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Selma Gürbüz: This Place We Call World

November 5, 2020 – March 31, 2021
Tickets can be purchased at the front desk. Entry is limited. Online reservations can be made through the museum website

Istanbul Modern Temporary Space, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No. 99, Beyoğlu, Istanbul


Welcome to the world of carnivalesque creatures dancing in the woods, a world where imaginary figures meet the mundane. Her first solo show for three years, Istanbul Modern’s exhibition This Place We Call World marks the culmination of Selma Gürbüz’s oeuvre.

Over the years, the Istanbul-born and -based artist, who studied art at the Exeter College of Art and Design (1980–82) and the Istanbul Fine Arts Academy (1982–84), now part of Marmara University, has formulated a strange, all-enveloping dream world of phantasmagorical imagery, borrowing techniques and material from all sorts of cultural backgrounds, whether it be African sculpture, Anatolian legend or the miniature traditions of Iran and India. Her work is all about life cycle, in which dream worlds merge with reallity, the Nigerian goddess of love, Oshun with the Anatolian fertilty goddess, Cybele. It is a vivid, beautifully crafted world.

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More than 100 works from different periods of Gürbüz’s career are included in this show, many from private and public collections, including the British Museum and Istanbul Modern itself. Most are being exhibited for the first time. Media range from digital art to painting, drawing and sculpture. The catalogue, by Istanbul Modern curator Öykü Özsoy, includes an interview with the artist by Fisun Yalçınkaya.


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