Turkey’s art scene revolves mostly around its largest cities including Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. Both renowned international and local names as well as up and coming artists are represented, from contemporary to classic. Check out some of Turkey’s best galleries for art enthusiasts.
Istanbul’s main hub for contemporary art is located within a giant warehouse by the Bosphorus. Established in 2004, Istanbul Modern has not only played a large role in introducing Turkish artists to the city, but also abroad. The cinema center, sculpture garden, and café with a great Bosphorus view are also notable.
Turkey’s capital has been blessed with an excellent center for contemporary art that also happens to be a feat of architecture. Located in a space that used to be a train depot, the spacious Cer Modern not only holds engaging exhibitions but interacts with its audience through art history classes, kids’ workshops, yoga sessions, and so much more.
Known for their innovative approach, x-ist exhibitions are always striking examples of contemporary art that inspire much more than a few elongated glances. Focused on up and coming artists that are ripe to make a lasting mark, the small gallery is enough reason to visit the Nişantaşı neighborhood.
Arkas Art Center
Izmir’s major art center is located in the former French consulate and therefore enjoys an excellent stance in terms of architectural integrity. Opened in 2011, Arkas has 10 exhibition rooms on two floors and has already displayed a unique array of art from Ottoman carpets to works of post-impressionism.
Located right on Istanbul’s busy Istiklal Street, walking into Arter is a very welcome distraction from the city’s hectic flow. Focusing on local and international contemporary art, Arter has already had exhibitions from a wide spectrum of art forms including installation, video, sculpture, and painting.
Certainly one of Istanbul’s most beautiful buildings, Salt Galata is much more than an art gallery. Located within a former Ottoman bank where gorgeous marble is in the foreground, Salt features an art gallery, research library, bookstore, restaurant, and auditorium.
Since its opening in 2001, Galerist has become a leading representative of Turkish contemporary artist both in Turkey and all around the world via international art fairs. The space itself is also noteworthy due to the preservation of the original historic façade of the neoclassical building which Galerist calls home.
Sakıp Sabancı Museum
Once the summer residence of Turkey’s wealthy and philanthropic Sabancı family, the Sakıp Sabancı Museum overlooks the Bosphorus from a hill above a beautiful lush garden. Inside the mansion, artists such as Rodin, Picasso, and Anish Kapoor have exhibited their works, while the Müzedechanga restaurant creates art through food.
A beautiful example of European architecture in the middle of busy Istiklal Street, the Mısır Apartment is not only stunning aesthetically, but is also one of Istanbul’s most important art centers. With an art gallery on every floor, you’ll have lots to admire from the buildings beautiful details to the art works.
A gallery known for its strong social, cultural, and political reflection with open encouragement for debate, Depo hosts exhibitions from Turkey as well as the South Caucus, Middle East, and the Balkans. Depo also holds panel discussions and workshops to further interact with their audience.