Closing remarks: Contemporary Istanbul 2014

Contemporary Istanbul

December 5, 2014
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The ninth edition of Contemporary Istanbul closed on Sunday 16 November, surpassing sale and visitor expectations with more than 77,000 visitors during the four days and 72 percent of all the artworks at the fair sold with a total sales of 67 million Euros. 

This year, Turkey’s largest international contemporary art fair, Contemporary Istanbul, brought 108 galleries from 23 territories; 520 artists; more than 1,000 foreign collectors and VIPs, art professionals, academicians; and eight different museum groups from around the world under the same roof. The sales rose above 30 percent of the average sales of international trade fairs with more than 67 million euros in sales. This is the highest amount of artwork sold at Contemporary Istanbul in its nine years.

Alex Katz’s Red Lines Sunrise worth 62,000 euros, Yayoi Kusama Dots Obsession worth 70,000 euros, and Ergin Inan World Beyond the Gates worth 180,000 USD were amongst some of the leading artists’ pieces sold during the fair. Melissa Mizrakli also sold 20 pieces at Emmanuel Fremin Gallery; all the artworks of Slinkachu at Andipa Gallery were sold. Nohlab Musion’s’ in-ter-sec-tion Rules hologram work was sold during the fair as the highest value new media work sold in Turkey with a value of 35,000 euros.

During Contemporary Istanbul’s gala dinner, Ali Güreli, the chairman and founder of CI, addressed a speech to the 350 international guests. Ali Güreli explained how Istanbul is getting ready to coexist with the world’s leading art and cultural centers including Paris, London, New York and Berlin. He also drew attention to the importance of globalization enveloping the world, possible only with the protection of local values, and the increasing importance of Turkish contemporary art. 

Fair highlights
Contemporary Istanbul’s newest initiative, CI Editions, offered special editions produced in a limited number. Presenting works by Hale Tenger, Ali Emir Tapan and Bugra Erol amongst others. CI Editions was one of the areas that brought the most interest from the visitors and new collectors. CI Editions has been invited to be present at other international fairs throughout the year.

New Media section, Plugin, brought sound and light installations, interactive and generative art projects, indoor mapping and holographic and video art works for the second year. Highlights included DAM Gallery, Perte de Signal, GRID, Yellow Peril Gallery—Paul Myoda, Akinci and Sedition.

Chinese contemporary art was present in the fair with the Now You See exhibition by Dr. Michael I Jacobs. Presenting a selection of ten Chinese video art works, this area gave an introduction to visitors and collectors of Chinese contemporary art. 

Also CI Dialogues, Contemporary Istanbul conference and discussions program presented panels on China and on the art market. With the title “The Other Art: Alternatives. Choices. Options,” the program included subjects such as “How to collect in the future?” focusing on the future of collectors and collections; “Today vs. Tomorrow Art Economy” in which Robin Woodhead, chairman of Sotheby’s International, addressed the importance of investment in art collections; “Contemporary Art in China;” the 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial moderated by its director Deniz Ova; and the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia focusing on the Turkish Pavilion. Some other participants on these tables were Emilio Alvarez, Loop Art Fair Director; Horst Diekgerdes, fashion photographer; and Francesca Gavin, curator, Soho House.

The 90 Minutes Show, curated by Contemporary Istanbul’s Program Director, Marcus Graf, presented a new solo show every 90 minutes in a shipping container-like space. Presenting the works from Ali Emir Tapan, Fani Zguro, Island 6, Gallery on the Move, Ismail Necmi, Ozan Kerem Baykal amongst many others, 90 Minutes Show was a curatorial and artist challenge to assemble, open, celebrate, mediate, discuss, record and dismantle in a very short time frame.  

Upcoming event:
Contemporary Istanbul
12–15 November 2015
Preview: 11 November

For more information
Gemma Saraçoğlu, Contemporary Istanbul: gemma [​at​] / T +90 534 360 02 04
Juan Sanchez, Rhiannon Pickles PR: juan [​at​] / T +44 788 223 7732