Art so fresh it’s still wet at Contemporary Istanbul – video


ART FAIR SELLING ART ART COLLECTORS TURKISH ARTISTS

VernissageTV has produced an insightful video on November’s Contemporary Istanbul 2010 where interviews with five gallery representatives are combined with shots of the fair hall. The video highlights, among other things, the growing sophistication of attending collectors and the freshness of the works being presented for sale. A new date for the fair is announced; next year the fair will coincide with the 12th International Istanbul Biennial. Read on for Art Radar‘s summary of these and more key points.

Click here to visit the official website for Contemporary Istanbul and here for more on the 12th International Istanbul Biennial.

Shirin Neshat’s ‘Raptures Series: Men with Cannons (close-up)’ (1999, C-Print, 5/5). In a video interview with VernissageTV at Contemporary Istanbul 2010, Frank Pages of Galerie Frank Pages said he had seen a lot of interest in Neshat's work. Image courtesy of Contemporary Istanbul.

Shirin Neshat’s ‘Raptures Series: Men with Cannons (close-up)’ (1999, C-Print, 5/5). In a video interview with VernissageTV at Contemporary Istanbul 2010, Frank Pages of Galerie Frank Pages said he had seen a lot of interest in Neshat's work. Image courtesy of Contemporary Istanbul.

Contemporary Istanbul attracts demanding international audience

Of the five interviews presented on this video, the talks with the Director of Gallery X-ist, Kerimcan Güleryüz, and Frank Pages of Galerie Frank Pages are the most revealing. Both mention that the audience, made up of attending galleries, collectors and curators, is young, open-minded, demanding and international.

“Many people were very interested in many of the artists we have, in fact, in all of them,” says Pages. “They have a big curiosity and [the audience] seems to be very young, even people [who] are older … are young in their mind and very open…. They were very fresh and demanding and [were] asking questions.”

“You have Turkish collectors who are now really understanding what the role of a collector is in the art scene,” says Güleryüz. Later in the interview he mentions that “one of the most important additions has been the unsurpassed amount of international collectors and curators and what I consider the art professionals.”

Below is a shortened version (5:00 mins) of VernissageTV’s full-length video on 2010′s Contemporary Istanbul. Watch it here or on YouTube.

Click here to view the video (21:51 mins) on VernissageTV. The full-length version is the second video in the article and it’s definitely worth sitting through the advertisement at the beginning in order to view it.

Contemporary Istanbul truly international?

First time exhibitor Pages, who has a gallery in Baden-Baden, saw success in sales: “In fact, we had interest in nearly everything, I’ve never had this before. And I [will be] doing this … for a while…. I will come back but I had that feeling before. I have a good feeling with Istanbul, as a city, and for art, too, and it’s a beautiful city. I like it.”

Boris Brockstedt of Galerie Brockstedt talks about an improvement in the quality of art, “[there's] a lot to be discovered,” and about this art being viewed by a large and positive audience, but warns “we shouldn’t forget it is a national art fair; it’s not an international art fair yet.”

Indeed, Anemone Vostell, Managing Director of the Galleries Association of Berlin (LVBG), said they had a hard time attracting galleries to exhibit with them at the fair due to a lack understanding of the Istanbul market. “The galleries don’t know [who] are the collectors here, what the art [is] like that people are collecting.” LVBG view the five galleries that did join them as “pioneers” and Istanbul as “a very uprising art place.”

Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysal's 'Untitled' (2010, polyester, 211 x 250 cm). Uysal was represented at Contemporary Istanbul by PiArtworks-B. Image courtesy of Contemporary Istanbul.

Turkish artist Mehmet Ali Uysal's 'Untitled' (2010, polyester, 211 x 250 cm). Uysal was represented at Contemporary Istanbul by PiArtworks-B. Image courtesy of Contemporary Istanbul.

Contemporary Istanbul: Art so fresh it’s still wet

And with Güleryüz talking about the freshness of the art on display, it seems Vostell’s claim of an “uprising” Istanbul may be true. “I think [that coinciding with the Biennial] is going to put the galleries in a position where they will now understand how important it is to show new works in the fair,” says Güleryüz. “I think that’s one of the biggest changes that I’ve seen this year…. What we used to see was there were a lot of other galleries that would show you works that were kind of almost left over works, they were a year or two years old….”

Anna von Bodungen of Berlin Art Projects, who this year focussed completely on Turkish contemporary artists, sums up the fair: “I think it’s more international, it’s more professional because the quality is much higher than the last year’s [fair and] if you look around, there are many galleries from abroad … so it’s becoming a better audience.”

Turkish artist Onur Gülfidan's 'Guard' (2010, acrylic and oil on canvas, 80 x 60 cm). His representing gallery, artSümer, says Gülfidan's work "reflects the social and political circumstances in which he lives." Image courtesy of Contemporary Istanbul.

Turkish artist Onur Gülfidan's 'Guard' (2010, acrylic and oil on canvas, 80 x 60 cm). His representing gallery, artSümer, says Gülfidan's work "reflects the social and political circumstances in which he lives." Image courtesy of Contemporary Istanbul.

Next year’s biennial piggyback for Contemporary Istanbul

What are the predictions for next year’s fair? Güleryüz discusses the fair’s new time: “I believe … the next event is actually going to be probably the most important one to date because of the fact that it is planned to coincide with the Biennial…. Combining something that has a commercial aspect like the art fair along with something that’s more about the intellectual aspects of the art world in the biennale structure … is going to be a fantastic unique combination.”

KN

Related Topics: Turkish artists, art fairs, videos

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