Travelling women and black quadrilaterals

From constructivism to cosmism and an otherworldly intuition for colour: the SSM’s effusive tribute to the Russian Avant Garde

By Jamie Leptien | March 19, 2019


It’s been 73 years since George Costakis saw Olga Rozanova’s Green Stripe in a Moscow studio and started the collection that, to paraphrase the art historian Margit Rowell, required the history of 20th-century art to be rewritten. Rewritten not just because of the sheer volume and quality of works by...

Goran Filipec at the Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 17, 2019


The series of Istanbul Recitals for 2018-2019 at The Seed (the concert hall attached to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan), continued with a demonstration of pianistic prowess by the Croatian pianist Goran Filipec on Friday March 15. This was, in fact, Hungary’s National Day, the occasion on which Magyarország...

Gifts and conglomerations

Business is bright at the London Book Fair

By Roger Williams | March 15, 2019


Book sales were reported to be healthy at the three-day London Book Fair at Olympia, which ended yesterday. Publishers even said that there was little talk of Brexit in their deals. Audio books are up everywhere — perhaps driven by mobile downloads. This is the age of the conglomerates, with...

Dolapdere Big Gang at the Jolly Joker, Beyoğlu

By John Shakespeare Dyson | March 9, 2019


The concert by the group Dolapdere Big Gang at the Jolly Joker Club in Balo Sokak, Beyoğlu, on March 1 was my first experience of attending a pop concert on behalf of Cornucopia. I should hasten to point out that my reluctance to deal with the popular music scene in...

John Freely is the favourite…

...and 'Black Sea' is Best Travel and Food Book of the Year

By Roger Williams | March 6, 2019


The top sellers on the latest list from Cornucopia Bookshop sees John Freely’s Stamboul Ghosts: A Stroll through Bohemian Istanbul way out in front. This is unsurprising, as Freely was such a popular figure and a masterful guide to Istanbul, with many books to his credit. The London launch at...

Crimea photos at the Queen’s Gallery

Roger Fenton’s pictures getting a full showing for the first time

By Roger Williams | February 28, 2019


These photograph of Ottoman commanders (Ismael Pasha receiving his chibouque, left, and Ömer Pasha, right) are from 360 taken by Roger Fenton in Crimea and now on show at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, as part of the exhibition Russia, Royals and the Romanovs (until Sunday, April 28, 2019). Shadows...

Musical Shares: Flying fingers at the Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 18, 2019


The latest in the 2018–19 series of İstanbul Recitals was given by the American pianist Andrew Tyson at the Seed, the concert hall attached to the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan, on Friday February 15. As was the case with last month’s recital, the weather was cold, wet and windy....
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

Pomegranates bitten and seen

Jamie Leptien on the Pera Museum’s homage to Parajanov

By Jamie Leptien | February 9, 2019


Sergei Parajanov’s Repentance (Variations on themes by Pinturicchio and Raphael), 1989 (courtesy of the Pera Museum) Occupying the fourth and fifth floors of Istanbul’s Pera Museum until March 17, Parajanov with Sarkis is an...
Posted in Exhibitions, Film, Where the Art is

Touché and all that jazz

Musical Shares: Gilad Atzmon, Sarp Maden and Friends play Istanbul’s newest jazz venue

By John Shakespeare Dyson | February 3, 2019


The Gilad Atzmon / Sarp Maden Quartet – with Gilad Atzmon (above) on saxophone, Sarp Maden on guitar, Ercüment Orkut on piano, Eylem Pelit on bass guitar and Derin Bayhan on drums – performed in a curtain-raising event at Istanbul's new jazz club Touché, located beside the PSM (Performance Arts...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Jazz, Musical Shares

Battersea bliss

Find us this week at LARTA, the fabulous antique rug and textile art fair in Battersea Park

By Cornucopia | January 23, 2019


You can find Cornucopia at LARTA, the London Antique Rugs and Textile Arts Fair, this week, marooned in a lagoon of glorious textiles in Battersea. LARTA shares the Battersea Park venue with the Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair. The two fairs continue until Sunday. E-tickets are available to subscribers (write...
Posted in Textiles

The poetry of wrecks

The bright and melancholy photographs of Stefano Benazzo

By Cornucopia | January 19, 2019


In the Rahmi M Koç Museum on the Golden Horn, an institution that has rescued so many from the wrecker's yard, it is salutary lesson to see what might have been: vessels that have succumbed to the vicissitudes of time and tempest. Stefano Benazzo – photographer, sculptor, model maker (both...
Posted in Main Featured Turkey

A pilgrim’s pre-Ottoman progress

The Levantine adventures of an Italian small-town lawyer

By Roger Williams | January 17, 2019


Author John Mole set the clock back to the times of Chaucer in his Anglo-Turkish Society/Royal Anthropological Institute lecture in Bloomsbury last night as he described a pilgrimage to the Monastery of St Catherine in Egypt and the holy sites of Jerusalem undertaken by an Italian lawyer. So short in...

Cosmic curves

Weaving order into chaos: the kilims of Belkıs Balpınar

By Cornucopia | January 17, 2019


In New York's Ethan Cohen Gallery opens its first solo exhibition of her work, the Turkish textile artist, Belkıs Balpınar, pioneer of the contemporary art kilim, asks her weavers to defy gravity, and space, by introducing curvilinear shapes and vortexes into her flatweave designs. In this short essay the gallery...

Freddy Kempf at the Seed

By John Shakespeare Dyson | January 17, 2019


After a hiatus caused by a stay in delectable Tameside for the run-up to the festive season, I am back in Istanbul. On Saturday, January 12 I braved the appalling weather (almost as cold, wet and dismal as Manchester in August) to listen to a recital by Freddy Kempf (pictured...
Posted in Music and Performing Arts, Classical Music, Musical Shares

‘Ziyaret Tepe’ wins prestigious award

The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) names Cornucopia title 
‘Best Book of the Year’

By Roger Williams | January 13, 2019


Cornucopia Books has taken its place in publishing history by winning the 2019 Felicia A. Holton Book Award, the top award from the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and the Society for Classical Studies. Described as a ‘major work of nonfiction, representing the importance and excitement of archaeology to the...
Posted in Archaeology, Books

Art on the streets

A Conversation With Ill

By Evin Ashley Erdoğdu | December 22, 2018


Thousands of years ago, our paleolithic ancestors had the impulse to create art, adorning the Lascaux cave walls in paintings of animals, human figures and abstract signs. Their art remains on those walls today, marking the birth of the human spirit. Graffiti, or street art, as it has come to...
Posted in Contemporary Art

The Seventh Continent

By Emily Arauz | December 13, 2018


On December 11 the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) announced the title and theme of the 16th Istanbul Biennial: The Seventh Continent. Nicolas Bourriaud, curator of the upcoming biennial, described the inspiration for the exhibition and title at a press conference held at the Lycée Français Privé Saint-Joseph...
Posted in Contemporary Art

The secret of the Hill Cocktail

Now that was a party. The Freelys and Cornucopia celebrated the launch Stamboul Ghosts with a time-bomb of a cocktail…

By Maureen Freely | December 7, 2018


They were serious romantics, the adults who brought me up. They came to Robert College in the decades after the Second World War not just to teach, but to explore Istanbul, forgotten by the world in those days, and to them a revelation. They took us children with them on...
Posted in Books, Culinary Arts

Constantinopoli, circa 1600

By Cornucopia | December 5, 2018


A highly atmospheric take on Constantinople (Italian School, c1600) – every detail an Oriental Christmas card waiting to to be made, this monumental oil painting is being offered by Christie's London in its Old Masters evening sale (December 6, Lot 26, est £100,000–150,000). An inscription at the back of the...

High performance

By Jamie Leptien | November 30, 2018


The 2019 Istanbul Theatre Festival rolls into its final weekend, and for the first time in three years, I didn't miss it all. This past Thursday I joined a full house in the Zorlu PSM Main Theatre for the second of two four-dance performances given by Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT)....
Posted in Music and Performing Arts
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