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Merkur Gallery was founded in 2010 by Sabiha Kurtulmuş who, with 19 years of experience in the art market, hopes to showcase emerging and established contemporary artists from Turkey and beyond.
It originally opened on Şakayık Sokağı and moved to its present 340-square metre former Mim Kema Öke Caddesi apartment (a trend which extends to many Nişantaşı galleries) home to some of Istanbul’s biggest gallery names in 2012. Rooms of varying sizes are used to create an impressive exhibition space, with sofas and benches for guests to rest their feet as they contemplate the art. The feel is homely but elegant.
Regular usually monthly exhibitions are staged throughout the year, mostly showcasing the work of the gallery’s represented artists. One of Kurtulmuş’ main goals is to exhibit the work of young artists, selecting them, they say on the basis of their ‘concepts, materials and aesthetic perception’.
Merkur’s roster includes almost 20 artists, mostly of Turkish origin and working in a wide variety of disciplines, including painting, photography, sculpture, product design, textiles and installation.
Some standouts include German-born Ali İbrahim Öcal; Denizhan Özer; the sculptor Ebru Döşekçi; Ersan Deveci, who is interested in military concepts in his work; Ozan Oganer; the filmmaker Recep Akar; Sinan Demirtaş, who produces stunning hyperrealist paintings; the Turkish Bulgarian-born artist Şevket Sönmez; and rising star Volkan Kızıltunç. International talent includes the Iraqi artist Halim Al-Karim, who is profoundly influenced by his harrowing experiences during the Gulf War.
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