Like every major cosmopolitan city, Istanbul’s art scene is on a constant upward trajectory with new galleries, artists, and events injecting life into its artistic veins. With many galleries spread all over its various urban areas, we took on Istanbul’s most artistically inclined neighborhoods to break down the best galleries.
Founded by collector Daryo Beskinazi and art director Kerimcan Güleryüz, x-ist is a contemporary art gallery that features young artists on the rise who are bound to make their mark on the scene. The exhibitions are always on the more innovative side with a youthful spirit.
Abdi İpekçi Caddesi, Kaşıkçıoğlu Apartmanı No.42 D.2 Nişantaşı, +90 212 291 7784
Working with both up and coming artists as well as the more established names, Dirimart made its mark in Istanbul’s art scene with its local and international focus. The gallery also publishes a bi-annual art magazine and just opened a second, larger branch in Dolapdere.
Abdi İpekçi Caddesi No. 7/4 Nişantaşı, +90 212 291 3434
Innovative exhibitions with process apparent works (art that reveals its method of creation) are the main focus at Galeri İlayda. You’ll find works ranging from installations to digital displays that harbor an inventive use of materials as well as diverse forms from both local and international artists.
Hüsrev Gerede Caddesi No.37 Teşvikiye, +90 212 227 9292
Another contemporary art gallery that focuses on the work of young artists, ALAN Istanbul’s exhibitions are known for their cutting edge demeanor. Much more than a gallery, ALAN also supports the work of activists and hosts performances, films, and art classes.
Asmalımescit Caddesi Atlas Apartmanı No.5/2 Tünel, +90 212 252 9453
Located right on bustling İstiklal Caddesi, Arter is an important name amongst Istanbul’s contemporary art scene. With innovative and conceptually demanding exhibitions with works such as installations, video, painting, and sculpture, you’ll always see something in the main window display that will entice you to enter.
İstiklal Caddesi No.211 Beyoğlu, +90 212 708 5800
Having represented Turkish contemporary art at international fairs, Galerist Tepebaşı is a serious force to be reckoned with in the local arts scene. Founded in 2001, the gallery focuses on introducing new local and international artists who share a unique vision of a contemporary aesthetic.
Meşrutiyet Caddesi No.67/1 Tepebaşı, +90 212 252 1896
You definitely won’t overlook this stunning, historic apartment building, which was once home to important names from Turkey’s literary world such as Mehmet Akif Ersoy (poet and author of the Turkish national anthem). Nowadays, Mısır Apartmanı has become an art hub with the city’s most important art galleries occupying different floors. You’ll spend a few hours going up and down the gorgeous winding staircase to check out the exhibitions at Cda Projects, Galeri Zilberman, Galeri Nev, the Nesrin Esirtgen Collection, and Pi Artworks.
Istiklal Cad. Mısır Apt. 163 Galatasaray
Much more than an art gallery, Depo serves as a discussion platform for artists as well as cultural organizations from Turkey and abroad. Aiming to promote discussion on cultural, social, and political issues, the gallery hosts exhibitions, video screenings, conferences, panels, talks, and workshops.
Lüleci Hendek Caddesi No. 12 Tophane, +90 212 292 3956
Certainly one of the city’s most important hubs for modern art, Istanbul Modern opened in 2004 in a converted warehouse. Known for its major exhibitions and events, the museum has also done its part in getting Turkish modern art on the map by exhibiting such artists as Kutluğ Ataman, Gülsün Karamustafa, Sarkis, Taner Ceylan, and Hussein Chalayan. Istanbul Modern also features a Cinema Center with a focus on world cinema and new talent in the Turkish film world.
Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi Antrepo No.4 Karaköy, +90 212 334 7300
Representing the most innovative side of Turkish contemporary art, artSümer showcases the work of both established and newer names in the art world. From painting to sculpture and photography to new media, the gallery’s exhibitions have also been featured at important local and international fairs.
Mumhane Caddesi, Laroz Han No.67 Karaköy, +90 212 249 1035