Gallery walkabout: Karaköy to Galatasaray


Over the next few weeks, as we round off our gallery walks before the summer break, we take you on a number of walks in the art hubs of Karaköy, Tophane and Beyoğlu. This week, we have two new additions and a concentration of exhibitions showing photography as well as Italian-related shows.

Serkan Demir, ‘First aid kit’, 2014, oil tank, welded metal


Let’s start at artSümer, at Mumhane Caddesi 67 (parallel to the main street, Kemeraltı Caddesi), which is in its last week of hosting the young artist Serkan Demir’s show Operation report. For his first show at the gallery, Demir presents a series of ready-made objects inspired by his journal entries. These works focus on the concept of ‘confrontation’, and explore the ways in which religious, ideological and social discontent permeate society.

Serkan Demir, ‘Believes and works’, 2014, welded metal, stone, 31 x 25 x 10cm

Please enquire directly with artSümer for prices. The gallery will open a summer group exhibition next week, which runs until the end of July before closing for August.

Ayhan Ayyıldız, ‘Untitled’, 2015, limited edition C-print, 57 x 50 cm, courtesy of SPACE DEBRIS


On the narrow parallel street, Hoca Tahsin Sokak, Space Debris Art at No 15 is also in its last week of hosting a worthwhile solo show. In Kill Sexy, the artist Ayhan Ayyıldız creates a fictional narrative exploring the perversion of capitalism. From the 1930s onwards the uniforms of the Turkish Army were designed by Chanel, while those of the German SS were made by Hugo Boss. Inspired by this, Ayyıldız’s tongue-in-cheek works form a fictional narrative in which Louis Vuitton does a brand makeover for the American Army and a flagship LV store opens at the White House.

Ayhan Ayyıldız, ‘Tetraptych’, 2015, limited edition C-print, courtesy of SPACE DEBRIS

Prices range from €400 to €1,200. Apart from a number of one-off workshops and events, Space Debris Art will be closed for the summer.

Francesco Carrozzini, ‘Cate Blanchett’, 2014


Turn left at the next street, Gümüş Halka Sokak, and walk down to Istanbul’74 Karaköy, which opens a new exhibition tomorrow (June 9). Presented in collaboration with Chopard, Portraits showcases images of famous faces by the young and very talented Italian-born photographer and Emmy-Award-nominated director, Francesco Carrozzini.

Francesco Carrozzini, ‘Cate Blanchett’, 2014

Photographs are priced at $3,500 each plus tax. The gallery will be open during the summer but the programme has not yet been announced. Please check its website for updates. 

Exhibition view


Navigate your way back to the main drag, Kemeraltı Caddesi, and head west. At Karaköy square take a steep right onto Bankalar Caddesi. Just on the corner is Kasa Galeri, hosting Take a Right to Milan, featuring the works of two Turkish artists selected to represent Turkey at the 17th International Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean. Taking place in October in Milan, the Biennial will feature works be Gökçe Er and Gökçen Dilek Acay, alongside pieces by over 300 other artists. 

Silva Bingaz, ‘Untitled’ (from the ‘Balat’ series), 2015, fine art print, 60 x 90 cm, €2,200


Now, brave the climb to Galata Tower and just nearby you will find a new addition to our walks: the fairly young, but very good Öktem & Aykut gallery. Opened by Tankut Aykut and Doğa Öktem, who met at Nişantaşı’s Dirimart gallery in 2014, the gallery owners – barely out of their 20s – hope to lead a younger generation of artists and art lovers, and to strengthen inter-generational connections within Turkish art circles.

Silva Bingaz, ‘Untitled’ (from the ‘Balat’ series), 2015, fine art print, 60 x 90 cm, €2,200

Currently on show are striking photographs by Silva Bingaz. For the past 15 odd years she has been photographing various marginal regions. In her series Balat, Bingaz once again focuses on human-space relations in a coastal urban area, as she has previously done in Yeşilköy, Marseille and Tottori. Prices range from €900 to €2,200. The gallery will close until September after this show.

Exhibition view, photo: CHROMA


For our next stop, instead of more hill-climbing, make your way back down to Kemeraltı Caddesi and catch a five-minute (uphill) taxi to Çukurcuma, where we find another new addition to our walks, Blok Art Space (main image). This gallery is also in its last week or so of showing the Italian artist Marco Di Giovanni’s first solo show in Turkey, part of a project created by the artist for four different locations: Istanbul and three Italian cities.

Exhibition view, photo: CHROMA

The Edible Infinite is a conceptual show dealing with a number of different themes. In the main room of the gallery, there is an intricate installation (above top) in the form of a visual diary, showing what the artist has eaten and drunk for the past 11 months. Another section shows a series of Moleskine diaries (above bottom), arranged in a very light representation of the skyline of Gran Sasso seen from Teramo, Di Giovanni’s birthplace. Prices range from €100 to €7,000. The art space will have an exhibition at the end of June and then July, before closing for August.

Alex Prager, ‘Desiree’


Head east on Faik Paşa Caddesi and turn left on Turnacıbaşı Caddesi. At the end of the winding street (an absolutely gorgeous walk), the second branch of Istanbul’74 at Galatasaray is hosting the Los Angeles-based photographer and filmmaker, Alex Prager.

Alex Prager, ‘Sun Valley’

The artist’s retro-inspired images call to mind 1960s Hollywood. Prices range from $18,000 to $25,000. The gallery will be open throughout the summer with the programme announced on its website soon. 

Key: Red – artSümer, Yellow – Space Debris Art, Green – Karaköy, Blue – Kasa Galeri, Purple – Öktem & Aykut, Orange – Blok Art Space, Brown – Istanbul’74 Galatasaray

Click here for the interactive map. 

Posted in Contemporary Art, Exhibitions, Modern Art
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