‘The Gentleman of Istanbul’ and other sly tales

Turhan Selçuk smiles satirically, almost vaguely, and you find yourself joining him – Yaşar Kemal

By Luke Frostick | July 12, 2019

And that, as the great novelist said, is what great art is about. Minimalism is the key to Turhan Selçuk’s art – his drawings all bold black lines and harsh angles. However, as is so often the case with the best artists, simplicity can be deceptive. His torpedo passing through...
Posted in Exhibitions, Fine Art, Literature

Howard Hodgkin: a grand gesture

Portrait of an Artist, the Howard Hodgkin sale at Sotheby’s, October 24, 2017

By Thomas Roueché | October 15, 2017

That Howard Hodgkin (1932–2017) was an important collector of Indian Art is well known – not least from the frequent displays of his work internationally (two might be Visions of Mughal India: The Collection of Howard Hodgkin, at the Ashmolean, Oxford; and Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700, Opulence and Fantasy,...
Posted in Fine Art, Islamic Art

The Gingko Library and a toast to the East-West Divan

By Michael Hornsby | January 1, 2017

Recent news has made the need for dialogue and exchange between East and West feel more essential than ever. Fear of a Muslim terrorist-refugee bogeyman was one of the key things exploited by Donald Trump in his successful presidential campaign. Against such a grim backdrop, the arrival in Berlin in...
Posted in Fine Art, Islamic Art, Orientalism, Travel

Betting on Beyoğlu

Hacer Sayman is breathing new life into a Beyoğlu side street with her design boutique, antique shop and café

By Emma Harper | December 13, 2016

Hacer Sayman has a soft spot for neglected buildings. In a city like Istanbul, where historic structures are more likely to be demolished and replicated than conserved, her willingness to pour money into restoration projects is something of an anomaly. But it has served the community well: the beautiful old...
Posted in Architecture, Culinary Arts, Design, Fine Art, Islamic Art, Shopping

That poster!

By David Barchard | October 19, 2016

Last week was the 241st anniversary of the US navy – ‘Tough.’, Bold.’, and ’Ready.’ declared the poster, though it omitted to say that the navy was originally set up to fight Britain in the early months of the War of Independence. Instead in Turkey, eyes were suddenly glued to...
Posted in Fine Art, History

London’s Islamic Sales, Autumn 2015

By Emma Harper | September 16, 2015

For devotees of Islamic art, there is much to look forward to this autumn. Over the next few months the major auction houses in London will stage their biannual Islamic art sales, and a quick glance through the catalogues illustrates the many superb works on offer. We wanted to give...
Posted in Fine Art, Islamic Art

The fatal Orientalist

How the East turned the mind of the painter Richard Dadd

By Tim Cornwell | June 30, 2015

In 1842 the gifted young British artist Richard Dadd embarked on a 10-month journey across Europe to the Ottoman lands of the Orient. As a draughtsman and travelling companion to a Welsh gentleman tourist, he joined what would become a horseback marathon. The two men travelled through France, Italy and...
Posted in Exhibitions, Fine Art, History, Museums

The human face of war

Gallipoli Art Prize

By Victoria Khroundina | April 23, 2015

The very first blog I wrote for Cornucopia two years ago was on the Gallipoli Art Prize. And now on the Gallipoli Campaign’s centenary and the prize’s tenth and final instalment, it feels fitting and somehow bitter-sweet to report on it again.  The winner and runners-up were announced yesterday. There...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Fine Art, History, News

Gallery walkabout: Beşiktaş

Journeys taken

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | April 13, 2015

For our walk this week we are in Beşiktaş, where most of the galleries are offering solo shows, with two group exhibitions in the mix. Don’t underestimate this humble neighbourhood – it is home to some of the best galleries in the city. Esin Turan, ‘May 1st, 2013’, 2013, mixed...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Fine Art, Photography

Gallery walkabout: Nişantaşı

Art for the home

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | April 6, 2015

On the second part of our Nişantaşı walk we visit another six galleries offering solo shows of artists working in the disciplines of painting, sculpture, photography and design. Up for grabs are elegant wood sculptures, abstract mixed media on wood, unusual interior products and more. The seventh and final stop is...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Design, Exhibitions, Fine Art, Nature, Photography

The Polish Orientalists

By Victoria Khroundina | December 19, 2014

The 600th anniversary of Turkish-Polish relations has stimulated a year of outstanding exhibitions, film programmes, concerts and other events. The Sakıp Sabancı Museum staged an excellent historic show in the spring, SALT Galata is currently showing an exhibition focusing on contemporary Polish artists and a number of galleries (DEPO, Milli...
Posted in Exhibitions, Fine Art, History, Museums

Gallery walkabout: Beyoğlu

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | November 24, 2014

We are back in Beyoğlu for a jam-packed gallery walk, in which shows of contemporary Turkish masters and Orientalist painters can be enjoyed alongside works by on-the-rise artists from Turkey and the surrounding region. Merve Şendil, ‘Start’ Let’s start at the Tünel end of Istiklâl Caddesi. On Asmalımescit Caddesi, at...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Fine Art, History, Museums, Photography

Dubai’s new art fair

World Art Dubai 2015

By Victoria Khroundina | November 20, 2014

Dubai is determined to prove itself as a cultural capital with a strong presence of visual arts in the region and on the world stage – and the introduction of a new art fair might steer it along in the right direction. The inaugural World Art Dubai joins the established...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Fine Art, News

London’s Islamic Sales Week, October 2014

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | October 5, 2014

What a happy mix, the mingling of Islamic and Indian worlds under the umbrella of Islamic sales week in London. The three big auction houses stage their biannual Islamic art sales this week, and it is not too late to see what’s on offer. At Sothebys, Arts of the Islamic...
Posted in Fine Art

Istanbul in the winter

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | September 24, 2014

Thank you to one of our readers, Leyla Argun, for sending in her rendition of a black-and-white photograph taken of Istanbul in the winter of 1929.
Posted in Contemporary Art, Fine Art

‘Images of the Other’ conference: an overview

By Victoria Khroundina | September 5, 2014

A fascinating conference took place this week exploring how cities are perceived through imagery. Scholars, architects, photographers, writers, artists and film-makers convened in a spacious and acoustically pleasing room at the sumptuous Austro-Hungarian embassy in Yeniköy, on the European shore of the Bosphorus. The conference, entitled ‘Images of the Other’,...
Posted in Architecture, Books, Contemporary Art, Film, Fine Art, History, Literature, News, Photography, Talks and Lectures

A state-of-the-art trilogy

Borusan Contemporary’s spring exhibitions

By Victoria Khroundina | May 2, 2014

There are three very worthy exhibitions currently on at Borusan Contemporary in the Bosphorus neighbourhood of Rumelihisarı. The handsome red building, the Perili Köşk, or the ‘Haunted Mansion’, has a rich history dating back to the 1910s and underwent an extensive renovation in the late 1990s. It is only open...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Film, Fine Art, Photography

Love letters paint history

The Gallipoli Art Prize 2014

By Victoria Khroundina | April 25, 2014

The Sydney landscape painter Idris Murphy has won the Gallipoli Art Prize this year for his touching painting inspired by the letters his grandfather, a soldier  in the First World War, wrote to the woman who would become Murphy’s grandmother. The painting, ‘Gallipoli Evening 2013’ (above), depicts a solitary tree...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Fine Art, History, News

TCF Fellowships

Applications now open

By THE CORNUCOPIA BLOG | April 23, 2014

A good thing to keep in the back of the mind is the Turkish Cultural Foundation’s (TCF) fellowship programme. There are two types: the Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art and the Cultural Exchange Fellowship.  The TCF Fellowship in Turkish Culture and Art has provided funding to young and established scholars since...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Culinary Arts, Design, Film, Fine Art, History, Islamic Art, Literature, Museums, Music and Performing Arts, News

Gifts from the Shah

‘Shah Abbas’ Gifts to the Serenissima’ exhibition

By Victoria Khroundina | March 19, 2014

A fascinating exhibition on display at the Chamber of the Scrutinio in the Doge’s Palace in Venice traces the history of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Venice and the Safavid Persia under the rule of Shah Abbas the Great (1587–1629). The show specifically highlights the gifts exchanged between the two powers...
Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Fine Art, History, Islamic Art
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