Since its founding in 2004, Istanbul Modern has organized seven collection exhibitions that show the evolution and transformation of modern and contemporary art in Turkey as well as the international orientation of the museum's acquisitions. Through their chronological and thematic approaches, these exhibitions revealed both the changing dynamics of today’s art world and the conceptual similarities of contemporary approaches from different geographies. They also sought to display the common nature of art, which transcends borders, while bringing together both past and contemporary works.
Istanbul Modern’s final collection exhibition at its temporary space in Beyoğlu brings together three important approaches that form the museum’s collection. The third floor of the museum presents a chronological selection of iconic abstract and figurative paintings to show the development of these movements in Turkey during the post 1950. The first section illustrates the visual and intellectual influence of Anatolian and Islamic culture on abstract painting grounded in a geometric and lyrical approach. The second section displays the trajectory from social realism in figurative painting to the New Figurative approaches of the 1970s and the expressionist and conceptual art of the 1980s. The second floor of the museum showcases a variety of contemporary art dealing with nature and the environment. Focusing on recent works by artists who are interested in ecological issues, this selection seeks to bring to light the cultural reflections of nature through painting, sculpture, video, installation and photography. Bringing together artists from different generations, the selection draws attention to the destruction of nature, the depletion of natural resources and the inevitable rise of ecological problems.
Ömer Uluç, 1931-2010
3 Men, 4 Women, Visitors, 1989
Mixed media on canvas
180 x 235 cm
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Collection
Latifa Echakhch, 1974
Two steps in the right, then turn left. Carefully touching the ends of the leaves with the end of fingers. Swinging the arms in a slow rhythm. Then close the eyes.