Lithian Ricci’s whimsical project

An artist's home over the Golden Horn

By Monica Fritz | May 7, 2021


Lithian Ricci, an established artist from Rome, first joined Istanbul’s art scene in 2013, exhibiting her work at the Maçka Modern Gallery in Nisantasi. Falling in love with the city, she felt driven to find a house to restore and make it a place for her work. After much sweat...

An Easter church hunt

By Monica Fritz | May 1, 2021


To mark the Orthodox Easter, which falls this weekend – a full month after the Western churches celebrated the day, and a week after that spectacular pink full moon – I would like to share some images of two of Istanbul’s lesser-known Orthodox landmarks, two treasures well worth the hunt....

Gold dust

F Dilek Uyar wins the 2021 Pink Lady ‘Bring Home the Harvest’ Photographer of the Year Award

By Berrin Torolsan | May 1, 2021


This year the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Awards in the UK attracted no fewer than 10,500 photographers from 70 different countries the world over. The winner of the Bring Home the Harvest category was this stunning image, Drying Okra, by the Turkish photographer Fikret Dilek Uyar. A...

Stairways of Istanbul

By Monica Fritz | April 25, 2021


There is an infinity of magical stairways in this city; here are three of my favourites. Internal staircase to the church.  Exterior of the building in the back streets of Karakoy. These fine marble stairs that lead up to Aya Panteleimon, one of Karakoy's three Russian Orthodox rooftop churches are...

Good reverberations

Notes on ‘Secret Wildflower’ and Ayna Veer, the new album from Aydın Esen and friends

By John Shakespeare Dyson | April 22, 2021


It is too long since I heard USA-based Turkish jazz pianist Aydın Esen play live. I can still recall the chromatic crunchiness of his chords. At that concert in Istanbul in July 2019 (described in my blog), I watched and listened in awe as spherical baubles of meaningful melody crystallised...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Jazz

Fact or friction

For Thomas Roueché, ‘Scratch and Surface’, Deniz Gül’s new show at SALT Galata, bristles with possible meanings

By Thomas Roueché | April 18, 2021


The second edition of SALT Galata’s ongoing series of exhibitions, The Sequential, sees the institution play host to the conceptual artist Deniz Gül. In Scratch and Surface, Gül’s playful approach to her work speculates on the multifaceted nature of words and translation studies, and emerges from her wider interest in...

Happily bingeing on kitsch

The sheer joy of kitsch has turned the Pera Museum into a Wunderkammer

By Thomas Roueché | April 11, 2021


Kitsch has a troubled history. The term was initially coined as a response to the proliferation of art forms concurrent with the industrial revolution, and the awareness that mechanical reproduction had caused artworks to lose their aura. What was the meaning of an artwork when it was reproduced thousands of...
Posted in Critical Eye, Modern Art

Screen Test: Aestheticising the world of data

Refik Andadol’s immersive, evocative, emotional installations are drawing long queues, but what does that say about art?

By Thomas Roueché | April 4, 2021


Refik Anadol, whose new show, Machine Memoirs: Space, recently opened at Pilevneli Gallery in Dolapdere, is probably Turkey’s best known digital artist. A lecturer and visiting fellow at UCLA in Los Angeles, Anadol creates digital sculptures that are a monument to big data and artificial intelligence – the latter of...

Magnificent flying lots

By Cornucopia Connoisseur | April 4, 2021


Süleyman the Magnificent would, I am sure, be chuffed. The 'Lawgiver' (Lot 58) quadrupled his estimate at the Sotheby's Islamic sale last week, selling for £430,000. We would dearly love to know the lucky buyer was. Tips, please, to editor@cornucopia.net. It is not a huge painting, but the look is...

The Good, the Bad and the Simply Irresistible

Helena Kane Finn reviews an epic soap, Black Money Love (Kara Para Aşk)

By Helena Kane Finn | March 27, 2021


Well before the pandemic imposed a night-time curfew on Turkish streets (writes Andrew Finkel), there were many who went voluntarily into lockdown certain evenings of the week to watch their favourite television series. The Turkish dizi is a cultural phenomenon – somewhere between a soap opera and an epic – but an...
Posted in Film

Trailblazers of the Twentieth Century

A concert of avant-garde music from the Borusan Philharmonic

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 24, 2021


On Sunday, March 21, a concert by players from the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, originally recorded in January, was streamed online. Under the baton of Cem’i Can Deliorman, conductor of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, they played works by Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Ligeti. For those who did not see my advance...

A taste of spring in Beyoğlu

Cornucopia's gallery walks are back

By Monica Fritz | March 23, 2021


Beyoglu's galleries are open and on a sunny Saturday I filed through the unexpected crowds to see what was up. The whole city seemed to be out.  High above Mumhane Caddesi, a colourful dome of one of Karaköy's three rooftop Russian churches is visible against the crystal clear sky. At street...

Announcing a streamed concert from Borusan

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 21, 2021


The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra is to give a streamed concert on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. The programme is of 20th-century works by Schönberg, Stravinsky and Ligeti, and the guest conductor will be Cem’i Can Deliorman, conductor of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra. I will, God willing, be reviewing the proceedings...
Posted in Music & Performing Arts, - Classical Music, - Musical Shares

Portrait of two towers from my window

The Barracks of Selim III

By Monica Fritz | March 17, 2021


I recently moved away from the hordes of Moda to the absolute silence of Selimiye. A delightful improvement for my now older self, and the move slightly eased the travel itch. Selimiye, on the Üsküdar side of Haydarpaşa Station, away from bustling Kadıköy, seems to be one of the last...

The Literature House goes visual 

Ali Kazma's exhibition ‘Europeans’

By Monica Fritz and Tom Roueché (Portrait: Monica Fritz) | March 8, 2021


KIRAATHANE, a historic townhouse near the Tünel end of Beyoğlu, is Istanbul’s first literature house, dedicated to ‘the city's writers and readers of all age’, offering talks, book clubs, workshops, poetry readings and a lovely café which hopefully will open up again soon. It is a place of informal discussion about...

Give them art

The 360 Love Festival continued

By Monica Fritz | February 28, 2021


It feels like ages since I've strolled down Istiklal Cad., and on a sunny day the only clue of a pandemic were the masks hanging on and off the many faces. My destination was the elegant Mısır Apt. with its handsome staircase and up to the top floor to the famous...

Hasan Söylemez’s journey

An unusual tale

By Monica Fritz | February 16, 2021


This February the Istanbul Film Festival is offering 12 films, all available online. The one Turkish production among them is by the filmmaker Hasan Söylemez. I would describe this documentary, named Tenere after a region in the Sahara desert, as rough and captivating, with beautiful photography. The characters are so natural...

Istanbul Film Festival is alive and well online

A talk with the Festival’s director Kerem Ayan

By Monica Fritz | February 11, 2021


For those who haven't noticed, the Istanbul Film Festival has been going on and off online since May 15. Today I had a short chat with the festival’s director, Kerem Ayan, to see what’s planned for now and what we can expect for the upcoming 40th year, to be celebrated, hopefully,...

The Quintessential Artist’s House

The extraordinary world of Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu, (1911-1975) painter, poet, ceramist, printer and mosaicist in photographs. 

By Monica Fritz | January 31, 2021


Here, squeezed into the characterless streets of an Istanbul Asian suburb, you would never imagine finding this homage to an artist. The plan was to make a museum but, tangled up in bureaucracy, it is yet to open its doors to the public.  On a rainy winter day I was accompanied...

Istanbul’s Surreal Spring

Wrinkles of the City

By Monica Fritz | January 20, 2021


2015 was the year the now-famous French artist JR came to put his mark on our city with his project ‘Wrinkles of the City’. At the time it was like a treasure hunt, scanning the backstreets of Balat and Tarlabaşı in search of his oversized black-and white portraits that stood...
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