Istanbul, Besiktas
Details: This exhibition marks the first solo show in Türkiye by American artist David Salle. It features 21 new paintings created specifically for the Istanbul audience, blending different media and dimensions. Salle aims to create works that resonate with the local context.

Magnum in Istanbul (Magnum Istanbul’da) at Bulgur Palas

Dates: Until August 31 2024
Location: Bulgur Palas, Fatih
Details: This exhibition celebrates the 77th anniversary of Magnum Photos, featuring over 200 works by 70 photographers. It includes a special section dedicated to Turkish photojournalist Emin Ozmen. The exhibition offers a comprehensive look at Magnum’s legacy.

Young Meetings (‘Genc Bulusmalar’) at Taksim Sanat

Dates: Until July 21 2024
Location: Taksim Sanat, Beyoglu
Details: Curator Meric Aktas presents works from 45 young artists from 20 different universities across Türkiye. The exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photographs, and textile works addressing themes like environmental issues and social values. The exhibition gives a platform for emerging artists to express their views on contemporary issues.

Unnamed (‘Unnamed’) by Ulku Yilmaz at Decollage Art Space

Dates: Until July 7, 2024
Location: Decollage Art Space, Kadikoy
Details: This solo exhibition by Ulku Yilmaz explores emotions and expressions beyond words. Yilmaz invites viewers to delve into deep, often unspoken feelings through powerful and unrestricted artistic expressions. Yilmaz aims to communicate what words cannot.

Waiting Ones (‘Bekleyenler’) by Cetin Akmese at Galeri Miz

Dates: Until July 10, 2024
Location: Galeri Miz, Nisantasi
Details: Cetin Akmese’s exhibition examines the struggle to adapt to the rapid changes of modern life. Through paintings and sculptures, Akmese explores themes of identity, conformity, and the feeling of being trapped. The works encourage viewers to reflect on their own experiences of modern life’s pressures.

Sprouted From a Crack (Filizlendigimiz Bir Catlak) at Sanatorium

Dates: Until July 20, 2024
Location: Sanatorium, Beyoglu
Details: This group exhibition features works by Leman Sevda Daricioglu, Ndaye Kouagon, and Elif Saydam. Curated by Melih Aydemir, the exhibition explores themes of resistance and adaptation in the face of oppressive structures. The works invite viewers to reconsider their notions of struggle and resilience.

Timeless Curiosities (‘Zamansiz Meraklar’) at Istanbul Modern

Dates: Until August 11, 2024
Location: Istanbul Modern, Karakoy
Details: This exhibition focuses on how modern technologies and digital culture influence the creation and perception of art. It brings together diverse works that examine the impact of digital tools on contemporary artistic practices.

Reflections of the Past (‘Zamanin Ardindan’ Istanbul – Roma) by Kenan Isik at Kalyon Kultur

Dates: Until October 13, 2024
Location: Kalyon Kultur, Sisli
Details: This exhibition explores the historical connections between Istanbul and Rome through Kenan Isik’s paintings, sculptures and installations. It invites viewers to reflect on the shared heritage and cultural dialogues between these two ancient cities.

These exhibitions offer a glimpse into the rich and diverse art scene of Istanbul. Each provides unique perspectives and thought-provoking themes, making them must-visit events this month. Enjoy your cultural journey through the heart of Türkiye’s art capital!

Last Updated:  Jul 8, 2024 1:12 PM