Leading Istanbul galleries join forces for new Gallery Weekend

Fourteen dealers aim to bring “positive energy” to the city in wake of failed coup.

Istanbul Gallery Weekend, a new initiative launched in the beleaguered city by a group of commercial galleries, is due to take place later this month (30 September-2 October).

Fourteen galleries, including Pi Artworks, Galeri Nev and Zilberman Gallery, have joined forces for the new project, founding a new organisation called Contemporary Art Galleries Solidarity.

“The majority of the galleries in the new association have been the primary galleries that have been active for the longest time—they have helped to raise the international profile of art coming out of Turkey,” says Kerimcan Güleryüz, the founder of participating gallery The Empire Project. The gallery will present a group show featuring works by Ali Taptik, Helio Leon, and Nathalie Mamboury.

“We feel that Istanbul Gallery Weekend will be an important annual event in the years to come as it serves to highlight and showcase the scene as a whole, and bring some positive energy to a scene that has had more than its fair share of trials and tribulations,” Güleryüz says.

The initiative is based on other gallery weekend models worldwide that have proved a draw and boosted commercial scenes, especially in Berlin and Brussels. Galleries will extend their opening hours during the weekend, while a social media campaign will highlight the exhibitions on show across the 14 galleries. “This is strictly driven by the effort of the galleries, there are no other entities involved in this,” Güleryüz says.

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