The Best Art Exhibitions to Watch Out For in Turkey This Season

Gazi Sansoy, Ufürük, 2009, Mixed media on canvas, 170,5 x 172,5 cm | Courtesy of Anna Laudel Contemporary
Gazi Sansoy, Ufürük, 2009, Mixed media on canvas, 170,5 x 172,5 cm | Courtesy of Anna Laudel Contemporary
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
23 January 2018

From Istanbul to Ankara, there are plenty of amazing exhibitions to watch out for in the next three months if you’re travelling to Turkey. From a solo Ai Weiwei exhibition to the best of famous Turkish artists and architects, check out the top art events to attend.

Ai Weiwei On Porcelain

For his first solo show in Istanbul, internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei focuses on the world of porcelain. With over 100 works, some of which were produced especially for the exhibition, the visual spectrum delves into the worlds of traditional Chinese handicrafts and Western art history.

Sakıp Sabancı Museum, September 13, 2017 – March 11, 2018

Courtesy of Sakıp Sabancı Museum

Behind Mount Qaf

One of Istanbul’s most popular art galleries will turn its three floors into the realms of heaven, purgatory and hell for this solo exhibition from artist, CANAN. Focusing on themes such as light and shadow or good and bad, the three realms include sculptures, videos, embroidery, installations, miniatures and more.

ARTER, September 12, 2017 – February 18, 2018

Courtesy of Arter

A Young Genius Painter

Ankara’s main hub for contemporary art hosts thirteen-year-old Korean genius, Inhu Lee, who has become famous for his mastery of colour, structure and technique. More than 66 works express a vibrant and creative view of both humans and nature.

CerModern, January 5, 2018 – February 4, 2018

Look At Me! / Re/Framing Louis Kahn

Louis Khan, one of the leading figures of 20th-century architecture, is the focus of this exhibition. From drawings and photographs of architectural works to the architect’s paintings and interviews, the exhibition also displays his writings, which have been translated into Turkish for the first time.

The Pera Museum, December 7, 2017 – March 5, 2018

Salk Institute, Louis Khan | © Jim Harper/WikiCommons

Imaginary World of A Paper Architect

An excellent visual journey into 20th-century architecture in Turkey, the avant-garde sketches and designs of celebrated Turkish architect, Nazimî Yaver Yenal display more than 50 years of his personal archives on paper.

Istanbul Research Institute, October 4, 2017 – March 3, 2018

Courtesy of Istanbul Research Institute

Bring Him Back to Me, Voodoo

Photographer, Naz Köktentürk, travelled to Burkina Faso to explore the tradition of Voodoo rituals and West African animism. The Istanbul-based photographer has travelled the world for this long-term research project based on myths and rituals.

Blok Art Space, February 7, 2018 – March 10, 2018


Gazi Sansoy quickly made a name for himself with his thought-provoking paintings steeped in satire and wit. His solo exhibition displays his colourful works between 2008 and 2018 and includes his signature mixed photograph and painting works and his drawings inspired by Ottoman miniatures.

Anna Laudel Contemporary, January 11, 2018 – February 16, 2018

Gazi Sansoy, Veda, 2017, Oil on canvas, 123 x 108 cm | Courtesy of Anna Laudel Contemporary

Scent and the City

Travel back to ancient Anatolia via your sense of smell. This exhibition, curated by Dr. Lauren Nicole Davis, presents more than 50 scents that create an olfactory journey to the rituals and traditions of a past Anatolia.

Erimtan Archaeology and Art Museum, January 6, 2018 – March 31, 2018

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