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One of the oldest galleries in the city, Maçka Sanat – located right near Maçka Park in Nişantaşı – was founded in 1976 by sisters, Varlık Sadıkoğlu and Rabia Çapa, who believe that contemporary art must be presented within a contemporary space. The walls and floor of the gallery are covered with ivory ceramic tiles, which breaks the traditional norms of a ‘white cube’ gallery space.
The gallery started off with exhibiting paintings in one of its two rooms and traditional Anatolian art in its second room. In the 1980s, it started welcoming artists with different artistic approaches and in the years to come, the gallery changed its vision and started supporting conceptual art. In the 1990s, it became one of the few galleries in Istanbul to show paintings and installations by both Turkish and international artists such as the French conceptual Daniel Buren and the French multi-disciplinary artist François Morellet. Today, it hosts about six exhibitions per year, as well as the odd artist talk or performance.
Throughout the years, the gallery has represented some of the most important names on the Turkish and European art scene, including the abstract artist Adnan Çoker, a central figure in 20th-century Turkish art; the photographer Ali Konyalı; the Armenian conceptual artist Sarkis; the beloved performance artist Şükran Moral; the Turkish artist Seyhun Topuz, known for her abstract sculptures; Ergül Özkutan; the late Fahrelnissa Zeid, whose 1958 ‘Untitled’ painting was the first modern Turkish work to exceed $1 million at auction; Füreya Koral, one of the first female Turkish ceramists whose work blended the elements of Islamic and Western art; Füsun Onur; the late designer and artist Mengü Ertel; Mübin Orhon; the late Albanian modernist painter Sabri Berkel; and Serhat Kiraz. Some of these artists are now represented by other galleries as well, some are no longer practicing art and some are sadly no longer with us.
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