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The original Galeri Ilayda was founded in Ankara in 1992 by Sergül Okay. On its tenth anniversary, Sergül’s daughter, Ilayda Babacan, established the Istanbul branch (and Sergül closed her gallery in Ankara a few years later). The Istanbul gallery, located on the periphery between Beşiktaş and Nişantaşı, showcases both Turkish and international emerging and mid-career artists working across all disciplines.
The gallery’s principal focus is to represent artists who share a ‘process-apparent sensibility’ in their art. Artists with an authentic voice, an innovative use of materials and an appreciation of diverse media are mostly revered.
Indeed, Galeri Ilayda’s shows are often compelling and the 300-metre space is wonderfully utilised. The gallery stages monthly exhibitions between October and June, and a group exhibition showcasing the gallery’s roster of artists in July and August.
On the roster, there’s the veteran Turkish artist Barış Cihanoğlu; the politically-minded Caner Şengünalp; Damla Özdemir, who mostly works in collage; the painter Işıl Ulaş; the South Korean artist Son Kwang-Bae; and promising young Turkish artists Nurdan Likos, who tells a unique story with each of her canvases, and Aysel Alver known for her large, lifelike paper mâché sculptures which made a splash at the 2013 Contemporary Istanbul.
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