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International Art Collaboration

Instanbul museum of contemporary art MuseumOya Eczacıbaşı, Chair of İstanbul Modern, describes Turkey’s spectacular museum of contemporary art, found on the edge of the Bosphorus.

As Turkey’s first museum of modern art founded by the private sector, İstanbul Modern strives to be a multifaceted, attractive and accessible culture and arts platform for visitors of every age and interest, from first-time museum-goers and primary school children to contemporary art enthusiasts and scholars.

Apart from permanent and temporary exhibitions of painting, sculpture, photography and video, İstanbul Modern offers a broad range of educational programmes, workshops and seminars for children, students and adults; film programmes and social events; and access to an extensive reference library, café-restaurant and gift store featuring modern art/design items.

Over the course of the eight years since its launch, İstanbul Modern has organised four exhibitions of its permanent collection and more than 50 temporary exhibitions, including retrospectives of prominent Turkish artists and international shows featuring work by leading figures in global contemporary art, photography and design.

In the 2012 autumn/winter season, visitors to İstanbul Modern will be able to enjoy three new temporary exhibitions as well as a new exhibition of our permanent collection of Turkish modern and contemporary art: Past and Future.

Starting in mid-October, İstanbul Modern will host one of the two exhibitions comprising the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts’ First Istanbul Design Biennial: Imperfection.

Curated by Emre Arolat, Musibet/The Aestheticization of Context and Anti-Context in Design along the Axis of the Grand Transformation looks at the processes of urban transformation occurring in Turkey and two antithetical design approaches that go hand in hand with these processes. Through these lenses, the exhibition examines urban development in Istanbul and other cities, including housing projects, social inequalities reproduced by urban transformation and the use of architecture and city planning to showcase power and revise history. (13 October – 12 December 2012)

Gaze – The Changing Face of Portrait Photography is a Bank of America Merrill Lynch exhibition made possible by ‘Art in our Communities’, the bank’s programme for lending selections from its collection to museums around the world at no cost. Through the works of 52 influential photographers, the exhibition displays the rich diversity of artistic styles and processes that have been used for photographic portraiture since the emergence of photography 160 years ago. (Until 20 January 2013)

Inner and Outer Transformation: A View on Chinese Contemporary Art is a special event that we have organised in collaboration with the China International Exhibition Agency of China Arts and Entertainment Group to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Turkey. The exhibition focuses on how 16 contemporary Chinese artists reinterpret traditional Chinese culture and philosophy and their relationship to new external realities through contemporary techniques, new discoveries and ground breaking approaches. (Until 25 November 2012.)

In 2013, we hope to build on this event with an even more comprehensive exhibition of Chinese contemporary art from the collection of the National Art Museum of China.

All three of these exhibitions highlight the importance we give to strengthening the exchange between local and international art communities through collaboration with museums and other art institutions around the world, such as the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Design Museum in London and MoMA in New York. In 2008, for example, we hosted Design Cities, an exhibition curated by Design Museum Director Deyan Sudjic of works that transformed the concept of universal design. During this exhibition, we had the great delight and honour of hosting Her Majesty The Queen at İstanbul Modern. Similarly, in line with our mission to promote Turkey’s artistic production and cultural identity on international platforms, we have also organised major exhibitions in museums and galleries in many cities, including Athens, Berlin, Moscow, Paris, London, Rotterdam, Seoul and Vienna.

Through these and many other activities that are described in more detail on our website, we believe İstanbul Modern has instilled a whole new energy into Turkey’s contemporary art world and contributed to Istanbul’s new international standing as a world capital of culture.


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